Dasyu Ranjan & Other Detective Stories !

While browsing through magazines at a book store at Old Bus Stand, Bhubaneswar, came across ‘Dasyu Ranjan Series” (Dacoit Ranjan series) books and was quite delighted on viewing its illustrations which has not changed with time. This cheap paperback editions, yet widely popular series by Pramod Kishor Panda, was part of my teenage years and have virtually grown up browsing through its pages, hiding this booklet inside our study books.

Ranjan series in magazine stalls

Most of the stories were penned during later 60s & 70s during the height of Cold War between erstwhile USSR & USA. Moscow was perceived as an Indian friendly Paradise and Peking (then Beijing) as a devil. Although, most of the stories were repeatitive, still it didn’t deter its readers from buying a copy from nearest magazine shop. We were even exchanging it with its friends or at least borrowing it. The catchy and sensational titles with the protagonist Ranjan mentioned, looked more or less like travel stories. The popular titles includes Goinda Ranjan, Sagar Pathe Ranjan, Bilata Abhijana’re Ranjan, Peking Abhimukhe Ranjan, Mahakasha’re Ranjan, Moscow’re Ranjan, Nari Trata Ranjan, Ranjan O Dasyu Karala, Ranjan ra Satru, Ranjan’ra Gupta Abhijana, Bahurupi Ranjan, Phaasi Manchare Ranjan, Ranjan’ra Pratisodha, Ranjan’ra Rudra Rupa, Ranjan’ra Naba Abhijana, Ranjan’ra Ratna Trushna, Pilot Ranjan, Ranjan’ra Mahamaya, Tantrika Ranjan, Ranjan’ra Turjyanada, Ranjan’ra Gupta Sasana, Jukta Rashtra’re Ranjan, Ranjan O Kalanaga, Biswa Samrat Ranjan, Bijayi Ranjan, Ranjan’ra Pratihinsha, Sanyasi Ranjan, Ranjan’ra Rajadroha, Ranjan’ra Shakti, Japan Pathe Ranjan, Burma Abhijana’re Ranjan, Smuggler Ranjan, Hira Kothire Ranjan, Hong Kong’re Ranjan, Debaduta Ranjan, Danaba Ranjan, Ranjan’ra Sadajantra,Ranjan’ra Shatru etc all published by Janapriya Prakashan.

Had never had seen any Limousine, Plymouth or Austin during early 80s in Bhubaneswar, but I was quite comfortable with the common lines “ରାତିର  ଅନ୍ଧକାରରେ, କଳା ରାସ୍ତା ଉପରେ ଛୁଟେଇ ଚାଲିଛି, ଧୂସର ରଙ୍ଗର ଏକ ଲିମୌସିନ୍​…“ (In the darkness of the night, on the black road,  speeds away a grey limousine). The occupant is none other than Dasyu Ranjan – the dacoit with a golden heart and overcoat, gloves &  hat, accompanied by his associate Ratan (a separate Ratan series was also tried, but it could never touch the popularity of Ranjan series), always tastes success in all his pursuits & solves numerous mysteries. He always manages to escape and gives the police, the chain smoking legendary Inspector Bijay Babu, a run for the money, before his act is discovered. Bijay Babu’s pursuit to catch Ranjan red handed never ends, yet he is rescued from the clutches of the real villain by Ranjan. And, the invariable last sentence of the novel – ଆଶ୍ଚର୍ଯ୍ୟ  ! ରଞ୍ଜନ ଦସ୍ୟୁ ନା ଦେବତା  ! (Wonder ! If Ranjan is a dacoit or God).

King of mystery and thriller novels – Pramod Kishor Panda also introduced James Bond 007 series in Odia with several books with same title but different illustrations. Other notable mystery novels by him was China Dragon, Bidaya Peking, Udanta Saba etc.

