Le journal indien "The Hindustan Times" a publié, lundi 22 mai 2006, un article annonçant que l'idée de mettre un Dr Watson aux cotés de Sherlock Holmes viendrait d'un indien de Lucknow, le Dr Mohammed Ebrahim Sufi, ami de Conan Doyle à l'époque...
Extrait de l'article (en anglais)
Holmes found Watson, thanks to a Lakhnavi
Hindustan Times of New Delhi, India (monday 22 may 2006), by Joyjit Ghosh
« Fact is sometimes stranger than fiction. That's elementary! What is not perhaps is the fact that the ubiquitous Dr Watson, who many say is the alter ego of his creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle himself, should have a Lucknow connection! But that's true.
As the world remains greatly indebted to Sir Doyle for his creation of the numero uno among detectives, Sherlock Holmes, on his 147th birth anniversary today (May 22), let's take a look at this little known fact about the 'birth' of dear Watson, all thanks to a Lakhnavi.
In fact, Dr Watson would not have appeared along side Sherlock Holmes if Conan Doyle's close friend Dr Mohammed Ebrahim Sufi of Lucknow had not suggested it to him. After going through Conan Doyle's manuscript, it was Ebrahim who suggested it to the Nawab of crime fiction to invent an additional character as Sherlock Holmes' colleague and personal assistant to spice his stories up. Conan Doyle relished Dr Sufi's idea and instantly created the character of Dr Watson.
And that's how the Lucknow connection found its place in the Doyle-Holmes scheme of things. Some researchers even feel that Conan Doyle sent Dr Watson to serve in the Afghan war because of the influence of the East on the author. And the East in his case was Dr Sufi.
But Lucknow, much because of its historical significance in British India, recurs several times in Conan Doyle's variety of work and goes beyond the Dr Sufi-Lucknow-Watson link. In Conan Doyle's detective thriller 'Sign of Four' (1890), the name of Lucknow props up as the pipe-smoking detective Sherlock Holmes discusses a case with a few others. In the chapter titled, 'The Strange Story of Jonathan Small,' there are two narrations where the city of Nawabs and the famous Mutiny find a mention. »