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Exhibition in Kolkata celebrates 50 years of the Iconic Sleuth Feluda created by auteur Satyajit Ray

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Satyajit Ray with Ravi Sankar music recording for Pather Panchali (1955). Wikimedia
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Kolkata, April 30, 2017: An exhibition of over a hundred exhibits celebrating 50 years of Feluda, the iconic sleuth created by auteur Satyajit Ray, was inaugurated here on Sunday evening ahead of the legend’s 96th birth anniversary on May 2.

The Oscar-winning film director’s 25th death anniversary was observed on April 23.

The assemblage essentially captures everything related to Ray’s much-feted oeuvre, including photos from his famed “Kheror Khata” (red books or manuscripts) where he jotted down minute details associated with his films.

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“Though the theme is Feluda, there is much more to be seen in the exhibition, such as his doodles. Initially we were restricting the exhibits to 90 but it has crossed 100. The items exhibited capture his multifaceted personality, as a writer, as an illustrator and as a composer.

“For Feluda afficionados, there are shooting schedule of films like aSonar Kella’, sketches and illustrations of Feluda,” a representative of The Society for the Preservation of Satyajit Ray Archives, told IANS.

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The exposition will run till May 4 at ICCR and then move to the Calcutta Club.

Revolving around the 27-year-old athletic Pradosh Chandra Mitter, nicknamed Feluda, the novellas showcase the private eye’s superb analytical and observational skills to dig out clues that ultimately lead to a solution of the mysteries – be it murders, theft or kidnapping.

Said to have been modelled on Sherlock Holmes, the cigarette-smoking and martial art-trained Feluda is accompanied in his sleuthing pursuits by cousin, Tapesh Ranjan Mitra or Topshe who is the narrator of the stories and may have been loosely based on character of Dr John Watson.

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 Ray also brings in a character called Jatayu (Lal Mohon Ganguly), a writer of thriller novels who provides a much-loved comic relief, from his sixth novella onward.

Feluda possesses a .32 Colt revolver but rarely uses it. In story after story, his major weapon is “magajastra” (the brain).

Since the first Feluda whodunit “Feludar Goyendagiri (Feluda’s investigation)” debuted in December 1965 in the ‘Sandesh’ magazine, the series have been translated in four Indian languages besides English, French, Italian, Swedish, German and Japanese. The first Feluda book came out in 1967.

The books have spawned hit films, animations and comics and the character has attained cult status among the old and the young alike. (IANS)

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Mahalaya: Beginning of “Devipaksha” in Bengali Celebration of ‘Durga Puja’

“Mahalaya” is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha” and heralds the celebration of Durga Puja

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Mahalaya morning in Kolkata. Flickr
  • Mahalaya 2017 Date: 19th september.
  • On Mahalaya, people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers; which is called ‘Torpon’
  • Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted in All India Radio
  • The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent

Sept 19, 2017: Autumn is the season of the year that sees the Hindus, all geared up to celebrate some of the biggest festivals of India. The festive spirit in the Bengalis all enthused to prepare for the greatest of the festivals, the ‘Durga Puja’.

About Mahalaya:

Mahalaya is the auspicious occasion that marks the beginning of “Devipaksha” and the ending of “Pitripaksha,” and this year it is celebrated on September 19.

Observed exactly a week before the ‘Durga Puja’, Mahalaya is the harbinger of the arrival of Goddess Durga. It is celebrated to invoke the goddess possessing supreme power! The goddess is invited to descend on earth and she is welcomed with devotional songs and holy chants of mantras. On this day, the eye is drawn in the idols of the Goddess by the artisans marking the initiation of “Devipaksha”. Mahalaya arrives and the countdown to the Durga Puja begins!

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The day of Mahalaya bears supreme significance to the Bengalis. The day is immensely important because on this day people throng to the holy river Ganges in order to pay homage to their ancestors and forefathers. Clad in white dhotis, people offer prayers and take dips in the river while praying for their demised dear ones. The ritual is popular as “Torpon”.

Mahalaya
An idol-maker in progress of drawing the eye in the idol of the Goddess. Wikipedia

As per Hindu myth, on “Devipaksha”, the Gods and the Goddesses began their preparations to celebrate “Mahamaya” or Goddess Durga, who was brought upon by the trinity- Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara; to annihilate the fierce demon king named Mahishasura. The captivating story of the Goddess defeating the demon got popularized with the goddess being revered as “Durgatinashini” or the one who banishes all the evils and miseries of the world. The victory of the Goddess is celebrated as ‘Durga Puja’.

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Mahalaya remains incomplete without the magical chanting of the scriptural verses from the ‘Chandi Kavya’ that is broadcasted at dawn in All India Radio in the form of a marvelous audio montage enthralling the souls of the Bengalis. Presented with wonderful devotional music, acoustic drama, and classical songs- the program is also translated to Hindi and played for the whole pan-Indian listeners.

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Mahalaya
Birendra Krishna Bhadra (1905-1991). Wikipedia

The program is inseparable from Mahalaya and has been going on for over six decades till date. The magic is induced by the popular Birendra Krishna Bhadra whose voice makes the recitation of the “Chandi Kavya” even more magnificent! He has been a legend and the dawn of Mahalaya turns insipid without the reverberating and enchanting voice of the legendary man.

Mahalaya will keep spreading the magic and setting the vigor of the greatest festival of the Bengalis- the Durga Puja, to worship the supreme Goddess, eternally.

                 “Yaa Devi Sarbabhuteshu, Shakti Rupena Sanhsthita,

                     Namastaswai Namastaswai Namastaswai Namo Namaha.”

– by Antara Kumar of NewsGram. Twitter: @ElaanaC