Kanduri Charan Das's Indrajala

Durga Puja was the best time for marketing Saradiya Biseshanka, the  annual edition of popular magazines. There was a craze among people to buy such magazines alongwith fresh dresses during Dussehra festival.  Those detective series surprisingly never had any violence or sex content in it, rather it were filled with suspense & thriller & readers would be bewildered on guessing what would happen next while turning the pages of the novel. Nevertheless, teenagers like us were never allowed to read this series from the belief that such books brought cheap thrills to the young and lured them away from textbooks and homework. But this restriction, only made us strong & stealthily this pocket books were brought inside study rooms & we would go on unforgettable thrill ride. In fact, detective novels, which wove gripping narratives around criminals with hearts of gold, inspired fierce loyalty in us and were hugely popular. The narratives of most of these novels always centered on crime and its detection not by the police, but by the Robinhood type characters, who solve issues as private detectives . Their criminal activities concealed a noble social mission and therefore engaged the sympathies of the readers.

Among old Odia popular fiction writers of detective/mystery genre, certain authors & their creations were quite admired by its readers which includes  Kanduri Charan Das’s Rakhta Golapa & Chakranta (Rajashri Publications) & Indrajala (Kahani Publishers), Bhupen Goswami’s Maya Jaala (1960) by Utkal Bani Mandira, Bijaya Kumar Rana with a self styled name – Rahasya Kumar whose popular novels includes Kathachampa, Kiye Sata Kiye Michha, Suraa Sundari, Ekutia Jhiatiye (Janapriya Prakashan), Jogendra Mohanty, Chandrasekhar Mishra’s Honeymoon in Mumbai, Mala Manisha ra Jianta Chhae (Janapriya Prakashan), Bhagirathi Das, Giridhari Maharana’s Maya  Nuhein Chhaya & Maya O Chhaya Chandrika (Janapriya Prakashan), Ramakanta Mishra’s Preta Sundari ra Chhae, Chhanchana ra Tikhhana Udana, Maratmaka Khela, Nila Dhheu ra Suna Chadhei (Janapriya Prakashan) etc. All these mystery novels unintentionally: promoted the reading habit in Odia among the young and made them into potential readers of serious prose fictions of the future.

Happy to see that the series are still reprinted and available in book shops, but somehow needs proper marketing to catch new fan base who are hooked to satellite TVs, laptops & smart phones in internet age. Further, it needs to change its storyline theme since, the cold war era has been replaced by global terrorism. There is even an animation version tried by Pacad Animations lead by Ranajit Mohanty, but its yet to see the day.

Originally posted in my FB page under the title “Can Odia Detective Series Make a Comeback” dt 28.7.2016



About Tarani Trotter

I'm Taranisen Pattnaik, originally from Aska (Ganjam). I grew up in the capital city of Odisha – Bhubaneswar. An MBA by qualification, an Accountant by profession, but a freelancer by interest with phillumeny (matchbox collection) as my hobby. I like going to places, meeting new people & capturing the moments through my camera which helps me in my storytelling.

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39 Comments on “Dasyu Ranjan & Other Detective Stories !”

    1. Pinakee Babu,
      Ae bahi ru kichita BBSR Old Bus stand ra Tapan & Balula book store ebe miluchi. Kataka ra Badambadi o Balu Bazar re miluthai pare madhya.

      1. ଆଶ୍ଚର୍ୟ୍ଯ ହେଲି ଓଡ଼ିଆ ଡିଟେକ୍ଟୀଭ ପତ୍ରିକା ଦେଖି,ଏ ବର୍ଷ ପୂଜା ସଂଖ୍ୟା ସମ୍ଭାର ରେ।ପ୍ରଚ୍ଛଦ ପଟ ରେ ସାଗର୍ବେ 62 ବର୍ଷ ର ନିରବଚ୍ଛିନ୍ନ ଯାତ୍ରା ର ଘୋଷଣା। ଏ କପି UNIT 1 MARKET ରୁ କିଣି ପଢିଲା ପରେ ଅନ୍ୟ ବନ୍ଧୁ ମାନେ ମଧ୍ୟ ପଢିଲେ।ଯେମିତି ଆମେ ପିଲାଦିନେ ଏ ବହି ଓ ଜହ୍ନମାମୁଁ ପଢ଼ିବା ପାଇଁ ଲଢ଼ୁ ଥିଲୁ।

        1. ଧନ୍ୟବାଦ ଆଜ୍ଞା । ଆପଣଙ୍କ ପରି ମୋ ବି ସେଇ ଅଭିଜ୍ଞତା ?

