Saradindu Bandopadhyay was born on the 30th of March, 1899, Purnea, Bihar, where his father was posted. His original home was in Baranagar, near Calcutta. After completing his graduation in 1919, he passed his law examination in 1926. But he left the legal profession and became a full-fledged writer from the year 1929. He was called to the Mumbai film world as a script writer. In 1941, he left Mumbai and settled permanently in pune where he breathed his last in the early 70s.
His writings were immensely popular during the 60s and 70s. He has written a large number of novels, novellas, long and short stories, historical fiction and reincarnation stories, plays, belles-letters- and last but not the least-detective stories and novels featuring Byomkesh Bakshi- The Truth Seeker or Satyanneshi, who hated to be called a detective! These stories were written within the vast span of 1932 to 1970. There are over thirty five Byomkesh thrillers in the form of long and short stories, novels and novellas.
Byomkesh was introduced in the story- Satyanneshi where he first meets Ajit Bandopadhyay in a mess-house, while staying there incognito, to solve a case. Ajit, the writer, then joins Byomkesh marries and settles down.
Byomkesh Bakshi was popularized by Doordarshan in a serial with the same name featuring the well-known actor Rajit Kapoor. Satyajit Ray also picturised a novella by Saradindu-“Chiriakhana” or “The Zoo”. I hope the readers find the stories enthralling and interesting as I found them when I read them in the original.
In the world of detective fiction, Saradindu Bandopadhyay’s Byomkesh Bakshi has long joined the ranks of Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Christie’s Hercule Poirot as a scrupulous sleuth of fine quality. In the early 1930s, the eponymous detective made an unobtrusive entry into the world of Bengali fiction. He preferred calling himself a satyanneshi, a seeker of truth, and in no time became a household name, owing to his extraordinary cerebral skills and the exciting situations he found himself in. In the tradition of Soyle and Christies then, Byomkesh is accompanied on his adventures by his friend, Ajit, who is slightly obtuse and the perfect foil to him. And unlike his Western counterparts, he possesses no idiosyncrasy of behaviour- he is a mere educated and urbane young man, blessed with sharp intelligence and strong powers of observation.
Saradindu Bandopadhyay (1899-1970), the Bengali novelist, playwright and scriptwriter, is perhaps best known for his immortal Byomkesh stories, written in a span of four decades between 1932 and 1970. He was a master of several prose genres, and wrote the award-winning historical novel Tungabhadrar Teere as well as screenplays for Bengali cinema and the Bombay Talkies. His major works include Jhinder Bandi, Chiriyakhana, Jatismar and Bahu Juger Opar Hote.
Monimala Dha, the translator of this collection, is the vice principal of Loreto Convent, Shillong.
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