Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Do you remember him? Dasyu Bhaskar?

He was our Robin Hood, our Batman, our Phantom.

Dasyu Bhaskar is a beloved vigilante/angel of justice superhero figure, who was featured in at least 62 books of thriller/adventure stories written by Rongman, the nom de plume of Asomiya writer Robin Dey, published in 1970s and 80s.

In the stories, Bhaskar is a model patriot, who fights with super-villains and other anti-social elements, not only from Asom, but also from all over the world, and he does so by staying outside the system. His home is a state-of-the-art spy centre inside a mountain cave, where he is helped by a loyal group of supporting cast.

The first book of the series was Dasyu Bhaskarar Abirbhab (Arrival of Dasyu Bhaskar), where the protagonist was introduced as the son of a poor farmer from Sivasagar district, who became a renegade after his parents died of poverty. The youth, born Kamal Bora, took the name of Dasyu Bhaskar for his campaign against oppression.

And, the stories, what fun!

Understandably, Rongman was inspired by Lee Falk’s Phantom. The covers of the books usually featured Bhaskar in an overcoat and a fedora, the same dress Phantom wore when he was not being a Phantom. And, like Phantom’s skull ring, which would leave impressions of the villains’ faces, Bhaskar had his own imprint of terror: Kota Hatar Ronga Chap, the Red Seal of the Severed Hand.

Yesterday, I was browsing the net when I came across the news that 32 books of the Dasyu Bhaskar series is now available, for just Rs 950. I was so excited; I wanted to get the books immediately.

And I stopped. What if I don’t like the books now? I have such fond memories of reading the books when I was in junior high school that I do not want to spoil the memories.

I came to the books in late 1980s. Even by then, the books were out of print, or sold out. I got them from a friend of mine and devoured them. How Bhaskar inspired our childhood imagination!

Robin Dey (18 March 1922 – 22 July 1980) was a noted Assamese thriller novelist and actor from Assam. He wrote Daishyu Bhaskar series and Paban series. Daishyu Bhaskar series included 62 books and the first book was titled as Daishyu Bhaskarar Abirbhab (Arrival of Daishyu Bhaskar) in Assamese language which became popular among the readers in the seventies and eighties. Rongmon was a pseudonym or pen-name of Robin Dey. Porasor is sobriquet of Dey. He was also an actor.

Besides the Bhaskar series Rongmon had also written several other children's novels namely Daku, Paban Konwar and Parbatar Ringoni. His social novel Nipator pat serially published in Assamese magazine Amar pratinidhi and remained incomplete. (from Wikipedia/)