Monday, May 12, 2008

Hemendrakumar Roy Rachanabali Vol – II

From the days that I had started savouring Bengali fictions till a few days back, I had read only a few of the stories of Hemendra Kumar Roy. Somehow his writings had always passed unnoticed by me. So when I found a catalogue of the Asia Publishing House and discovered that they treasure the whole collection of Hemendra Kumar’s proses for the young, I was quite excited. I found that the catalogue also advertised the index to each book and a glance at them brought back cherished memories of school days when the mere mention of ‘Jokher Dhon’ and the names of the adventurous duo Bimal-Kumar accompanied a thrill down the spine. Added to these were the exploits of the detective pair Jayata-Manik and their fights against crimes. So at the first chance that presented itself in the way of the Book Bazar at Rabindra Sadan, I purchased two volumes of the series.
The index to the 2nd Vol runs as:
1. Amabasyar Raat
2. Manush Pishach
3. Ekhon J(n)ader Dekhchi
4. Shani-Mangaler Rahasya
5. Chora O Kobita (yet 2 b read)
6. Adrishya Manush
7. Chithi
The fictions (1, 2, 4) feature Bimal-Kumar & Jayanta-Manik and in this volume their ventures carries them to fight against the evil forces of nature that includes supernatural forces too. Normally meant for the primary school goers, but these narrations bring nostalgic feelings of the childhood past when the mind doesn’t understand logic and can smoothly drift to the lands of the unknown. The skilled way with which the author relates the events adds to the pleasure of an enjoyable reading.
There is also the Bengali adaptation (6) of H.G. Wells' "The Invisible Man" with a Bengali semi-urban setting as the backdrop of the events. The original characters have been cleverly camouflaged to suite the settings for a Bengali fiction. So nowehere it has been felt as a mere translation work rather it has unfolded the classic story for the Bengali speaking mass. This seems to be the author's tribute to the original writer.
But the writer's passion emanates in the tributes (3) to some unsung and some renowned personalities of Bengal and India. The first few chapters are dedicated to famed wrestlers of the time Gama, Chotogama, Hasanbaksh and finally Jatindra Guha who was more popular as Goborbabu. He goes through Goborbabu's journey to fame not only in the country but in foreign soils as well and the romance of his character blossoms beautifully in the pen of Hemendranath. He is passionate while describing Gobarbabu's rise to fame and is equally exasperating while narrating the dirty foul against him in the USA. I was even surprised to know that this great wrester was also an appreciator of music. Hemendrakumar also writes on the prominence of Jamini Ray and his paintings and while speaking of music, he offers his praise to the blind songster Krishnachandra Dey's lyrical musicals who lent his voice in Shishirkumar Bhaduri's plays after much persuasion and immediately earned praise there. The author also praises the works of poet Kalidas Ray and singer Dileepkumar Ray.
In ‘Chithi’ the author has paid tribute to Kabiguru Rabindranath Tagore and his works including his work for the children and also laments at his loss. The author had always acknowledged the great poet as his Guru in the literary world and says how Rabindranath had been the best portrayer of the Mother Nature. He also admires the poet’s work for the children and marvels at the volumes he had written for the children. He goes even further in saying that no author before Rabindranath had given more time or had shown more interest in composing delightful literature for the young minds.
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