Updated: Nov 18
Book Review of the Bengali Book: ‘Topser Notebook’
Kaushik Majumder, a scientist and a writer has nicely penned down the book ‘Topser Notebook’. This book articulates a remarkable character created by one of the most famous film Directors Satyajit Ray, who was born in Calcutta on May 2, 1921. His father, Late Sukumar Ray was an eminent poet and writer in the history of Bengali literature. Ray won eleven international prizes for the film, ’Pather Pachali’ in 1955 which includes the best Human Document Award at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival. Apart from movies, Ray authored many short stories and novels, primarily for young children and teenagers. Popular characters created by Satyajit Ray are Feluda, Professor Shonku, Tarini Khuro and Lalmohan Ganguly.
Satyajit Ray cinematizes the book 'The Mystery of the Elephant God' into a movie in the year 1979. It was and also in the second movie 'Sonar Kella', we have a glimpse of Feluda's loyal cousin Topshe and their extremely amusing fiction writer friend, Jatayu.
These characters and the famous Maganlal Meghraj in the book of Satyajit Ray has brought the nostalgia of the yester-years of detective story telling by one of the best Indian Filmmaker, Music Composer and a Creative Author, Mr. Satyajit Ray.
This book written by Kaushik Majumder returned those memories of our favorite characters in the film. The book starts with the outstanding fictional thought and the personal life story of Mr. Prodosh C. Mitter, Private Investigator and his family history by his nephew Topshe, the short form of Topesh Ranjan Mitra. The book provides a detail about the family history of Feluda. This is perhaps a fictional narration of a family background, which seems to be much real. However, the reality of these fictional characters makes the book a vibrant one. I am not sure how history will judge this review, however I am really impressed by the mellifluous thought of the writer, which is a veneration of his writing skill.
‘Feluda’, a detective character and his dialogues are very hard to forget. This character of Satyajit Ray milieu with the environment is one of the best characterizations of thriller stories of the bygone era. These vivid memories of ‘Feluda’ and his nephew ‘Topshe’ exhilarates our hearts even today. The character ‘Feluda’ is always concomitant with our intellectual mind and it is an enjoyment as well as a challenge to predict the outcome.
The author has tried to re-create the life and history of Feluda through the word’s of his nephew Topshe. However, as far as my knowledge goes, nothing was known about Feluda's family history. Ray may have mentioned the same in some lines here and there in different stories. However, I felt the book was interesting and I liked the way the same has been written.
The book at first may seem to be a bit out of context since it starts with the family history, however, as one progresses through the book, it starts making sense. The notebook elaborates about a strange case and the reason why ‘Feluda’ left his private investigation. This part is something which ramshackles our notion that a hero always needs to win.
The author then states the fact that 'Feluda', a mortal, left this world rather dissatisfied because of an investigation incident, which occurred in his life. However, this was not something an aberrant mind can justify. Rational mind says that all humans are mortal, however our imaginary mind states that heroes are always victorious and they live as long as any generation's memories do not die down.
It was not possible for me as a book reviewer to come to a point about Feluda's last days, which the author has tried to portray.
I read the book and if I have to rate the book on 10 Stars and 10 being the highest, I will give the book 8 stars.
(Please Note: The above are my own personal thoughts based on reading this book. Your views, facts, and opinions after reading the book may differ)
This is all from me in this short article. Hope you have liked my personal thoughts and opinions. Please share your views or comments on the Book Review and Recommendation of the book, 'Topser Notebook’ written by Dr. Kaushik Majumder.
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Thanking you for your time,
Mainak Majumdar (He/Him)