December 1965: The first Feluda story ‘Feludar Goyendagiri’ gets published serially in Sandesh magazine.
December 2015: Feluda completes 50 years of existence and is now the most popular Bengali detective in fiction.
In this age of smartphones and tablets very few people read printed books. Most of the young generation prefer e-books to printed ones. Still the Feluda books fly off the book shelves as Jotayu would have put it “selling like hot kachoris”. This shows the popularity of Feluda even today.
In this digital age a book or a fictional character has to go online. Keeping with this demand, many sites have uploaded PDF versions of Feluda. The large number of downloads indicate the keen interest of people to know Feluda.
Before we move forward let me introduce you to Feluda. He is a Bengali sleuth created by Satyajit Ray who started writing these stories for children. His official name is Pradosh Chandra Mitter. In most of his cases he is accompanied by his cousin Topshe (Tapesh Ranjan Mitter) and friend cum best-selling author Lalmohan Ganguly who uses the pen name ‘Jotayu’. Feluda is a bookworm and likes to solve riddles. Barring a single case of solving two murders in Chandannagar, Feluda has solved every case he has taken. He has two weapons: his Colt .32 revolver and ‘Magajastra’, his intelligence.
Many of the stories have been adapted into films like ‘Sonar Kella’, ‘Kailashe Kelenkari’, ‘Badshahi Angti’, etc. These have contributed a lot to the popularity of Feluda among the masses.
Now that you are acquainted with his identity, let us talk about Feluda’s presence in the world of social media. We practically live inside social networking sites nowadays. Therefore it is essential to bring Feluda in to this medium. We, the Feluda fans are trying our best to keep Feluda alive online. And we are very happy to notice the huge number of people supporting us in this venture.
Fanpop, the network of fan clubs is a unique website for fans. It has user generated fan clubs for almost everything. Even our Feluda has got some fan clubs here but sadly these are rarely updated. We want you to be active on Fanpop and grow these clubs.
Quora is a well known place for asking questions and answering others’ questions. This site is full of information on many topics. Some questions are here on Feluda which shows the interest on him. A handful of interesting answers have been given by people to these. You can go and explore yourself.
Twitter, one of the most used social media sites uses hashtag (#) to mark keywords or topics. Once you search for #feluda a lot of tweets will crop up in front of your eyes. You can see the popularity of Feluda in Twitter from these tweets.
Now let us come to Facebook. It is the most renowned social networking medium at the moment. Almost everybody is on Facebook. There are pages and groups on every single thing on this planet. The presence of Feluda can be felt most strongly on Facebook.
Till a few years back there was hardly any mention of Feluda on Facebook. We, the Feluda fans were still there. We wanted people to know about him. I opened a page myself titled ‘Feluda’ on February, 2011 for all the Feluda fans out there in the online world. A very few people started following this page at first. As the days passed the fan base increased. I am so excited to say that the number of followers has surpassed 10,000 a few days ago.
In the last two years quite a few groups have been created in Facebook by the Feluda fans where we discuss the plots, the characters; take part in trivia quizzes and each day we get to learn something new about Feluda. The creative side of the fans is brought out by the showcasing of fan arts. More and more people – irrespective of their age – are joining these groups and taking an active participation. A healthy debate continues on who is the most apt actor to play Feluda on screen, among the fans.
The huge online community of Feluda fans on Facebook is ever on the rise. We are doing as much as we can to keep Feluda alive in this fast paced online world.
Feluda is my childhood hero as he is of many others. Let us plant the seeds of Feluda in the minds of the youth.