Author: Premendra Mitra
Amlan Das Gupta/
Translator(s): Amlan Das Gupta
ISBN/UPC (if available): 0143032143
When Premendra Mitra’s legendary Ghanashyam Das-Ghana-da to everyone-first appeared in the story Mosquito (Mosha) in 1945 he took the Bengali literary world by storm. As Mitra churned out Insect, Pebble, Glass, Fish and a host of other stories in the following years, it was apparent that Ghana-da had become a bit of a cult. Here was a character whose very appearance and personality would forever be associated with tall tales.
This lanky raconteur from the mess-bari at No 72 Banamali Naskar Lane sits in his roof-top room in his favourite armchair smoking other people’s cigarettes, telling his outrageous tales to his circle of incredulous hangers-on. It’s impossible to guess his age. When asked, he replies, I was too busy going around the world to keep track! But, and the story that he launches on may well be set in the time of the Sepoy Mutiny or the first Russo-Japanese War.
Mosquito and Other Stories brings together twelve of Premendra Mitra's most popular Ghana-da tales. These stories within stories, told in first person by one of the denizens of the mess-bari, straddle the thin line between make-believe and truth. Ghana-da's bizarre narratives draw upon science, history and geography to conjure up exotic locales, other worlds and peoples, their habits, lifestyles and languages.
In Mosquito Ghana-da saves mankind from a new and deadly breed of the insect; in Pebble we find him trading in sandalwood in the New Hebrides; Glass and Duck explore nuclear science; in Hole he tells his spellbound audience about the Fourth Dimension; and in Hat he is dragged over Mount Everest by a runaway yeti. And that's just the beginning.
These accounts of travel and heroism, born of wild imagination and sound knowledge, make the teller and his tales simply irresistible. Amlan Das Gupta’s translation has wonderfully captured the author’s tone and spirit, making this collection an absolute page-turner.
No Ice Cream for Ghana-da