|First appearance||Mosha (The Mosquito) (1945)|
|Last appearance||Ghanada Samagra 3 (2014)|
|Created by||Premendra Mitra|
|Full name||Ghanashyam Das|
|Age||35 - 55|
|Residence||"Mess-bari" at 72, Banamali Naskar Lane, Calcutta, West Bengal, India|
Ghanashyam Das alias Ghanada (Bengali: ঘনাদা), the protagonist of the Ghanada series of science fiction novels written in Bengali, is a fictional character created by Premendra Mitra in 1945. In the novels, the character fights evil and stands against international terrorism. The far-fetched stories take place in multiple international locations, and across a historical timeline. He is depicted regularly outwitting his fellow boarders of the mess-bari at 72, Banamali Naskar Lane, Kolkata (Calcutta). Ghanada was a personification of Premendra Mitra's anti fascist humanistic ideologies and moral universe, and his stories were notably accurate from a historical, geographical and scientific standpoint.
Ghanada was engaged by a company in Sakhalin to collect amber sometime during 1939, and in due course, he landed up to a scientific laboratory set by Mr Nishimara, an entomologist, in search of a Chinese labourer who went missing. It was later revealed that Mr. Nishamara was genetically converting the mosquitos into deadly agents of biological warfare. When the lone, genetically engineered mosquito landed on the face of Mr. Nishimara and sealed his fate by stinging him, Ghanada slapped Nishmara to kill the mosquito and eliminated a severe threat towards humanity. He declared he never intended to kill another mosquito ever after in his lifetime.
At the end of the story Ghanada took a deep breath as if he was so tired from killing that mosquito and said, "I never felt like killing a mosquito after that incident."
The character of Ghanashyam Das alias Ghanada was outlined as a bachelor, dark-complexioned male with a tall, boney and skeletal structure, aged "anywhere between thirty-five to fifty-five", as described by the author himself in Mosha- the first story of the Ghanada series. He stayed in the third-floor attic of a shared apartment called "Mess-bari" (Bengali: মেস-বাড়ি) at 72, Banamali Naskar Lane, Calcutta, West Bengal, India, along with other boarders, who called him Ghanada, while Ghana is the shortened form of his name Ghanasyam, and the term "da" is a suffix added to the name of an elder male in Bengal to convey reverence and affection. Though he was rarely found engaged in any activity or work other than telling fantastic tales to the boarders of the apartment, sitting in his armchair and cadging cigarettes from his fellow boarders, his tall tales engaged him with most of the major events that had happened in the world for last two hundred years and there was no place on earth which he didn't visit.
Premendra Mitra, the creator, described Ghanada in an interview by A K Ganguly published in SPAN in 1974, as below:
Ghana~da is a teller of tall tales, but the tales always have a scientific basis. I try to keep them as factually correct and as authentic as possible.
Reason and medium of arrival at "Mess-bari"
After forty years of publication of the first Ghanada story, the author revealed when and how Ghanada appeared for the first time at 72, Banamali Naskar Lane mess-bari, in the story Ghanada Elen (Ghanada Came) in 1985 at the request of the fans of Ghanada.
"It was the early days of this mess-bari many years ago, when the four friends just occupied this house and were trying to settle down, a strange person, whose age could be anywhere between thirty-five to fifty-five, with a thin and lanky structure like an axe having a deep baritone voice and carrying a small canvas bag, approached them for help.
He needed accommodation to get a confirmed postal address because seven years ago while he was working as an expert in guns, promised Bob Kenneth, a licensed hunter in Uganda, that if his help is needed Bob should put an advertisement in the Times (London) magazine with a symbol of Jerboa.
After watching for the last seven years at last he saw the advertisement in the Times at the Imperial Library of Calcutta while spending a few days in the city. He sent a letter to Bob asking for details in reply to the advertisement letting him know this house at 72 Banamali Naskar Lane as his present address. Now he should wait here only for a few days till the reply comes from Bob.
He himself had chosen a dilapidated rooftop attic room above the second floor and assured that he could manage with the broken bed which he already cleaned up, just for a few days.
