Skip to main content

Book Review: On the Run with Fotikchand by Satyajit Ray

On the Run with Fotikchand by Satyajit Ray is a light adventurous novel set in Kolkata and the cities around it. The novel opens with a scene in a forest at dawn with a boy lying unconscious off the road and an accident-damaged car careered off the road in which are two dead men. The boy when becomes conscious knows nothing about himself, he has lost his memory following a car accident. He walks the road ahead but again lies off the road: his body bruised and his head swollen with an injury.


A truck driver takes him further and feeds him milk and fruits at a roadside dhaba and from there two gentlemen take him further in a car to a doctor in the city of Kharagpur, and to help the boy they decide to take him to the police station after the medication. On the other hand, the boy is varying of the police; hence, he sneaked out from the back door of the bathroom.

Somehow the boy reaches the railway station and accidently catches a Kolkata-bound train. In the train, a stranger takes him as a runaway from home and begins asking a set of questions. Contrastingly, the boy’s biggest problem is memory loss. He does not his name as well as other details like, his home address and relatives’ names, etc. Life has taken a tough stance on him. To avert the stranger’s attention, the boy recollects the name of a medical store before reaching the station and says his name is Fotikchand Pal.

The stranger introduces himself as Harun-al-Rashid. He is a talented juggler. A bonding is formed between the two and the boy tells his short story that follows after losing his memory. Harun takes him to his friend who runs a tea stall where the boy works as a waiter and in the evening he helps Harun with him his juggling acts. Harun lives in a slum area. One day when two villain-type men stares at the boy during a performance, Harun smells a rat. Harun wants him to help but the problem is that the boy does not know anything about his past life.

One rainy evening when they both are chased by the two same men, they catch up a taxi and run away. Amidst the traffic commotion and rainy chaos, the boy’s memory returns and then he explains everything about his family and address. However, it was already late and raining hard, thus Harun decides to take the boy to his home the following day.

Next day when the boy with Harun reach the home, his father, a big lawyer of the city, misbehaves with Harun and does not talk about the reward money he mentioned in the newspapers for finding the boy. The boy’s real name is Nikhil alias Bablu. Harun returns home and Bablu feels bad seeing his father behaving indecently with Harun.

Next day Bablu reaches the slum to find Harun but to no avail. He then runs to the railway station where he meets Harun who is going to Madras to join a circus. Bablu talks about staying with him but Harun scolds him for this vile thought and tells him to become educated since he comes from a good family unlike Harun.

Bablu talks about the reward money (5000 rupees) but Harun says that he was like a younger brother to him and a brother does not sell brother. Harun tells him the name of the circus and promises to come back to the city with the circus. As the trains chugs out, tears fills the eyes of Bablu.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond

Binya is a poor little girl living with her mother and an elder brother, Bijju, in a very small hilly village of Garhwal. One day while herding her two cows back home, she stumbles upon some city people enjoying the picnic in the valley. She is enthralled to see them rich and well-groomed. She craves to be one like them and among many other things of their, a blue frilly umbrella catches her attention. She begins craving for it. On the other hand, the city people get attracted by her innocent beauty and the pendant in her neck. The pendant consists of leopard’s claw – which is considered a mascot widely in the hills. Binya trades her pendant off with the blue umbrella.

The blue umbrella is so much beautiful that soon it becomes a topic of conversation for villagers and children adore her umbrella so much that every time they feel like to touch or hold it. Binya is on seventh heaven and rarely closes it because she believes it looks charming when it is opened.
Ram Bharosa runs a smal…

Book Review: The Lost Child by Mulk Raj Anand

The Lost Child is a riveting short story by Mulk Raj Anand. A little boy and his parents are on their way to a village fair on account of a spring fair. The alley leading to the fair is alive with a vivid combination of colours and people.

The boy is happy and chirpy and walking between the big limbs of his father, between the long strides. As he can see there are toys in the shops lined along the way. He is captivated by the colourful toys of different sizes and shapes but in his observation he lags behind. So he runs ahead to be with his parents. When he expresses the desire to own one of the toys hanging from the shops, a cold stare from his father breaks his heart.
Suddenly, to break his attention from the lingering toys, his mother tenderly shifts his attention to the swaying muster field, which seems to be full of golden ripples – moving to and fro. The boy enters the field and begins chasing butterflies, black bees and dragon flies. But soon he is called back.
Once they appr…

Book Review: Grandfather’s Private Zoo by Ruskin Bond

Grandfather’s Private Zoo by Ruskin Bond is a widely held tale among children, for it depicts personal behavior of animals and birds brought home to add to the personal zoo. Rather a tale of a nature (flora and fauna) lover who loves to keep a collection of animals and birds, at time even reptiles. Grandfather’s Private Zoo is a novella consisting nine well-connected stories.

The story starts with the adventures of Toto, a monkey. The narrator is a small boy and his grandfather loves to keep a private zoo at his home, on the other hand, grandmother abhors troublemaking animals and doesn’t support him with his animals. The monkey being taken from a Tonga driver for the sum of five rupees seems to be indecent. He breaks a lot of kitchen dishes and steals food and whenever grandmother catches him red handed he too often runs away, through windows, to remain inaccessible. Fed up of his indecent behavior, grandfather sells him back to the Tonga rider for the sum of three rupees, at a loss…