Byomkesh Bakshy: Seeker of truth

Raj: Very good, Bernadette. You are a regular Byomkesh Bakshi.
Bernadette: What is that, like, the Indian Sherlock Holmes?
Raj: Or is Sherlock Holmes the English Byomkesh Bakshi?

‒ The Big Bang Theory, 2014.

The year was 1993. A certain Bengali gentleman took over Indian television. But he wasn’t just another dhoti-clad Bengali bhadralok. Savvy and street smart, this man never failed to amuse us. The name is Byomkesh Bakshi. Actor Rajit Kapur played the character of Byomkesh in this popular Doordarshan series. Created by Bengali author Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay, Byomkesh was the answer to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes. Interestingly, Byomkesh Bakshi preferred to call himself a satyanweshi, meaning seeker of truth. He had his own rustic charm and methods of solving cases. His adventures were chronicled by his assistant and friend, Ajit Bandyopadhyay. Quite similar to Mr. Watson. But unlike the British sleuth, Byomkesh Bakshi was a family man.

This week, we are all set for Dibakar Banerjee’s Detective Byomkesh Bakshy! However, this isn’t the first time that the adventures of Byomkesh Bakshi are being chronicled on the big screen. Chiriyakhana (1967), directed by Satyajit Ray, was the first screen adaptation of the sleuth’s cases. Satyajit Ray won a National Award for the film. Since then, a lot of films have been made on the Bengali detective. Rituparno Ghosh’s last film Satyanweshi (2013) was also based on Byomkesh Bakshi.

With YRF’s Detective Byomkesh Bakshy releasing on April 3, we couldn’t be more excited! Sushant Singh Rajput will portray the character of Byomkesh Bakshi. According to Dibakar Banerjee, this is one of the most challenging films of his career. Banerjee’s previous directorial ventures include critically acclaimed films like Love, Sex Aur Dhoka, Shanghai and Oye Lucky Lucky Oye. The story, set in 1943, revolves around various incidents that impacted the culture of Calcutta at the time. Besides Sushant Singh Rajput, the film also features Swastika Mukherjee, Anand Tiwari and Meiyang Chang.

Will this 21st century Detective Byomkesh Bakshy live up to our expectations? Find out this weekend.

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