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Chander Pahar
Author: Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay

Publisher: Dey Publisher's
ISBN: 97845216584
Pages: 200
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Chander Pahar is the story of a young Bengali man’s adventures in Africa in the years 1909-1910. Shankar Roy Chowdhury, the protagonist, is a 20 year old man, recently failed graduation from college and about to take up a job in a jute mill, a prospect he absolutely loathes.

He yearns for adventure, wild lands, forests and animals. He wants to follow the footsteps of famous explorers like Livingstone, Mungo Park, Marco Polo, all of whom he has read about and idolizes. By a stroke of luck, he secures a job as a clerk in Uganda Railway through a fellow villager already working there and goes to Africa without a second thought.

There, he spends a few months laying rail tracks but soon encounters the first of many dangers of Pre-World War I Africa—man-eating lions. Later he takes up a job as station master in desolate station. Here he encounters the another hazard in Africa: the poisonous black mamba. He also rescues and looks after the middle-aged Portuguese explorer and gold prospector, Diego Alvarez. The encounter with Alavarez influences him deeply. Alavarez tells him of his earlier exploits and adventures, how he and his companion Jim Carter had braved deep jungles and mountains of Richtersveld to find the largest diamond mine. However, they were thwarted by the legendary Bunyip, a mythical monster which guards the mines which killed Carter.

Shankar gives up his job and accompanies Alvarez as he decides to venture out once more and find the mines again. They meet with innumerable hardships, a raging volcano being the greatest challenge. Eventually they get lost in the forests where Alvarez is killed by a mysterious monster, the same that had taken Carter’s life, the Bunyip.

Shankar sets out to reach civilization. He finds the Bunyip's cave and the diamond mines by accident. He enters the cave but eventually gets lost. With great difficulty, he gets out, marking his way with "pebbles" and taking some back with him as memento, not knowing each is a piece of uncut diamond. He finds the remains of the Italian explorer, Attilio Gatti, and learns that the cave he found earlier really was the diamond mine. Gatti, as Shankar learns from a note by him, had uncut diamonds in his boots. The note said that whoever reads the note can take the diamonds as long as he buries his skeleton, with Christian rites. Shankar does so, and keeps the old diamonds. He becomes lost in the deserts of Kalahari and nearly dies of thirst. Fortunately he is rescued by a survey team, and taken to a hospital in Salisbury, Rhodesia, from where he sets sail for home. He ends the book saying that he will return to that cave one day with a large team, and continue the legacy of Alvarez, Carter and Gatti