Let us continue our quest of exploring various tales featuring Satyanveshi Byomkesh Bakshi through Hindi TV Serial of the same name by ace director Basu Chatterji.
Episode #29 of Byomkesh Bakshi is a murder mystery titled as Dhokadhari which is based on a story named Chholonar Chhondo (Man in a Red Coat) by Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay. The fictional incidents explored in this episode are set up in 1965.
|Ravindra Singh, Kumarar Pravin
|Asst. Music Director
|Nanda Kumar Das
|P. K. Chhabra, Pramod Purandare,
|Pyare Lal, Salim Jan (Assoicate), Madhav Men’s Modes (Dress Designer)
|Jadab Bhattacharya, Shankar Zade (Associate)
|Birpal Singh, Godfrey Gonsalves
|Ajay Prabhakar, H. N. Singh
|Kamat Photo Flash
|Jagat kumar, Prakash Kotian
|Saharadindu Bandyopadhyay, Basu Chatterji, Mriganka Shekhar Rai
|Chandu & Co.
Basu Chatterji Production for
Rajit Kapoor (Byomkesh Bakshi),
Sukanya Kulkarni (Satyavati),Kartik Dutt (Puntiram),
Ravi Jhakal (Inspector Sarkar), Shantanu Chaparia (Ashok Maity), Rakesh Bidua (Gangapada), Suhas Palsikar (Naresh Mandal), Lalla (Ramchatur – Servant), Darshan (Ratan Lal), Anand (Manager), Dharma Nepali (Landlord), and others…
Let us take a bird’s eye view of the story explored in this episode.
Though it is a murder mystery, it is rare of its kind in terms of the incidents explored in the story. It is rare to find such incidents even in the murder mysteries.
A person named Ashok came to Kolkata (then Calcutta) for a month with an aim to find a suitable groom for his sister. And, he, of course, is intended to explore the city of Calcutta as well. When he went to Dharmashala, (a cheap and convenient place to live, a guest house kind of a place which runs by charity organizations), to look for a room, he found that none of the rooms is available.
He was very disappointed as he is new to the city and doesn’t know anyone here. And, he cannot afford to stay in a hotel for so long. When he was trying to explore any chances to stay in the Dharmashala which all are going into the vein, he was approached by a stranger! The person introduces himself as Gangapad Chaudhary.
The person approached Ashok asked him that as he is going to travel through India for a month or more, his home will be empty and free. So, if Ashok wants, he can stay at Gangapad’s home in his absence! It will serve the purpose of “looking after the safety of the home in its owner’s absence” for Gangapad, and solve the problem for Ashok as well! The offer seemed “too good to believe” for Ashok as well. Gangapad then reveals that the face of Ashok reminds him of his younger brother who looks almost similar to him. Actually, if Gangapad will remove his beard he will look similar to his brother and Ashok both. This coincidence makes Gangapad come forward to help Ashok.
Ashok found this explanation quite justifiable and agreed to stay in Gangapad’s home.
At home, Gangapad introduces him to his servant as well. Before leaving for his “tour through India” Gangapad asks Ashok to take care of a few things. First and foremost, he asks him to introduce himself as Gangapad and not Ashok! Actually, the landlord is not a straight-forward person and he may not like that someone else is staying in the house rented by Gangapad in his absence.
The second important point he asked Ashok to take care of is, keep checking on the road a few times through the day to see if any suspicious person wearing a red coat is keeping an eye of his home. The reason is increasing suspicious activities in Calcutta. Many shady characters are trying to look for any property they can steal from or even grab the property itself!
Ashok was happy with the situation and he enjoyed the delicious food made by the servant as well. He took rest and when performing his routine to open the window to look for a man with the red coat, if any, was on the road, he was shot by someone!
Though he wasn’t dead, he was severely injured and it leads to the police investigation, eventually even bringing Byomkesh Bakshi into the picture as well.
So, why Ashok was attacked? Who was Gangapad, is there anything related to him causing death threat to Ashok? All these questions are answered well in the episode and they should be explored by watching it.
It is really good that the episode is officially available for free to watch on Doordarshan’s official channel.
The story is interesting. And the way in which it is adapted and scripted for Hindi language audience is simply superb. While there are visible technical limitations in this episode it is actually worth viewing due to its simple and linear execution.
The main aspect of any visual media, be it a TV Serial or a movie depends highly on the acting by the principal cast. Here we see Rajit Kapoor dives completely into the role. His body language is in sync with his dialog delivery as a positive point. His characters (like all the other characters in the episode) looks directly taken from the real society. No smart gadgets or funky gestures, and then also he makes it believable as a detective numero uno.
This, of course, requires acknowledging the credit to the entire team, from the scriptwriter to the casting director to the wardrobe providers and others.
In this episode, we are almost happy with the acting of supporting cast as well. Actually, in some of the episode of Byomkesh Bakshi, we’d see little disappointing acts from many supporting actors.
There are some let downs as well. Byomkesh, for an instance, is acknowledged as “satya-niveshi” rather than “satyanveshi”. It definitely changes the meaning of the word and is something which could have been rectified.
The locales are good and more importantly are authentic. It is rare to see the realistic homes where people actually live, on screen. Here the realistic representation of the stuff works like a charm. Basuda is a fantastic director, and he proves his talent again in this episode
Telling more will reveal some of the key elements of the episode which is not good for any mystery which is yet to be watched.
Definitely a worth watching episode. Despite its technical limitations, it is a fantastic episode with so many positive attributes, that the makers of detective fiction TV Serials can learn a lot from 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.
Watch out for our views and reviews for the next episode of Byomkesh Bakshi – Season 2 to see which is the next challenge against Byomkesh and how he seeks the truth.