All my dreams have come true: Sandip Ray is talking about Sherlock onstage, in front of me. Is this reality, or is this just a fantasy? The third session of the day, “Feluda: Gen Next” has begun.
The two Feludas of this generation, Sabyasachi Chakrabarty and Abir Chatterjee talk about their own experiences in creating the character beloved of every generation, including mine. Felu1 mentions that he has read every Feluda book ever, something even my Feluda-crazy mother has not done; Felu2 talks about his “identity crisis” that never took place as he balanced the characters of Byomkesh Bakshi, sharp-tongued tiktiki extraordinaire, with this one. Abir Chatterjee is, for now, going to be Feluda for a long time: Byomkesh’s spectacles have been dusted, wrapped up and put away in a corner of the possible future. The moderator Tridib Chatterjee wonders about Lal Mohan Babu: Mr Ray drily points out the jinx of the character and says he really can’t ask anyone else while under the shadow the passing of so many who played the role! A ‘modern’ Feluda is debated upon: should Feluda remain the essence of what he was, or update himself? Mr Chakrabarty thinks the character has not been changed in the least by Sandip Ray; Mr Ray himself agrees, and says that it is nonetheless important that the character remain dynamic.
The Q and A session brings more surprises: Mr Ray is asked if he will ever consider making a film with all four Feludas acting in it (Shashi Kapoor and, of course, Soumitra Chatterjee being the others), and he thinks it could be a very interesting project indeed. The next question brings the house down: a lady declares her support for Mr Chakrabarty as Feluda, and asks, “Why don’t you put on some make-up and gym a little?!” I may have been internally cringing during the asking, but everyone else seems to love the question, including those onstage. We want to see Feluda in London, says another, would you make a film on that particular story? It’s a different and very engaging story, Mr Ray responds, but the red tape makes it difficult. Shidhu Jyatha, the Mycroft to our Felu, too is asked about, and Sherlock himself of course turns up: will we see new novels on the character? Only time will tell, Mr Ray answers mysteriously, and a session that had me hyperventilating throughout much of the weekend, tragically, comes to an end.
PS- I RECEIVED A BLOGGER’S AWARD FROM ABIR CHATTERJEE. And others. AND I LOOKED DRUNK IN THE PROCESS. Let me die, God.