Debashree Sinha writes about her childhood experience of listening to detective stories!
I was just watching a part of the many downloadable sections of Sonar Kella. It reminded me of those lazy afternoons in Kolkata of the early 90s when alongside my elder brother, uncle I would sit and hear stories of detectives with rounded eyes.
My pupils would dilate as my elder brother, lovingly called “Dadamoni,” would rush us younger cousins through stories where the detective in chase of the killer was actually pursuing one of his multiple selves , as the murderer. With lot of gusto he would speak and like muted, stunned spectators of a thriller show we would listen to him as we remained suspended in disbelief. To make his story more believable he would call it “Detective Jhkhon Nijei Khuni” which roughly translates as ‘when detectives turns out to be the murderer’.
As we listened in stupified silence even the drop of a pin would seem to be a disturbance. Soon the resolution of the big drama would be achieved and the story would begin to end….Consequently, a sudden glut would develop in my throat, a certain a reluctance to leave that the world of suspicion and high drama would overcome me and to avoid the breaking of the spell one would just go for a nice long siesta in one of the dark rooms of the 125 year old ancestral house with lofty ceilings.
I still remember that feeling of “being safe”,of being able to absolutely drown my senses into one thing. I wonder at the safety that I felt, each time I would be read or hear from a detective book full of grim crimes. It’s ironical that pursuit of a reader (alongside the detective) for the criminal could prove to not only be adventurous but feel so strange and safe! May be it was empowerment, a realization that my own reasoning faculties are as alert as the great crime master’s. In participating in the chase a part of me would vicariously be running through the labyrinth of life to emerge at a certainty and safety. So thank you feluda, Holmes and Kakababu for making my childhood such a success.
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