Real Names: Gupi and Bagha
Identity/Class: People with magical powers
Occupation: As the sons-in-law of two kings and princes of the kingdoms, they perform administrative duties in the king's court. From time to time they sing and play the drum to entertain people. When they hear of any injustice happening in any part of India, they go there and solve the problems with their intelligence and magical powers.
Affiliations: King of the ghosts.
Enemies: Barphi, the chief minister of Halla, King of Hirak, etc.
Known Relatives: Gupi - Monimala (princess of Shundi, only daughter of the king of Shundi); Kanu Kayen (a villager); unnamed father-in-law (the King of Shundi); unnamed child.
Bagha - Muktamala (princess of Halla, only daughter of the king of Halla); unnamed father-in-law (the King of Halla); unnamed child.
Aliases: Gupi Gayen and Bagha Bayen; meaning Gupi the singer & Bagha the drummer.
Base of Operations: India
First Appearance: "Gupi Gayen Bagha Bayen" Story in Magazine Sandesh written by famous novelist Upendra Kishore Ray, around 90 years ago.
Powers/Abilities: The King of the ghosts gave them 3 boons - With a clap at each other's hands, they can ask and get any sort or quantity of food and clothing.
· With a clap at each other's hands, they can name and go to any place on universe within no time.
· When they sing or drum, every mortal listening to it - people and even animals - will be spellbound and will not be able to move until it is over.
Apart from them, they are very intelligent and lots of problems they solve by their intelligence only.
History: This is a story in ancient India. Gupi and Bagha were two village boys, living in two different villages in a remote corner of eastern India. Gupi was from village "Amlaki", and Bagha from "Hartuki". They were considered dumb and of no use by the villagers because of their simplicity, belief in others and their passion for music. They were really a very bad singer and drummer but they never refrained from their pursuit for music, even though that annoyed the village people a lot. Agitated, the village people drove them out of their villages.
These two villages were separated by a very dense forest inhabited by dangerous wild animals and ghosts. The two exiles reached there and for the first time met each other. Music became their natural medium of friendship, and they started to sing and drum in the forest. The king of the ghosts liked their performance very much (a saying goes, men and ghosts have exactly opposite likings), and gave them three boons. Confident with these boons, they reached a kingdom of western India named "Shundi" to take part in a music competition. There they solved the problem between the two neighboring kingdoms and the kings appointed them as heirs of their kingdoms, as well as marrying them to their daughters.
Comments: Created by Upendra Kishore Ray. His grandson, the famous filmmaker Satyajit Ray (who won an Oscar for Lifetime Achievements, and Bharatratna, the highest civilian award in India) created 3 films on their stories; which are-
1. Gupi Gayen Bagha Bayen
2. Hirak Rajar Deshe ("In the land of the diamond king")
3. Gupi Bagha Phire Elo (Gupi Bagha returns)
Thanks to Prabal Chakravarty for informing me of these characters, as well as providing images and detailed information about them. Almost all the above work is his.
Thanks to Amit Das for naming Gupi's father - apparently the name was given at the start of the movie Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne. He also mentions that "Gupi Bagha Phire Elo - Gupi Bagha Returns was directed by Sandeep Ray his son and the music and screenplay was by Satyajit Ray." Finally he informs me that both of the heroes' wives were mentioned at the end of the film Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne, and supplied those names too.
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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