The Emperor’s Ring
Excerpt:Feluda took another sip. But before he could reply, another screwed up piece of paper came flying, hit him on the forehead and fell into his earthen pot.
Feluda retrieved it instantly, scanned it, and glanced at the crowd on the platform…. There was no time now to look for the person who threw it.
Before getting back to our compartment, Feluda looked once more at what was written on the paper… It said: ‘Watch Out!’ and the words were written with the same red juice of a paan.
The thrilling and mysterious affair of the Emperor’s ring had not been left behind in Lucknow at all. It was travelling with us!
Most of us know Satyajit Ray as one of the greatest film -makers of the world. He won the Oscar for Lifetime Achievement, and was also awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1992. Few know that he also wrote articles, stories and poems for children in Bengali. He revived the Children’s magazine, Sandesh that his grandfather had launched, and his stories of Professor Shonku, the scientist, and Feluda, the detective, became extremely popular in the 60s.The first Feluda mystery appeared in 1963.
‘Felu’ is the nickname of Pradosh Mitter, a young private detective modelled on Sherlock Holmes. The suffix ‘da’ is short for ‘dada’ or ‘elder brother’, for the narrator of the stories is Felu’s fourteen- year- old cousin Tapesh (fondly called Topshe).
The Emperor’s Ring is the first book in the series of Feluda’s adventures brought out in English. Tapesh and Feluda are on a vacation in Lucknow. During their stay with a family friend, they meet some interesting characters- the nervous doctor Srivastava, the knowledgeable Bonobihari Babu with his own private zoo, his strange assistant, Ganesh Guha, and the young actor Mahabir. Before they have enjoyed the sights of Lucknow, a priceless antique ring (believed to have belonged to Emperor Aurangzeb) is stolen, and everybody they know seems to be connected with the theft! And did Pyarelal, the original owner of the ring, die a natural death? Who was the ‘spy’ he mentioned just before his death? The mystery haunts them in Haridwar too, and Feluda and Tapesh find themselves shut up in a log cabin deep in the jungle with a deadly rattle- snake for company. Find out how the cool Feluda sorts this one out!
The location forms a very important part of the action in all the stories. The Bhoolbhulaiya with its maze of corridors adds to the atmosphere of mystery, as do the battered Residency and the noisy riverbanks at Haridwar. The other stories are set in striking locations around the country – at the Kailash temple at Ellora, in remote Gangtok, bustling Mumbai, deserts of Rajasthan, or in thick jungles of the Sundarbans.
You now have a dozen Feluda mysteries in the series to choose from – an exciting treat for anyone who loves stories of crime and detection. Recommended for readers12 years and above.
Published by: Puffin (Penguin Books India) 2003
Price: Rs. 99 /-