Gorosthane Sabdhaan (Bengali, 2010) - A preview of Sandip Ray's New Feluda Movie

By Nilanjan Nandy

Calcutta, Dec 10, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) At last "Gorosthane Sabhdan" (Beware of the Cemetary) the movie, is releasing today in Calcutta and all over. I fondly remember, I was in the 7th or 8th grade, when I had the wonderful-unforgettable opportunity to take a walk with my Dad, Late Batuk Nandy, down College Street to buy a fresh copy of this particular Feluda novel, I believe it was priced somewhere between Rs.7 and Rs.10. 

I still remember it was an overcast day and after buying the book we went down to taste the "Cocoa Malai Sharbat" the famous sharbat place called 'Paramount', which still stands upright and bright and is thronged by keen sharbat drinkers all day long. It's location is beside the Viswa Bharati book shop at the East end of the College Square (Gol-Dighi), a few steps away from the Mahabodhi Society.

Coming back to "Gorosthaney Sabdhan" ; I had finished the novel at one go! It was different, it was unputdownable and far far better than any Bengali detective character novels that I have read all through my young and adult  life.

Satyajit Ray was one entity who used to write his crime novels at par with his Occidental counterparts, maintaining the ethnicity in full glory. That's the Magic of Ray, I believe! This particular story roams around the Anglo Indian localities, Cemetaries and mainly Park Street, one of my favourite streets in this whole wide world, along with Jalapahar road of Darjeeling, Manhattan of New York and Champs Elysees of Paris.

When Satyajit Ray wrote the Feluda novel, Gorosthane Shabdhan in 1977, the process of renaming streets and locations in Calcutta had already started. Of course, this reached a frenzied pace in recent years with the renaming of the city itself to Kolkata and the prime location of the novel, Park Street, to Mother Teresa Sarani. Nonetheless, in the story we find signs that change had already started. Dalhousie Square had become B.B.D. Bag in honour of the revolutionaries Binoy, Badal, and Dinesh.

Ochterlony Monument had been renamed to Shaheed Minar!

This particular Feluda novel is a 'one of a kind' thriller which catches Feluda, Topshe and Lalmohon-babu solving a mystery right here in the good old Calcutta , Feluda's hometown. Since I read this novel while I was still in school, I have been waiting to see it's film version on screen, and I remember of writing to  Sri. Satyajit Ray, requesting him to make this into a film.

I had this habit of writing to him when ever I read one of his short-stories or any other tale regarding Prof. Shonku or Feluda.Most of the times I received a reply from Ray himself, and regarding the "Gorosthaney Sabdhaan" letter, he had replied that - "he will keep my request in mind, and will think of bring this wonderful story to life o screen.

However, with his passing on the 23rd of April 1992 (one of the darkest days in the history of World Cinema) I had abandoned my dream of seeing this particular movie on screen, but thanks are due to Sandip Ray for bringing this magnificent story to life, and fulfilling dream at last. The accompanying photograph with this blog entry of mine is a black and white snap where you can see (from left) Lalmohon babu (Bibhu Bhattacharya), Felu-da (Sabyasachi Chakraborty) and the Director (Sandip Ray). This is just a preview of the film that I'll be watching today, on the first day of it's release. Watch out for my review of the film on this site later at night .

Before I wind up, I must admit,that Sri. Ray's mentioning of the succulent Chicken Sandwiches of Blue Fox (one of the best restaurants of this good ole town, which is no longer there like many other good things) had compelled me to go down there, the very day I finished the novel, to order two rounds of Chicken Sandwiches, Coffee and Caramel Custard; the taste still lingers on my tongue.

Joy Baba Satyajit!!