Byomkesh Bakshi is a fictional detective created by Sharadindu Bandhopadhyay. Most of the people wouldn’t have read the book but it was popularised by the Television series aired on Doordarshan over 2 seasons.
Byomkesh Bakshi was played with èlan by Rajit Kapoor. His sidekick was played by KK Raina. His character was called Ajit Kumar Bannerji. While the stories and the way they move ahead seem clearly inspired by Sherlock Holmes, Rajit Kapoor puts his own spin on the character and makes it worth remembering. There are 32 episodes of this detective. The good thing about detective series back then was the fact that they were all played by brilliant actors.
I would try to make a list of the episodes and make a gist of it without giving out the solution to the case or the twists involved.
Episode 1 : Satyanveshi
This is the first episode of the first season and we see Byomkesh Bakshi with a stubble and volunteering to help the police with a case in a locality in Calcutta.
Plot of the case : There are mysterious deaths in a locality in Calcutta and Byomkesh wants to solve them or thinks that he has the ability to solve them. He checks in to a lodge in the locality. As he is entering the lodge, he sees a dead body. It’s here that he meets Ajit for the first time. All the occupants of the lodge are viewed as suspects at one point or the other. The mystery unravels after an occupant of the lodge is found murdered in his room.
Here Byomkesh sets a trend that we see repeating itself in a few episodes. He doesn’t want to be referred as a detective or a jasoos, but would want to call himself as a ‘Satyanveshi’ – someone who finds the truth in the situation or itches to find the truth in a situation.
Episode 2 : Raaste ka kanta
From this episode on they had timestamps for when the incidents occurred
Time period : 1933, Calcutta
Plot of the case : By this story, Ajit has moved into the house of Byomkesh and while glancing over a newspaper, Byomkesh comes across an instance of murder with the aid of a gramophone pin. While talking about it, an elderly man comes to them with a gramophone pin and tells them that he survived only because he had a clock-piece in his pocket. Byomkesh follows him on his way back and finds out that he has an affair with a danseuse. He also finds out that the danseuse in collusion with the lawyer wanted to bump the old man off as they find out that the will is written in her name. They get to read an ad in the paper advertised as ‘Raaste ka kaanta’ and want to find more about the person. The person asks them to come to a specific place at an appointed hour.
Quite a simple case if you keep a tab on the number of people who appear in the episode.
Episode 3 : Seemant Heera
Time period : 1934, North Bengal – Calcutta
Plot of the case : There is no mystery aspect in this case. It’s a simple case. Probably also the episode where the series had its biggest star – Utpal Dutt. A zamindar invites Byomkesh to find a missing diamond. He also tells them who stole it. The challenge for Byomkesh is to find it and return it to the zamindar. There is a lot of one-upmanship between Byomkesh and the sculptor. How Byomkesh finds out where the diamond is hidden is a little farcical.
Probably the most simple episode of the series. No mystery attached to the episode at all
If you want to read more about Rajit Kapur playing Byomkesh Bakshi, you can read this article in Elle magazine titled Being Byomkesh Bakshi
Image courtesy : Quora