There was a time which is considered as the golden period of not only Doordarshan but Television. It is not that today we are not having good TV Shows and all. But despite of having so many channels and options these days, when you compare, Doordarshan gave us so many good TV serials when it was the only player in Indian Television Broadcasting.
Byomkesh Bakshi is a fictional detective character from Sharadindu Bandopadhyay. The famous characters of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle inspired readers and writers equally, around the globe. Many Bengali scholars including Satyajit Ray was inspired by these characters and tried to present the Indian version of the same. Sharadindu Bandopadhyay was one such author.
Byomkesh Bakshi is not a replica of Sherlock Holmes. It has its own persona and uniqueness. But is inspired by Holmes for sure. And yes, there is Ajit Banerjee here to fill in into the shoes of Dr. Watson. Unlike Sherlock Holmes, Byomkesh gets older with time. He gets married and his old age days are also explored. In that sense it is more near to the famous Tommy and Tuppence by Agatha Christie.
In 1993 ace director Basu Chatterji came with a TV adaptation of Byomkesh Bakshi in the form of a TV Serial. The serial was 14 episode longer. It explored 13 stories where one story was explored in two episodes. Created in a tight budget the TV show has no larger than life drama or eye catching splendors, but its simplicity and fantastic execution is its positive factor.
Rajat Kapur (now his spelling is written as Rajit Kapur, but in the titles of Byomkesh Bakshi – he is credited as Rajat Kapur) and K. K. Raina performed their roles brilliantly as Byomkesh and Ajit respectively. We wonder why this TV Serial is not available on DVD!
|TV Serial||:||Byomkesh Bakshi|
|Asst. Director||:||Ravindra Singh|
|Asst. Cameraman||:||H N Singh|
|Asst. Music Director||:||Nanda Kumar Das|
|Make Up||:||Mahendra Chonkar|
|Art Director||:||Jadab Bhattacharya|
|Publicity Designer||:||Studio Link|
|Make Up||:||Mahendra Chonkar|
|Screenplay||:||Saharadindu Bandopadhyay, Basu Chatterji, Mriganka Shekhar Rai|
Basu Chatterji Production for
|Starring||:||Rajat Kapoor (Byomkesh Bakshi), K K Raina (Ajit Kumr Banerji), Kartik Dutta (Punti Ram), Suresh Bhagwat (Dr. AnukulBabu), Manik Chaudhury (Ishwar Babu), Ashutosh Mishra (Ghanshyam), Dilip Roy Chaudhury (Bhootnath), Arun Mathur (Police Commissioner), Gagan Gupta (Gopi), Shakti Singh (Inspector), and others…|
Anyway, Doordarshan made this TV Serial available for viewing for free.
The first episode takes us to the world of Byomkesh. The events explored are happened in Calcutta (now Kolkata) in 1932 (fictional events and timeline). This episode explores the first case of Byomkesh Bakshi.
Anukul Babu is the owner of Anukul lodge. Anukul lodge was comparatively smaller, it have few rooms which are comparatively spacious. Most of the tenants were staying there since long. In addition to manage the lodge, Anukul babu have good command over some homeopathic medicine. He used to suggest and give medicines to his tenants and other people on request.
One of the tenants of Anukul lodge. He was detected with diabetes. He was found dead in his room around the middle of the story. While most of the people thinking it was a suicide Byomkesh suspected that it was a murder.
Ajit Kumar Banerji
One of the tenants of Anukul lodge. He was one of the recent most guests of the lodge. Later to be the best friend of Byomkesh forever.
It all starts with a youth named Byomkesh Bakshi’s meeting with the police commissioner of the city. During the meeting itself we are introduced to the soft and clear nature of Byomkesh and his observation skills. The way he notices the reason for worry for the commissioner is the first analysis by Byomkesh we see in the serial.
The meeting ends in the positive way as commissioner agrees letting Byomkesh to perform his investigation in his own way without disturbing and police procedures.
We see him visiting Anukul lodge. He meets Anukul Babu, the lodge owner and expresses his desire to get a room on rent. However Anukul Babu says that there is no vacant room at the point. Most of the tenants are living there since years. There was a room vacated recently which was took by the gentleman sitting right there, Ajit Banerji.
During the conversation with Ajit, Byomkesh convinces Ajit to share his room with him. Byomkesh introduces himself as Manoj Kumar.
Anukul Babu warns Ajit from sharing room with unknown fellow but ultimately he have no objection at all.
When Byomkesh brings his luggage to the lodge he find one person was murdered in the street! So his work is started just from here.
See Rajat Kapur’s body language here, you will see him literally tired and breathing heavily as he bring the luggage with him. At the same time you see the inquisitive nature and enthusiastic persona of the detective in his body language. Same we can say for K. K. Raina. He looks the guy next door with very straight forward nature and no-nonsense attitude. We can surely say that Mr. Bhagwat plays Anukul babu very effectively.
With his entry in the lodge, Byomkesh started showing his inquisitive nature. He keeps asking questions to get the maximum information. And yes, he tries to setup channels to get more information (e.g. making holes in walls and floor using drill to eavesdrop in communication). He also found Ajit a genuine fellow and involves him in his actions very briefly.
Ishwar babu, one tenant who Byomkesh met during the day and had kept an eye on, got murdered during the night!!! So now, Byomkesh had to act very fast and effectively. During a conversation with his fellow tenants and Anukul babu, he disagrees with the theory of suicide and he suspects that Ishwar Babu’s death was a murder. He also suggests that he suspects someone from inside, as the main gate of the lodge was closed during the night. He also clarifies that as most of the tenants are staying there since year, he himself can be one of the suspects and he is the new one. However Ajit dismisses this doubt immediately by clarifying that Manoj kumar was with him throughout.
Anyway, police arrives and based on the shadow of doubt, takes Manoj kumar with him as a suspect in Ishwar babu murder case!!!
Ajit gets ready to find a good lawyer to get Manoj released.
So, who is the killer? Will Manoj kumar (i.e. Byomkesh) be able to find the truth before any other murder? The episode explores it pretty well.
We have already mentioned about the performance of actors and summarize it as brilliant. Though most of the actors in comparatively small roles are not so great, most of them are convincing. Basu Chatterji’s direction is fantastic. He explored the attributes of the main characters pretty well. The wardrobe is simple and realistic. The locales are realistically filmed.
The title sequence and background music are must mentions. They are mesmerizing. The lighting is perfect and the dialogs are written pretty well.
And yes, it ends with Byomkesh mentioning that he love to be called as Satyanveshi instead of a Detective or Jasoos!
A not to miss TV Serial episode regardless of your love towards detective fictions. Brilliant performances, effective writing and simple execution are the key aspects of the episode. We suggest not to miss it.
Did you watch this serial? Have you read stories featuring Byomkesh Bakshi? We invite you to share your thoughts about the same here. And yes, do not forget to share this article with your friends over various social networks via Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus and others. And yes, you may like to subscribe to our RSS feeds and follow us on various Social networks to get latest updates for the site to land right in your mail box.
So fasten your seat belts for the ride of another case of Byomkesh where he and Ajit are trying to solve another case, in episode 2. We will post our reviews for the same in coming days.