Launch of English translation of Shirsendu Mukhopadhyay's novel Eagoler Chokh

7 months ago | 13-08-2016 | IBNS

Kolkata, Aug 13 : Eye of the Eagle, an English translation of Eagoler Chokh, a Bengali murder mystery novel written by noted author Shirsendu Mukhopadhyay, was released on Wednesday in Kolkata at the South City outlet of lifestyle store Starmark in association with the publisher Bee Books.

Eagoler Chokh has also been adapted into a movie (Bengali) by director-actor Arindam Sil, which was released on Friday.

Besides Shirsendu Mukhopadhyay and Arindam Sil, the movies script writer Padmanabha Dasgupta and actress Ushoshi Sengupta, who plays a key role in the movie, were also present at the launch.

Litterateur Ranjan Bandhopadhay was also part of the panel that discussed about the original novel, the movie and the translation.

Esha Chatterjee, CEO of Bee Books, set the ball rolling by saying that the detective of the novel is rather different from those seen in popular detective fictions. Despite being a largely dialogue-based novel, the novel is fast-paced and manages to hold the readers interest until the end.

Shirsendu Mukhopadhyay agreed that his protagonist, detective Shabar Dasgupta was very different from popular detectives such as Sherlock Holmes and Byomkesh Bakshi.

{image_1}I consciously wanted to introduce someone who is more of a person who we meet everyday, not a romanticised version, said Mukhopadhyay, and that is why I have chosen to make him a detective in the police department and not a private detective. To make him larger than life, I have avoided alluding to his past or characterise him with a modern vice such as drinking, smoking or womanising.

The other protagonist, Bishan, is a quirky character, who carries a baggage from his past, which makes his behaviour rather odd. This was a big challenge to me, said Director Arindam Sil, and I was determined to cast a fresh face as Bishan. At a point of time, I was afraid I would have to shelve the movie and then thankfully, I connected with Anirban.

Sil also said that he had a point to prove because initially when Shirsendu Mukhopadhyay had started writing the Shabar series, it was not very popular and therefore was discontinued by the author.

He said, Shirsendu Mukhopadyay had once told me that not many directors have been able to do justice to his writings. So I tried to fulfil his wish .

So Sil was apprehensive when he decided to film the earlier movie Ebar Shabar.

With Ebar Shobar being well-accepted, Sil, an ardent fan of the author, decided to try his hand at the second Shabar movie, which is Eagoler Chokh, with encouragement from Venkatesh Films.

The film captures many layers of personal relationships, and portrays the dark and repressed corners of the human mind, and revolves around things which cannot be freely discussed yet emerge as social problems, said Sil.

Ushosie Sengupta, who portrays Shivangi in the movie, said her role was that of a modern working Bengali women, who was independent and confident and yet rooted to her past and culture. She even said that while shooting for the film, her respect for the real life detectives from Kolkata Police has gone up several notches. She also said that works of an author like Shirsendu Mukhopadhyay should not be limited to Bengali or English but translated into other languages too.

Uttara Ganguly, who translated the book into English, said though she was not a professional translator of books, it was more of a fan-girl moment that made her take on the task of translating it when Esha Chatterjee of Bee Books approached her. Shirsendu Mukhopadhyays writing is so lucid that I did not have any problem translating it, she said.

Reporting by Aninnya Sarkar/IBNS

Images: At the Eye of the Eagle book launch/Sudipto Mukherjee