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No. 442, November 21, 2010

Welcome to My World
By Don Hobbs

In February, I ordered some books from a seller in India. Those books arrived in November; at least some of them arrived. I had ordered two Assamese translations and one in Bengali. What I received was one Assamese and one Bengali. The Assamese book, S┤va»ralaka Ha'mchara rahasya ka»hini» #3 was easy to extract the bibliographic information from because the information was in both Assamese and English. Yogese Dasa, Sonesvara, and Candra Gosvami were the translators and Saraighat Prakashan published the book in 2005 in the city of Guwahati. The book contained three stories, SixN., Bery., and Norw. The difficulties started with the Bengali book.

Sabyasachi Roy translated this book, Mara Gelen Sherlock Holmes. I know this because that was the only thing written in English in the book. Previously, I knew someone at Syracuse University that helped me translate Bengali but he graduated and moved on, thus I have lost contact. Using my knowledge of Bengali numerals, I was able to figure out that the book was published in 2004 (? ? ? ?) and I was also able to understand the names of a few stories. I still needed to know the city of publication, the publisher’s name, and the rest of the stories.

There is an Indian grocery story a few blocks from my house and I went there with my Bengali book. I asked the clerk if anyone there could read Bengali and this incredible look came over her. She assured me that neither she nor anyone there could help me. I thought her reaction a bit curious so I departed. My next stop was the IndoPak restaurant/grocery store a few miles away. Once again, no one there could read Bengali but another customer explained the reason to me. He told me that Bengali was an older language and used an older script much closer to Sanskrit. He suggested that I read something by Bengal’s most famous poet whose name eludes me. He did not think reading Sherlock Holmes was a good method for me to learn Bengali. Even though I explained why I want Bengali help and do not feel he quite understood my reasoning.

When I returned home, I did an Internet search and found the email address of the Dallas Bengali Society. I sent them an email, explaining my simple needs and within the hour, I had everything I needed. In addition, they offered help whenever any future needs arose. Sayyaki Goswami is the name of the publisher and is in Calcutta. What I found most interesting were the story titles. Even though they gave an exact translation, I still needed to use a little abstract knowledge of the Canon to understand the Canonical story. I have listed the exact translation below so let’s see if you can figure out what they mean.

1.         The Quest for Sherlock Holmes
2.         Sherlock Holmes on Deathbed
3.         Sherlock Holmes Dies
4.         The Mystery of the Russian Patient
5.         The Lost Athlete
6.         The House Mystery
7.         The Christmas Swan
8.         The Mystery of the Lion’s Mane
9.         The Story of the Molding Clay Business
10.       The Sad Story of a Disabled Person
11.       The Old Professor’s Senility
12.       The Bilingual in Danger
13.       Sherlock Holmes Returns

Anyone interested in the correct answers can email me at

Happy Collecting!!


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Past 2009 Columns

January 3, 2010
Happy New Year! A Sherlockian Potpourri

January 10, 2010
Sherlockian Nirvana

January 17, 2010
Sherlocking in New York City 2010

January 24, 2010
The Forgetful Sherlockian

January 31, 2010
Barcelona October 2010

February 7, 2010
Sherlocking in Southern California

February 14, 2010
Sherlocking in the Sun

February 21, 2010
The Don Hobbs Olympics

February 28, 2010
Sherlockian Potpourri

March 6, 2010
Six Degrees of Sherlockian Separation

March 14, 2010
Lake Sherlockbegon Revisited

March 21, 2010

March 28, 2010
Spring At Last

April 4, 2010
Another One Bites The Dust

April 11, 2010
The New Sherlock Holmes

April 18, 2010
Adventures of a Maniac Collector

April 25, 2010
More Sherlockian Potpourri

May 2, 2010
Sherlock Holmes: The Melodrama

May 9, 2010
Sherlocking in the Pacific Northwest

May 16, 2010
Sherlockian Ramblings

May 23, 2010
Marriage, Sherlock Holmes and Logic

May 30, 2010
Foreign Accent Syndrome

June 6, 2010
Sherlocking With Les Klinger

June 13, 2010
The God of the Hive -- A Review

June 20, 2010
Sherlock Takes A Back Seat

June 27, 2010
The Manga Sherlock Holmes

July 4, 2010
Sherlock Is Still In The Back Seat

July 11, 2010
Tough Decisions

July 18, 2010
The Signs of the Four

July 25, 2010
Sherlocking in San Luis Obispo, California

August 1, 2010
The No Fog Countries Meeting

August 8, 2010
Sherlocking at The Spirits of Sherlock Holmes

August 15, 2010
The Crucifer of Blood

August 22, 2010
Sherlocking with John Farrell

August 29, 2010
A Thing That The Dutch Know More About

September 5, 2010
Ex Libris Sherlock Holmes

September 12, 2010
Sherlockian Potpourri

September 19, 2010
How I Spent My Summer Vacation

September 26, 2010
Reflections of Foreign Language Collecting

October 3, 2010
Library Addition

October 10, 2010
Return to Sherlock, Texas

October 17, 2010
Sherlocking in Barcelona, Part 1

October 24, 2010
Sherlocking in Barcelona, Part 2

October 31, 2010
Sherlocking with
Joan Proubasta

November 7, 2010
Korean Sherlock Holmes

November 14, 2010
Sherlocking with Miguel Ojeda Peral

November 21, 2010
Welcome to My World