The young four friends eagerly agreed to extend all the help to this distressed man, only in lieu of listening from him the interesting story involving Jerboa (no idea what it is), Times Magazine and Bob asked him to stay as long as the reply reaches him. The strange man settled in the attic with his canvas bag. The canvas bag had long gone but the reply from Bob Kenneth never reached in all these years. The man in distress, Ghanada, the fantastic teller of incredible tall tales, settled in the mess-bari rent-free for years to come."
The stories are broadly classified into two varieties:
- Science-based stories
The Science-based stories were generally told in the common room of 72, Banamali Naskar Lane in front of the charmed boarders who consisted of four permanent young men - Shibu, Shishir, Gaur, and Sudhir, with some other members who appeared occasionally.
The character of Ghanada is believed to be based on Sri Bimal Ghosh, an acquaintance of Premendra Mitra whom he used to call "TenDa". He was a co-boarder during Mitra's stay in a shared apartment house at Gobinda Ghoshal Lane of Bhabanipur in his early years. The other four main characters were also believed to be based on real persons.
- Shibu was Shibram Chakraborty, the writer
- Shishir was Sisir Mitra, producer and actor in Bengali movies, co-founder of Basumati Chitra Pratisthan
- Gaur was Gauranga Prasad Basu, co-founder of Basumati Chitra Pratisthan
- Sudhir was the author of the stories of Ghanada in the first person, and it was the nickname of Premendra Mitra himself.
- Bipin appeared only in Mosha (The Mosquito).
- Bapi Datta appeared in Hnas and Suto, and so on.
There were two very important and essential characters, without whom, the Ghanada stories would have been incomplete. They were Banoary, the cook, and Rambhuj, the attendant. Some other staff of the mess-bari was also mentioned in various stories from time to time, such as Uddab, the water provider, and Lachhmania, the cleaner.
- History based stories
The history-based stories were told in a completely different environment and the audience was also different. Almost every evening five persons, or at least four out of them, used to gather at a seating arrangement around a tree in Rabindra Sarobar by the side of a lake and discuss various matters ranging from health, imperialism, market rate to Vedanta, philosophy, etc. These five men were -
- Ramsharan Babu, whose belly was as big as a round pot (Bengali: রামশরণবাবু, যার উদর কুম্ভের মত স্ফীত)
- Shibapada Babu, whose head was as smooth as a marble (Bengali: শিবপদবাবু, যার মস্তক মর্মরের মত মসৃণ)
- Harisadhan Babu, whose hair was as white as Saccharum spontaneum (Bengali: হরিসাধনবাবু, যার শিরশোভা কাশের মত শুভ্র)
- Bhabataran Babu, who was as obese as an elephant (Bengali: ভবতারনবাবু, মেদভারে যিনি হস্তির মত বিপুল)
- and Ghanashyam Babu (Ghanada), who was as slender and disproportionate as a camel. (Bengali: ঘনশ্যামবাবু, যিনি উস্ট্রের মত শীর্ণ ও সামঞ্জস্যহীন)
List of Short stories
|Year||Short story||Name (in English)||Collection|
|1945||Mosha||The Mosquito||Ghanadar Galpo|
