Byomjatrir Diary

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"Byomjatrir Diary"
Author Satyajit Ray
Original title "ব্যোমযাত্রীর ডায়রি"
Country India
Language Bengali
Series Professor Shanku
Genre(s) Science Fiction short story
Published in Sandesh
Publication type Print (Magazine )
Publisher New Script, Calcutta (1965)
Ananda Publishers, Calcutta (1967)
Media type Print (Hardback)
Publication date 1965
Followed by "Professor Shanku o Egypsio Atonko"

"Byomjatrir Diary" (Bengali: ব্যোমযাত্রীর ডায়রি, The Spaceman’s Diary) was the first story of Professor Shanku series by Indian writer Satyajit Ray. It was first published in Sandesh, edited by Ray himself, in 1961. Ray included this story in his first collection of Professor Shanku stories, Professor Shanku, in 1965. The story follows Professor Trilokeshwar Shanku, a scientist and inventor, who voyaged to Mars and after being attacked by the Martians, fled to a planet named Tafa, where the foolish inhabitants welcomed him cordially and made him a citizen of their planet.

In "Byomjatrir Diary", 11 of Professor Shanku’s 1093 fictional inventions[1] are mentioned. Most notable of these inventions are a rocket to Mars, Bidhushekhar the Robot and a pill called Botika Indica.[2] Originally the story was not written as a part of the series as Ray did not have any intention to write a sequel of it. The next story of the series was published three years later.

Plot summary[edit]

The story begins as a poor man approaches the editor of Sandesh with a journal by Professor Shanku, a scientist who was disappeared 15 years ago. The editor learned from the diary that the scientist, despite being mocked by his neighbour Abinashbabu was getting prepared for a voyage to Mars. He also invented a robot that he called Bidhushekhar. Later the Professor, along with Bidhushekhar, his servant Prahlad and his pet cat Newton, landed in Mars, where they were attacked by an army of Martians. They escaped from Mars and subsequently lost their way in space. After many days of wondering, they arrived in Tafa, an unknown planet inhabited by the “first civilised humans of the solar system.” Unlike the Martians, the inhabitants of Tafa welcomed the strangers in a hearty manner and made Professor Shanku their fellow citizen. The editor wanted to publish the journal in his magazine, but later copying the contents he found the diary was destroyed by a swarm of ants.

Publication history[edit]

The story, written and illustrated by Ray, was originally published in Sandesh, a children's magazine from Calcutta, edited by Ray himself, as a serial in monthly instalment that began appearing in September 1961 and continued to November 1961.[3] At the time of writing or serialisation of the story, Ray had no intention to write a sequel of it. The next story of the series, "Professor Shanku o Egypiso Atonko", was published some three years later.[3] Ray included the story in his first collection of Professor Shanku stories, Professor Shanku, in 1965.[3] It was later included in the Shanku Samagra, the complete collection of Professor Shanku stories.


  1. ^ Mukhopadhyay, Debashish (2001). p. 97
  2. ^ Mukhopadhyay, Debashish (2001). p. 98-99
  3. ^ a b c Mukhopadhyay, Debashish (2001). p. 92


  • Mukhopadhyay, Debashish. Satyajit Ray: Tathyapanji [Satyajit Ray: A Database] (in Bengali) (1st ed.). Kolkata: Srishti Prakashan. ISBN 81-7870-065-4.