Ananda Publishers Private Limited
– February 3, 2010
To get a drift of the story by Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay it’s enough just to peep into each of the characters that constitute this exceptional comedy and though considered to be fiction for the young will cause rejoice in the hearts of every comedy lovers irrespective of the age group.
To begin with we have the members of Manoj’s family
* Rakhobabu, father to Saroj, Manoj, Putul and two others is a strict and disciplined individual managing the entire household.
* Bamasundari Devi is the aged mother of Rakhobabu and an excellent marksman with pebbles.
* Adyasakti Devi is the aged aunt of Rakhobabu but an extremely pious lady with a fascination for cowdungs.
* Bhajahari, the younger meeker brother of Rakhobabu is best in negotiations in the vegetable market but if intoxicated can cause wonders.
* Haradhan, the youngest brother to Rakhobabu, a gymnast and scientist combined, his main theme of research seems to be hybridisation of anything and everything living.
* Manoj, Saroj and Putul, the siblings who seem to be the only practical headed members of the family.
Then we have the other characters like
* Dukhaharanbabu, the private tutor to Manoj and his siblings whose academic brilliance and posture of sitting seemed to be curiously interrelated.
* Ganesh Ghosal, the singing teacher, who frequently and unsuccessfully tries to commit suicide whenever he misses a bit during his practice sessions.
* Kirmiria, the old maid, who loves to wail at the slightest hint of mishap in the household.
* Satish Bharadwaj, the priest, with an unique way of reading the newspaper and who always brags about his pet ghosts Hnadu & Bhnudu.
* Bardacharan, the detective with a knack to make matters complicated. His assistant in sleuthing is his nephew Chakku with a more practical bend of mind.
* Srutidhar Ghosh, a forgetful neighbour of Rakhobabu and his oversmart nephew Fatik are two dormant characters in the story.
* Ramkhilaon, the gardener with a very poor sight who is always pestered by Raghu, the servant.
Added to this are
* Nishikanta Daroga, a follower of Ma Kali and the local police inspector whose timid but responsible self is revealed more than once in the story.
* Govinda Narayan, the miserly king of Haringarh whose diet seems to be centred around cucumber only and whose passion is counting the notes and coins in his personal treasury that he protects with his life. His miserly attitude is more prominent by the fact that to ward of expenses he had never tried to pursue on any trail for finding his long lost son Kandarpa Narayan. His main household comprises of his wife Ambika and mother Hemomoy, that latter making an income out of dried cowdungs, without the knowledge of his son.
* A pack of dacoits with a handsome second-in-command and Kanai, the fishnmonger as one of the members.
Other trivial but characters introducing fresh reliefs are Samir-Timir-Tarak Guha, Harashankar, Kaustabh, Golokbihari, a pack of local gamblers, a corrupt constable, miser Gobinda and Shardul.
I think the mere mention of these characters seems to indicate the complexity of the story and I won’t not try to summarise it but will surely recommend this as one of the best humourous pieces that I’ve ever come across. Shirshendu has masterfully converged the story to a perfect finish and the readers will be held in a laugh riot throughout the entire narrative. To supplement the prose is an equally hilarous poem by Nirendranath Chakrabarty that was used in the story in a fascinating manner increasing its appeal even more.
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