|1947||Nuri||The Pebble||Ghanadar Galpo|
|1948||Ghori||The Clock||Awditiyo Ghanada|
|1948||Poka||The Insect||Ghanadar Galpo|
|1949||Machh||The Fish||Ghanadar Galpo|
|1949||Chhori||The Stick||Ghanadar Galpo|
|1950||Robinson Crusoe Meye Chhilen||Robinson Crusoe was a Woman||Premendra Mitrar Sreshtho Galpo|
|1952||Tupi||The Cap||Ghanadar Galpo|
|1952||Lattu||The Top||Ghanadar Galpo|
|1954||Phuto||The Hole||Awdwitiyo Ghanada|
|1955||Dnaat||The Tooth||Awdwitiyo Ghanada|
|1957||Hnash||The Duck||Awdwitiyo Ghanada|
|1959||Shishi||The Phial||Abar Ghanada|
|1960||Dhil||The Stone||Abar Ghanada|
|1961||Knecho||The Worm||Ghanadake Vote Din|
|1962||Chhata||The Umbrella||Ghanada Nityonotun|
|1963||Chhnuch||The Needle||Abar Ghanada|
|1963||Machhi||The Fly||Ghanadake Vote Din|
|1964||Ghanadake Vote Din||Vote for Ghanada||Ghanadake Vote Din|
|1964||Ghanada Kulfi Khan na||Ghanada doesn't eat Ice cream||Ghanada Nityonotun|
|1965||Chowkh||The Eyes||Ghanada Nityonotun|
|1966||Bhasha||Language||Ghanadar Juri Nei|
|1967||Tel||Oil||Ghanadar Juri Nei|
|1968||Mati||Soil||Ghanadar Juri Nei|
|1968||Dhulo||Dust||Jnar Naam Ghanada|
|1969||Maap||Measure||Ghanadar Juri Nei|
|1969||Kada||Mud||Jnar Naam Ghanada|
|1969||Naach||Dance||Jnar Naam Ghanada|
|1970||Mulo||Radish||Jnar Naam Ghanada|
|1970||Tawl||Like Water||Jnar Naam Ghanada|
|1970||Ghanadar Dhonurbgango||Ghanada's bow-breaking||Duniyar Ghanada|
|1972||Bhela||The Raft||Ghanadar Chingri Brittanto|
|1973||Berajaale Ghanada||Ghanada in kiddle||Ghanadar Phnu|
|1973||Prithibi Barlona Kyano||Why didn't the Earth Expand||Duniyar Ghanada|
|1974||Gaan||The Song||Duniyar Ghanada|
|1974||Shanti Porbe Ghanada||Ghanada in the Peace episode||Ghanadar Hij Bij Bij|
|1975||Keechak bodhe Ghanada||Ghanada in the killing of Keechak||Duniyar Ghanada|
|1975||Bharat Judhhe Pnipre||Ants in the Great Indian war||Ghanadar Phnu|
|1975||Gul-e Ghanada||Ghanadar Hij Bij Bij|
|1975||Timi Taran Ghanada / Ghanadar Hij Bij Bij||Whale rescuer Ghanada||Ghanadar Hij Bij Bij|
|1976||Khandobdaahe Ghanada||Ghanada at burning Khandob||Ghanadar Phnu|
|1977||Kurukshetre Ghanada||Ghanada at Kurukshetra||Ghanadar Phnu|
|1978||Ghanadar Phnu||Ghanada's Puff||Ghanadar Phnu|
|1980||Jayadrath bodhe Ghanada||Ghanada at the Killing of Jayadrath||Ghanadar Chingri Brittanto|
|1982||Ghanadar Chithipatro o Mau-Ka-Sha-Bi-Sh||Ghanada's letters and Mau-Ka-Sha-Bi-Sh||Ghanada o Mau-Ka-Sha-Bi-Sh|
|1982||Parashare Ghanaday||Ghanada vs Parashar||Ghanada o Mau-Ka-Sha-Bi-Sh|
|1983||Mau-Ka-Sha-Bi-Sh o Ghanada||Mau-Ka-Sha-Bi-Sh and Ghanada||Ghanada o Mau-Ka-Sha-Bi-Sh|
|1983||Mau-Ka-Sha-Bi-Sh theke Rasomalai||Mau-Ka-Sha-Bi-Sh to Rasomalai||Ghanada o Mau-Ka-Sha-Bi-Sh|
|1983||Ghanadar Shalyo Somachar||Ghanada's operation news||Ghanada o Mau-Ka-Sha-Bi-Sh|
|1983||Atharo noy Unish||It's Nineteen, not Eighteen||Ghanada o Mau-Ka-Sha-Bi-Sh|
|1984||Mau-Ka-Sha-Bi-Sh - Ekbachon na Bahubachon||Is Mau-Ka-Sha-Bi-Sh - Singular or Plural?||Ghanada o Mau-Ka-Sha-Bi-Sh|
|1984||Ghanada Phirlen||Ghanada Returns||Ghanada o Mau-Ka-Sha-Bi-Sh|
|1985||Ghanadar Bagh||Ghanada's Tiger||Awgronthito|
