Abaar Byomkesh Bakshi — Chitrachor is another celluloid transcription of a Byomkesh Bakshi classic scripted and directed by Anjan Dutt. Dutt has relocated the time to early s and the place to Dooars,a thickly forested,picturesque place in North Bengal. Byomkesh Abir Chatterjee is recuperating from a serious illness. A group photograph is stolen from the beautiful house of a local businessman Biswajit Chakraborty.
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If you increase the signals that lead to the the solution of the mystery, then you stand the chance of losing the interest of readers who have easily solved the mystery. The premise is simple enough. Byomkesh and Ajit are investigating the curious disappearance of a photograph from the house of Mahidhar Choudhury, a rich elderly man who lives in a palatial house with his only daughter Rajani. Byomkesh and Ajit learn that there were three copies of this photograph apart from the negatives.
After a number of break-ins in which apparently very little gets stolen, it is revealed that there are no existing copies of the photograph. In addition, a remarkably talented artist named Falguni Pal who possesses the rare gift of being able to draw accurate resemblances of the characters from a single glance shows up on the premises and gets murdered.
Although there are other reasons why the copies of the photograph might be stolen, the most likely, considering the lengths taken to acquire them and the fact that a murder is involved, is that whoever is taking the photograph does not want to be identified in it.
As an active reader of mystery fiction, I usually sit down with pen and paper to write down possible suspects and motives while reading. I am happy to say that I had no clue. Consider the complexity of Chitrochor. There is a very intriguing story running in parallel to the main plot.
This complicated love story involves mystery, suspicion, jealousy, and suspected infidelity and is remarkable as a work of fiction in itself. Completely integrated into the main story-line it brilliantly serves as an elaborate smokescreen. Then there is the story of Byomkesh recovering from illness and humorous conversations involving him, Ajit, and Satyabati that are reminiscent of the best of P.
There are also numerous minor character sketches superbly portrayed. The clue to the puzzle is the appearance of the perpetrator and this clue is mentioned multiple times in story along with other circumstantial evidence. Saradindu confounds us psychologically by making us focus on the peripherals.
Why is Ushanath Ghosh so fearful? Why does he have a fake eye? Why is Ashwini Ghatak filled with vengeance? Why is Malati Debi such a mean lady? Why is the photographer Nakuleswar so shady? As I found myself focusing on the noise, Saradindu kept planting the signals leading to a resolution that was logical, tidy, and most importantly, plausible. Perhaps the most amazing aspect of the story is the sense of misdirection in time. Once the possible suspects are identified, logically the next questions revolve around the perpetrator and the crime.
However, because the removal of the incriminating identification photographs occurred prior to the actual crime, I found myself missing this essential point. But like all logical explanations it makes perfect sense in hindsight.
Chitrachor does not feature a spectacular modus operandi or a suave villain and might therefore get overlooked by readers listing their favorite Byomkesh stories. I would disagree strongly. I think it ranks among the top four or five Byomkesh stories that Saradindu wrote. All rights reserved.
Flawed logic mars thriller Abaar Byomkesh Bakshi-Chitrachor
Most of the stories are written from the point of view of Ajit Bandhopadhay, who meets Byomkesh in the mess at Chinabazar. It is Byomkesh who later requests Ajit to live with him at his three-story rented house at Harrison Road as his assistant and chronicler. The only other person in his household is his attendant Putiram. In the beginning of the stories, Byomkesh Bakshi is described as "a man of twenty-three or twenty-four years of age who looked well educated. He does not live in luxury but possess numerous books. He travels frequently, and does not own a gun and does not consider himself to be an "expensive helper". His habits include smoking, and drinking lots of cups of tea with milk.