Yes, you got me right this time. I am talking about nerdy, bespectacled, brilliant detective with male pattern baldness and a husky voice that makes many of you nostalgic about those good old days. These features in my mind are essentially the features of Rajit Kapur, who played Byomkesh Bakshi, in one of the best whodunit television series of all times. This series had some 33 episodes telecast on DD national in India in early 1990s.
My young self used to eagerly wait for episodes every week. Byomkesh Bakshi is a ‘Satyanveshi’ (Seeker of Truth) by his own admission. He is driven by his urge to unveil truth hidden under many layers of mystery. Byomkesh has such an air of simplicity about him and such impeccable style of investigation that no other Indian detective protagonist on TV or on big screen has ever come anywhere near to him. Byomkesh Bakshi is fond of tea and he often asks for tea when he is investigating. Rajit Kapur did justice with the role and the direction by Basu Chatterji was good enough, if not excellent.
There are many good stories and Rajit Kapur plays a good raconteur at the end of each episode to unravel the mystery of the crime, since his method is mostly intuitive during the investigation and gives almost no clues to his associates about his leads until the very end.
My first viewing in my early childhood did not make me reflect on a very hilariously comical; even flagrant error by the director of these episodes. This time I observed that police officers are wearing either white or khaki colour uniforms in different episodes and I fail to understand reasons.
There are many goofs and inconsistencies in many episodes; still, it makes me nostalgic when I watch these episodes. The great sound track at the beginning of every episode and charismatic performances by Rajit Kapur just mesmerize me.
Byomkesh Bakshi’s uncanny resemblance to Sherlock Holmes is not just a synchronicity! His attention to the smallest details, lightening intuition, Jeu-d’espirit, and his courageous nature along with his impeccable reasoning all resemble Sherlock Holmes’, because his creator took inspiration from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle(Holmes was not the only inspiration though!). Despite this my acquaintance with Byomkesh is my first ever with a genius detective, because it was not until my school days that I got familiar with Sherlock Holmes; therefore, Byomkesh Bakshi will always remain in my mind as my first ever exposure to the sheer genius of a detective whose methods were so awe-inspiring and so simple. I had an inborn affinity for mystery and Byomkesh Bakshi just mesmerized me with unique stories.