|1985||Ghanada Elen||Ghanada Arrives||Ghanadar Chingri Brittanto|
|1985||Kalo phuto Sada phuto||Blackhole white-hole||Awgronthito|
|1986||Halley-r Bechal||Halley's Wild Behaviour||Ghanadar Chingri Brittanto|
|1986||Ghanadar Chingri Brittanto||Ghanada's Shrimp Tale||Ghanadar Chingri Brittanto|
|1987||Mau-Ka-Sha-Bi-Sh bonam Ghanada||Mau-Ka-Sha-Bi-Sh vs. Ghanada||Awgronthito|
List of Novellas
|Year||Novella||Name (in English)||Collection|
|1966||Agra Jakhon Talomol||When Agra was unsteady||Agra Jakhon Talomol|
|1967||Das Holen Ghanada||Thus the Title of 'Das'||Agra Jakhon Talomol|
List of Novels
|Year||Novel||Name (in English)|
|1967||Shurjo Knadley Sona||The Sun cries Gold|
|1972||Mongolgrohe Ghanada||Ghanada in Mars|
|1978||Tel Deben Ghanada||Ghanada will pay for the Fuel|
|1986||Mandhatar tope o Ghanada||The bait of Mandhata and Ghanada|
|Year||Name||Type||Name (in English)||Published in|
|1956||Ghanar Bachon / Ultohata Jabe ki?||Poem||Ghana Says||Joyjatra|
|1979||Tini Nei||Incomplete short story||He is Missing||Pokkhiraj|
|1981||Prithibi Jodi Barto||Skit||Ghanada Bichitra|
|1980||Mahabharote Ghanada||Incomplete novel||Ghanada in the Mahabharata||Jhalmal|
|1987||Awsawmpurno Ghanada||Incomplete short story||Sharodiyo Kishore Gyan Bigyan|
Published books and compendiums
- 1956 - Ghanadar Galpo by Premendra Mitra, Kolkata: Indian Associated Publishing Co. Private Ltd.
- 1959 - Adwityo Ghanada by Premendra Mitra, Kolkata: Indian Associated Publishing Co. Private Ltd.
- 1963 - Abar Ghanada by Premendra Mitra, Kolkata: Indian Associated Publishing Co. Private Ltd.
- 1964 - Ghanadake Vote Din by Premendra Mitra, Kolkata: Indian Associated Publishing Co. Private Ltd.
- 1966 - Ghanada Nityonotun by Premendra Mitra, Kolkata: Indian Associated Publishing Co. Private Ltd.
- 1968 - Agra Jakhon Talomawl by Premendra Mitra, Kolkata: Ananda Publishers Private Limited.
- 1969 - Shurjo Knadley Sona by Premendra Mitra, Kolkata: Gronthoprokash.
- 1970 - Ghanadar Juri Nei by Premendra Mitra, Kolkata: Shoibya Prakashan Bibhag.
- 1971 - Jnar Naam Ghanada by Premendra Mitra, Kolkata: Ananda Publishers Private Limited.
- 1973 - Mongolgrohey Ghanada by Premendra Mitra, Kolkata: Shoibya Pustakalay.
- 1975 - Ghanashyam-da (Hindi: घनश्याम-दा) by Premendra Mitra, Radhakrishna Prakashan.
- 1976 - Duniyar Ghanada by Premendra Mitra, Kolkata: Deys Publishing.
- 1976 - Aphuronto Ghanada by Premendra Mitra, Kolkata: Saksharata Prakashan / Pashchimbanga Niraksharata Doorikaran Samiti.
- 1976 - Ghanashyam-da ke aur kisse (Hindi: घनश्याम-दा के और किससे) by Premendra Mitra, Radhakrishna Prakashan.
- 1978 - Ghanadar Phnu by Premendra Mitra, Kolkata: Ananda Publishers Private Limited.
- 1979 - Tel Deben Ghanada by Premendra Mitra, Kolkata: Ananda Publishers Private Limited.
- 1981 - Ghanada Bichitra by Premendra Mitra, Kolkata: Indian Associated Publishing Company.
- 1982 - The Adventures of Ghanada, translated by Lila Majumdar, New Delhi: National Book Trust, India.
- 1983 - Ghanadar Hij Bij Bij by Premendra Mitra, Kolkata: Pakshiraj Prakashani.
