The Rhythm of Riddles: Three Byomkesh Bakshi Mysteries

The Rhythm of Riddles: Three Byomkesh Bakshi Mysteries Saradindu Bandyopadyay s immortal detective Byomkesh Bakshi has enjoyed immense popularity for several decades From being a household name in the Calcutta of s, when he first created, to a popular face on TV in the s, 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 quest 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: Three Byomkesh Bakshi Mysteries

  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 Sreej 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 1967.Byomkesh 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 readstories, we discover that the two series diverge, because Byomkesh and his friend Ajit are quintessentially 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 read.Some 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 storiesthan the shorter ones In one story, which runs tothan a hundred pages, called The Quills 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 onecase 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 tothan 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 days.Have you read Byomkesh Bakshi stories What do you think about them Which ones are your favourites


  2. says:

    2.5 5 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 dry.I have been reading Satyajit Ray s Feluda omnibus for d past 3 4 days and decided to pick this one up from d library forof the same and a little change too But, Feluda stories r better Will try fewstories of B 2.5 5 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 dry.I have been reading Satyajit Ray s Feluda omnibus for d past 3 4 days and decided to pick this one up from d library forof the same and a little change too But, Feluda stories r better Will try fewstories 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 reade 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 stories.a 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 storyline.The story is simple Amrito or Amra dies and Byomkesh try to solve his murder which has its roots in arms smuggling after 2nd world war.key features of the book1 Introduction by Dibakar Banerjee the bollyw This book consist of 3 stories.a 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 storyline.The story is simple Amrito or Amra dies and Byomkesh try to solve his murder which has its roots in arms smuggling after 2nd world war.key 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 mombati candle.2 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 free.what 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 profession.2 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:

    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 smooth.Given 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 does 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 smooth.Given 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


  9. 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 quiet often A sucker for mysteries , Mr Bakshi never hesitates to step into any quagmire.The collection includes three stories and each one of them is written in a lucid manner Started with Satyanweshi in 1931, Bakshi has 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 quiet often A sucker for mysteries , Mr Bakshi never hesitates to step into any quagmire.The 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 now.Yet Mr Bakshi never hesitates to amaze the reader through his deductive reasoning.A real page turner indeed


  10. says:

    3.75 5 The stories were great The second story, Byomkesh and the Barada was aired on doordarshan, and I remember watching it as a child I think that is my earliest memory of being scared by something on TV that stayed with me The translation, though, has simplified things to the extent of it feeling very out of touch with the stories It s weird to read a 1940s novel with 2010s English.If anyone here has recommendations of other better bengali popular fiction translations, I d appreciate that 3.75 5 The stories were great The second story, Byomkesh and the Barada was aired on doordarshan, and I remember watching it as a child I think that is my earliest memory of being scared by something on TV that stayed with me The translation, though, has simplified things to the extent of it feeling very out of touch with the stories It s weird to read a 1940s novel with 2010s English.If anyone here has recommendations of other better bengali popular fiction translations, I d appreciate that very much


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