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The Rhythm of Riddles Saradindu Bandyopadyay's immortal detective Byomkesh Bakshi has enjoyed immense popularity for several decades From being a household name in the Calcutta of 1930s when he first created to a popular face on TV in the 1990s Byomkesh along with his friend cum foil Ajit is perhaps the best loved of India's literary detectives This collection brings together three of his classic whodunnits From a murder in a boarding house with too many suspects to a mystery with a supernatural twist and then busting a black marketeering ring in rural bengal these stories take the super sleuth to different locales on his uest for truth and bring out his ingenuity and astuteness Translated into English for the first time by award winning translator Arunava Sinha the breathless pace and thrilling plots of these action packed adventures will win Byomkesh a new genertion of admirers


10 thoughts on “The Rhythm of Riddles

  1. says:

    This is the first book I read for Diverse Detectives Month Or rather the first three books I decided to start with a book which had a collection of Byomkesh Bakshi mysteries After finishing one book I decided to read another and then another I think there are only three translated collections of Byomkesh Bakshi mysteries in English Now I have read them all The three books I read were 'Picture Imperfect' 'The Menagerie' and 'The Rhythm of Riddles' The first two were translated by Sreejata Guha who was probably the first to translate Byomkesh Bakshi mysteries into English twenty years back and then continued translating other Bengali classics into English The third book was translated by Arunava Sinha who is the current doyen of Bengali English translators The first book had seven stories the second one four and the third one three – that is fourteen stories in all The first collection mostly had stories from the first part of Saradindu Bandyopadhyay's career from 1932 to 1937 The second collection had stories from the second part of his career from 1952 onwards The last story in the second collection was written in 1967Byomkesh Bakshi was one of the first Indian fictional detectives The first Byomkesh Bakshi mystery appeared in 1932 and the last one in 1969 There was a break of fifteen years between 1937 and 1952 when Saradindu Bandyopadhyay went to write screenplays for Bollywood but he came back and continued from where he left off While reading the stories it is hard not to spot similarities between Byomkesh and Sherlock Holmes – the way the character gets introduced first the way the narrator Ajit and Byomkesh become roommates There is even a police officer similar to Lestrade who creates problems for Byomkesh Sometimes Byomkesh wakes up Ajit in the middle of the night or early in the morning to go out on a mission He doesn't say Wake up Ajit The game is afoot though However as we read stories we discover that the two series diverge because Byomkesh and his friend Ajit are uintessentially Indian and Bengali In many stories at some point we can make a list of suspects and typically the culprit is one of them But it is hard to guess who Saradindu Bandyopadhyay almost never cheats by bringing an unknown character from outside the main cast and declaring he she is the culprit Which us a wonderful thing There are beautiful humorous passages in many of the stories and though things get lost in translation which is one of the essential aspects of humour that it gets lost in translation the humour typically peeps out through the translated English sentences and is a pleasure to readSome of the stories in the book are short but others are long while some approach the length of a novella I liked the stories from both the time periods but I think I liked the longer stories than the shorter ones In one story which runs to than a hundred pages called 'The uills of the Porcupine' Byomkesh Bakshi and Ajit come only in the beginning and in the end The middle which is the biggest part of the story features a young couple who are newly married and describes how their relationship evolves If we remove the mystery aspect of the story it almost reads like the story told in one of my favourite Tamil movies 'Mouna Ragam' I wonder whether Maniratnam just lifted Saradindu Bandyopadhyay's story maybe from its film adaptation made some changes to it and called it 'Mouna Ragam' If that is true then it will be one case of a famous Tamil movie being a copycat of another I feel sad just contemplating on it The longest story in the book is 'The Menagerie' which runs to than 150 pages It has a complex plot with many murders and suspects and an ending which is hard to guess It was made into a famous movie by Satyajit Ray and I want to watch that sometime I enjoyed reading these three Byomkesh Bakshi mystery collections It was interesting to read about India of a different time and about this famous detective or truth seeker as he called himself and how he discovered the truth about strange happenings and how he brought bad guys to book with a little help from friends There is an acclaimed TV adaptation of the Byomkesh Bakshi stories starring Rajat Kapoor I think I have watched one or two episodes of it I hope to watch it properly one of these daysHave you read Byomkesh Bakshi stories? What do you think about them? Which ones are your favourites?