      1. Really enjoyed. I don’t even though some odias really do care of books. Because I was expecting only me who reading these books nowdays. . .
        thank you.

        1. Thanks for going through my blog. Do you stay in Bhubaneswar. Kindly note that Old Ranjan series booklets are available at Old Bus stand book stores like Narayani Book Store. In Cuttack, it might be there in Badambadi Bus stand area. Same with Brahmapur’s Old bus stand (Murthy book store)

          Thanks & keep following my posts

        2. At Bhubaneswar’s Old bus stand book shops esp Narayani Book Store (Babuli Babu-9668186926), Tapan Book Store (Tapan babu-8847833040) etc. In Cuttack , at Badambadi bus stand, old book stores at Binod Bihari/Balu Bazar chowk area etc.

        1. Thanks for stopping by & sharing your review. It’s still available at Old Bus Stand, Bhubaneswar. If you visit BBSr in future, you can buy from Narayani Book Store (Babuli babau-9668186926)

      1. Yes, you can visit the Old Bus Stand book stalls in Bbsr esp Babula book store n Tapan Book store. Or else try in Cuttack at Binod Behari , Balu Bazar area.

      2. Bhubaneswar- from Old bus stand book shops esp Narayani Book Store (Babuli Babu-9668186926), Tapan Book Store (Tapan babu-8847833040) etc. Cuttack- at Badambadi bus stand, old book stores at Binod Bihari/Balu Bazar chowk area etc.

  1. Taranibabu…

    just reminded the old days. I have completed my fathers collections, he is very fond of all the detective stories in odia & hindi.

    My humble request if possible can anyone upload the these books in pdf format & share the link. So that all can get the books & recall the old memories.


    1. Thanks Sir for your interest. It’s indeed a noble request, but for uploading online, it requires permission from the respective writers & publishers. Btw, presently I don’t have any books. The images used here are from the book shop from where I got all those. If you have the book series, you can scan & convert it into pdf. In the mean time, will try to connect with the publishers in Cuttack for possible permission. Kanduri Sir is no more,but Pramod Panda Sir is very much alive. You may drop your phone no. here if interested

  2. Hello tarani babu..mu apankara who kamaku bahut pasand Kali… Karana mu ehi dasyu Ranjan series ra Puruna padhala… Bhala lagila je Alana Sehi bahiku au there amazing pakha re pahanchaibe…. Khali etiki kuhantu he berhampur re e bahi kouthi miliba….


    1. Mora bishesh idea nahin Cuttack bisaye, kintu Badambadi n Binod Bihari Balu Bazar area re milipare. Dekhantu publishing house address kana

  4. Tarani sir,,,I want to buy some books of Dausu Rajan & others ,,,where can I get these..I am living in delhi..can I get it by post..please suggest.

    Pratap chandra ray

    1. Yes, you can buy from Old bus stand book shops esp Narayani Book Store (Babuli Babu-9668186926), Tapan Book Store (Tapan babu-8847833040) etc. In Cuttack , you can try maybe at Badambadi bus stand, old book stores at Binod Bihari/Balu Bazar chowk area etc.

  5. During my childhood, I used to read James Bond series in Odia language. I still remember two particular stories which were just too good. First one was James Bond in Africa and second one called James bond in Vietnam. It’s nice to know that the books are still available in old bus stand. I will visit the old bus stand soon. Thanks for sharing the info.

  6. Sir my self Dr.A Dash ,Medical officer C.H.C dhamnagar Bdk .I want to know about BIJAY KU RANA .Is he alive? Where I can purchase his books. I m a big fan of him.

    1. Yes Sir, you can buy from Bhubanewar’s Old Bus Stand book shops esp Narayani Book Store (Babuli Babu-9668186926), Tapan Book Store (Tapan babu-8847833040) etc. In Cuttack , you can try maybe at Badambadi bus stand, old book stores at Binod Bihari/Balu Bazar chowk area etc.

  7. The Publishers are from Bamphi Sahi, Cuttack. They desperately need our support. They have stopped publishing these books because they believe these books don’t have any buyer.

    1. ଏଇ ଦୁଇ ଧାଡ଼ି ମୋତେ ଆହୁରି କିଛି ଲେଖିବାକୁ ପ୍ରେରଣା ଦେବ?

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