The Magical World of Goopy & Bagha Byne..!
Grandfather of legendary film director and writer Satyajit Ray, Upendrakishore Roychoudhury was a remarkably gifted man — writer, illustrator, musician and an amateur astronomer. His stories for children, which were written a century ago, included stories of the Mahabharata and Ramayana. These gave a great impetus to children’s writing in Bengal. His most lasting contribution was establishing Sandesh, the immensely popular Bengali magazine for children. Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne has become one of his most popular works, courtesy the very popular film (of the same name) made by his grandson, Satyajit Ray, in 1968.
This book is a selection of the best of his stories and the most fascinating of his characters. The 18 tales contained in the book have been aptly divided into tales of men, grandmothers, birds, foxes and cat.
The action of the title story, 'Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne' (gyne means singer and bagha byne means a tiger-like drummer), takes place in an imaginary land. Goopy and Bagha are dedicated but unsuccessful musicians who are cast out of their homes since their music drives their families and neighbours crazy.
In the forest, they meet the king of ghosts; please with their music he grants them boons which change their lives forever. They arrive in the kingdom of Halla where they are able to please the ruler with their music. In the course of events, their music saves the annexure of the kingdom of Halla by the king of Shundi. As a reward, they are married to the two daughters of the king of Halla and also given half of Shundi to rule!!
The book also contains tales of other fascinating characters like Kenaram Becharam, Granny hunchback, 'Tuntuni', the little bird, Majantali Sarkar, the clever fox, and many others. The stories inhabited by ghosts, kings, crafty ministers, soldiers, magicians, generals, courtiers, princesses, horses and tigers - have all the ingredients found in children’s literature -- talking animals, magical shoes, dancing ghosts and fantastic settings.
The language is simple, witty and meant to entertain. All the stories are hilarious yet thought provoking and delve into human psyche. The stories are still a pleasure to read decades after they were written. They are sure to grip the imagination of the young and shape a world of possibilities in their minds.
Personally, the one character which impressed me the most was the little tailor bird - "TunTuni". The onnocent yet very clever little bird fooled the King. The best part is that she celebrates every success (however small it is) by singing a song....!
What the King has, I too have it!
The wealth the king has, I too have it!
(When she sees King's shiny gold coins - poor bird wants them too)
The king got scared ! The king got scared!
He returned Tuni's coin because he got scared!
(When our smart Tuni manages to get her gold coin back from the King)
Serves him right! Serves him right!
The king has lost his nose and it serves him right!
(When while catching naughty bird - king's men chopped off King's Nose)
Likewise, the imaginative vitality of the visualization and execution make the sequence in any story a visual treat.
Do get your copy of the book soon...and post ur comments :)