  2. says:

    255 This book contains 3 Byomkesh short stories translated from Bengali Surprisingly the first of the three is the worst crime fiction I have ever read The second story had supernatural elements and was genuinely good the third was decent The writing style is a but dryI have been reading Satyajit Ray's Feluda omnibus for d past 3 4 days and decided to pick this one up from d library for of the same and a little change too But Feluda stories r better Will try few stories of Byomkesh


  3. says:

    Fabulous detective stories


  4. says:

    There are only 3 novellas in this edition out of total of 33 stories which feature Byomkesh and it is primarily written for children between the 7 14 years Out of the 3 stories Byomkesh O Barada and The Death of Amrito are good stories; the narrative is captivating and the revelation catches you by surprise Few tit bits about Byomkesh Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay and some background about the stories are given at the end of the book


  5. says:

    After reading this anthology have really nice stories of Byomkesh bakshi First Indian detective that has gain respect in bengal and after series on DD all over India Stories are even better than series tv or cinema has certain limitations but words give free rien to your imagination Have been admirer of English and scandinavian detective fiction but fell in love with this indian detective fiction because to read whole thing in indian milieu is nice experience So avid detective fiction reader can go for this one it is as cool as holmes or poirot


  6. says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed it even though I'd watched the DoorDarshan episodes of at least 2 of these mysteries following them with Byomkesh Babu in such detail was great BB remains to this day my favourite detective


  7. says:

    This book consist of 3 storiesa The rhythm of riddlesb Byomkesh and bardac The death of AmritoAmong these 3 The death of Amrito was the one I liked most Recently it was made into a movie by Arindam Sil by the title Byomkesh Parbo where Satyabati is forcefully pushed into the storylineThe story is simple Amrito or Amra dies and Byomkesh try to solve his murder which has its roots in arms smuggling after 2nd world warkey features of the book1 Introduction by Dibakar Banerjee the bollywood movie director which is a must read so much associated with bengali sentiments and one being giving books as presents and visiting relatives during summer vacation and load shedding followed by reading under the mombaticandle2 Byomkesh is an arrogant bad arse and I mean it in a good way He is person who is so much into finding the truth at times you feel that he is mad At times he let the culprit walk freewhat not to expect?1 Do not constantly compare Byomkesh and Feluda I know its tempting but this comparison makes the stories somewhat ineffective Two different person completely in same profession2 It is a translation so at times it feels lifeless But Arunava Sinha has done great work in translating the books didn't find it to me lifeless till my cousin read me the stories in Bangla It might be the hunch for mother tongue


  8. says:

    Even though not the best from the author this was a wonderful read Taking enough cues from the master detective Holmes Saradindu Bandhyopadhyay weaves the stories in a stylish way Byomkesh Bakshi like Holmes has peculiar tastes He's pretty much into tea and smokes uiet often A sucker for mysteries Mr Bakshi never hesitates to step into any uagmireThe collection includes three stories and each one of them is written in a lucid manner Started with Satyanweshi in 1931 Bakshi has always attracted the readers in and out India One similarity that Bakshi has with Holmes is the way of narration that is interpretation of the events at the end of the story which might seem spoon feeding to the modern reader nowYet Mr Bakshi never hesitates to amaze the reader through his deductive reasoningA real page turner indeed


  9. says:

    Sometimes it's so difficult to write a review The story is so engrossing that you are just lost in it without any other peripheral thoughts You tend to not look for patterns or observe any follies This book has been one of those kinds Just open it read it and enjoy it The translation is very smoothGiven all my praise you might wonder why only 4 stars that's because in the first story there's a back story that's not told to readers and even in second story a small detail that reader doesn't know till the end But still these are minor details and this is a proper detective mystery books These stories are not like the ones that sustain mystery just by overusing pronouns and ending chapters abruptly along the lines of The girl on train by Paula Hawkins These are good proper crime mystery novels I've become a fan of the Author A must read


  10. says:

    Ahhhhh being a bengali reader it’s by birth i am big fan of Byomkesh Bakshi I have read his books in bengali version too This time i tried in English translation There are three different stories and each story contains a new thrill with full of suspense The 3rd story “The Death of Amrito” i have watched the movie and honestly the amount of Byomkesh movies i have seen i was imagining Abir as Byomkesh everytime Haha Funny If you are Feluda fan then I don’t need to introduce to you who is Byomkesh Loved the translation Learned so many new words from the translator Arunava Sinha I have read his translated books before undoubtedly he is a great translator Good one 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻


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