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Mumbai’s Bengal Club celebrates centenary year remembering Satyajit Ray

Rich tributes paid to master filmmaker

Saurav Roy | Published 02.09.22, 05:36 PM
(From left) Somen Sengupta, Debasis Mukhopadhyay and Prasenjit Dasgupta at the event.

(From left) Somen Sengupta, Debasis Mukhopadhyay and Prasenjit Dasgupta at the event.

My Kolkata

Mumbai’s Bengal Club celebrated its 100th birthday by remembering Satyajit Ray in his centenary year.

Two Centenarians – Satyajit Ray Remembered and Relooked at Bengal Club Centenary, the adda session at the club, set about to explore and know more about the master filmmaker and his contribution to Indian cinema and beyond.

The session was anchored by Somen Sengupta. He was joined by Ray scholar Debasis Mukhopadhyay and Ray enthusiast Prasenjit Dasgupta.

Mukhopadhyay has authored several books on Ray and his works, with Satyajit Ray Tothyoponji among his best-sellers. Co-editor of Pather Panchali: The novel and the film, Mukhopadhyay was also the assistant editor of four books on Ray edited by Sandip Ray.

Dasgupta’s publications include Ray’s works on science fiction, ghost stories, villains, Tarini Khuro, magic and Ray’s unforgettable creation — Feluda.

Remembering Ray, Dasgupta said, “He never had too many female characters in his stories, but they (female characters) never lacked variety or intensity.

“He had an exceptional ability to write ghost and science fiction stories with equal prowess.”

Mukhopadhyay mostly spoke on Ray's movies and elaborated on how he, a confirmed Hollywood aficionado, adorned his movies with unbiased Indianness, as well as his education at Tagore’s Santiniketan.

‘‘Ray was undoubtedly the first Indian director who used Indian techniques and expressions extensively to present Indian cinema to the world audience,’’ he said.

Sengupta shared a lot of interesting facts about the maestro. Among his revelations that fascinated the audience were Ray's connection with Mumbai's Shivaji Park, Ray's sketches of Philips and Dunlop advertisements, Ray's aborted project with Suchitra Sen, Ray's plan to cast Kishore Kumar in his films and many other such interesting nuggets.

Interesting trivia:

Raj Kapoor wanted to produce Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne, but Ray refused.

  • Ray had clearly said that Presidency college made no impact on his becoming a filmmaker.
  • Bombay's Shivaji Park was his mailing address in 1941.
  • Ray's Feluda was earlier Felu Dutta but was later renamed Felu Mitter.
  • His first short story was in English and was published in Amrita Bazar Patrika.
  • Kolkata’s Sky Room restaurant was Ray's favourite.
  • Ray felt that his film Chiriakhana starring Uttam Kumar was his worst flick...

The club’s former president, Joy Chakraborty, felicitated the panellists and thanked the members and the audience.

Mumbai’s Bengal Club is the oldest club of the Bengali community in western India. It was inaugurated in 1922.

Last updated on 02.09.22, 06:45 PM
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