- 1985 - Ghanada O Mou-Ka-Sha-Bi-Sh by Premendra Mitra, Kolkata: Shoibya Prakashan Bibhag.
- 1987 - Mandhatar Tope O Ghanada by Premendra Mitra, Kolkata: Ananda Publishers Private Limited.
- 1988 - Ghanadar Chingri Brittanto by Premendra Mitra, Kolkata: Ananda Publishers Private Limited.
- 1989 - Ghanada O Dui Doshor Mamababu O Parashar by Premendra Mitra, Kolkata: Muktapatra Publications.
- 2004 - Mosquito and Other Stories, translated by Amlan Das Gupta, Kolkata: Penguin, India.
- Ghanada Samagra 1
- Ghanada Samagra 2
- Ghanada Samagra 3
Ghanada's World Tour
Ghanada traveled all over the world covering all the continents much time over. There is a Google Travelogue - "Ghanada's World Tour" (Map) showing all the places where Ghanada had traveled along with the routes of such travels, the references of the stories and other relevant information.
During '80s 'Ghanada club' was founded with the participation of Premendra Mitra, Leela Majumdar and others. The club became defunct later after a few years. During August 2019, a club with the same name was formed commemorating Ghanada which has undertaken the archival works pertaining to Ghana Da stories by Mitra involving translation, compilation, audio stories, publication etc.
- JAMUNA, K. A. (1 June 2017). Children's Literature in Indian Languages. Publications Division Ministry of Information & Broadcasting. ISBN 978-81-230-2456-1.
- Bhattacharya, Atanu; Hiradhar, Preet (2018). "The Insectesimal tall tale: Historical catachresis and ethics in the science fiction of Premendra Mitra". Journal of Postcolonial Writing. 54 (2): 174–186. doi:10.1080/17449855.2017.1332676. S2CID 164349172. Retrieved 14 November 2020.
- Sengupta, Debjani (2010). "Sadhan Babu's friends: Science fictions in Bengali from 1882 to 1974". In Hoagland, Erica; Sarwal, Reema (eds.). Science fiction, Imperialism and the Third World - Essays on Post Colonial Literature and Film. North Carolina, USA: McFarland and Company Inc. Publishers. p. 115 - 126. ISBN 978-0-7864-4789-3.
- Roy, Sandip (7 January 2018). "The furure in the past - Can Bengali science fiction grow up?". The Indian Express. Retrieved 17 November 2020.
- Mohan, Lal, ed. (1992). "Science fiction (Bengali)". Encyclopedia of Bengali Literature. V. New Delhi: Sahitya Academy. p. 3889. ISBN 81-260-1221-8.
- Roy, Biswajit (16 November 2014). "ঘনাদা". www.anandabazar.com/. Retrieved 16 November 2020.
- Mitra, Premendra (2000). "মশা". In Dasgupta, Surajit (ed.). ঘনাদা সমগ্র - পর্ব ১. Ananda Publishers. p. 21-29. ISBN 81-7215-395-3.
- Mitra, Premendra (2000). Dasgupta, Surajit (ed.). ঘনাদা সমগ্র - পর্ব ১. Ananda Publishers. ISBN 81-7215-395-3.
- Ganguly, A K (1974). "Premendra Mitra's science fiction". SPAN. Cite journal requires
- Mitra, Prenedra (2001). "ঘনাদা এলেন". In Dasgupta, Surajit (ed.). ঘনাদা সমগ্র - পর্ব ২. Ananda Publishers. p. 401. ISBN 81-7756-101-4.
- List of Ghanada books
- দত্ত, মধুমিতা. "ঘনাদা আবার ফিরে আসুন, উদ্যোগী মার্কিন প্রবাসী বাঙালি". www.anandabazar.com. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
- "Agenda — Ghanada Club". www.ghanada.com. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
- Prohor. "কলকাতার বুকেই লুকিয়ে 'ঘনাদা ক্লাব', আসতে চলেছে ৭৫ বছরের বিশেষ সংকলনও - Prohor". কলকাতার বুকেই লুকিয়ে ‘ঘনাদা ক্লাব’, আসতে চলেছে ৭৫ বছরের বিশেষ সংকলনও - Prohor. Retrieved 27 January 2021.
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