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Commemorating the Master Flicks of an avid Indian Bengali Filmmaker, Satyajit Ray

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Portrait of Satyajit Ray, Wikimedia

May 07, 2017: Honouring the legendary and the greatest filmmaker Satyajit Ray on the auspicious occasion of his birthday, Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa aptly said, “Not to have seen the cinema of Ray means existing in the world without seeing the sun or the moon.”

Over his 35-year-long career as a filmmaker, he directed over 30 films., including projects of myriads variety, ranging from fantasy, science fiction, detective films, historical dramas to feature films, documentaries, and shorts. Besides being a fiction writer, publisher, illustrator, calligrapher, music composer, graphic designer, he was also the greatest film critic. He has authored several short stories and novels, primarily aimed at children and adolescents.

Here are some of the films of Satyajit Ray which were way ahead of their time and are often listed among the greatest films of all times

  • Pathar Panchali

Satyajit’s debut film “Pather Panchali” is a tale of joys and sorrows of a poor Indian family in Bengal, and is a heartwarming indication that poverty does not always nullify love. The film has won eleven international prizes. This film, along with “Aparajita” and “Apur Sansar” from famous “The Apu Trilogy” are also listed among the greatest movies of all time in the history of Indian cinema. Describing the growing up of a young boy Apu (Apurba Kumar Roy) through the technique of Buildungsroman, the film narrated the childhood, education and early maturity of a young boy in the early part of the 20th century.

Satyajit Ray with Ravi Sankar recording for Pather Panchali, Wikimedia

Pioneering the Parallel Cinema movement, “Pathar Panchali” is described as the ‘turning point in Indian Cinema’. The film is said to embrace social realism and authenticity. Through his debut film, Satyajit Ray became the architect of a genre of films “Indian Parallel Cinema”. These films aimed at concerning less with offering spectacle and glamour and touched social and political subjects. Moreover, The films were usually produced on a shoestring budget without depending on stardom for success.

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  • Aparajita

The film starts off where the previous film Pather Panchali ended, with protagonist Apu’s family moving to Varanasi depicting Apu’s stepping into adolescence in college and leaving his childhood, right up to his mother’s death, when he is left all alone.

  • Apur Sansar

Being the third part of The Apu Trilogy, the film is about the childhood and early adulthood of Apu that focuses on the world of the young man. Apu’s tragic life as a teenager and an adult perfectly reflects the cruel, realistic realities, and is sure to leave you in tears.

  • Days and Nights in the Forest

As a tribute to Renoir’s classic Partie de campagne, “Days and Nights in the Forest” is all about transplanting the scene from pastoral France to the forests of north-eastern India.

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  • Goopy Bagha Trilogy

Children took immense pleasure in watching Ray’s film series which includes “Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne”, “Hirok Rajar Deshe” and “Goopy Bagha Firey Elo”.

It is interesting to note that the first two films of the ‘Goopy Bagha Trilogy’, “Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne” and “Hirak Rajar Deshe” were directed by Satyajit Ray, and the third film “Goopy Bagha Phire Elo” was directed by his son. The first movie was keenly made for entertaining kids while the second part “Hirok Rajar Deshe”, reflected the reign of Indira Gandhi in India and the emergency period. While a child would have enjoyed the story of a ruthless king being dethroned, an adult watching the film would have intimated with the deeper meaning of the film.

  • Teen Kanya

“Teen Kanya” was originally written by Rabindranath Tagore and later adapted by Satyajit Ray into a film. Teen Kanya narrated the tale of three different women during the three different stages of their lives.

  • Charulata

“Charulata” was another written work of Rabindranath Tagore that narrates the tale of a lonely wife who develops a deeply regrettable bond with her brother-in-law. The film is meditative poetry, lingering over the inner turmoil endured by all the characters.

  • Nayak

Starring Uttam Kumar and Sharmila Tagore, the first major film in the post Charulata period “Nayak” narrates the twenty-four hours of the journey, during which the film explores the inner conflict of the apparently highly successful matinée idol.

  • The Music Room

Ray represented on the world stage the magisterial drama about an ageing Bengali landowner and his fatality clinging to the past. Ray brings Roy’s perfumed world to life with glittering images of fireworks, gleaming chandeliers and the cavernous extravagance of his music room, where he invites sitarists and dancers to entertain him and his guests.

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  • The Big City

Ray was found railing against the ‘a woman’s place is in the home’ mentality, making a sassy, nuanced and deeply moving film about the gathering speed of modernity and feminism in his home city of Calcutta. Protagonist Arati, who has never stepped out of the four walls of her house suddenly takes to the world of work to support her large and extended family.

  • Kanchenjungha

“Kanchenjungha” was his first film in colour which tells its audience of an upper-class family spending an afternoon in Darjeeling, a picturesque hill town in West Bengal.

Being a skilled calligrapher, Satyajit Ray had designed four typefaces for the Roman script – Ray Roman, Ray Bizarre, Daphnis, and Holiday Script, in addition to several others for the Bengali script. Out of which Ray Roman and Ray Bizarre had bagged an international prize.

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Ray was honoured with many major awards in his career, including 32 Indian National Film Awards, a Golden Bear, a Golden Lion, and various International awards. In 1992, Ray was awarded the Bharat Ratna by the Government of India. He was also awarded an honorary degree by Oxford University.

Ray is the first and the only Indian to receive an Honorary Academy Award by the “Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Calling it the “Best achievement of movie-making career”, he accepted the award in a severely ill condition and left for heavenly abode at the age of 71 on 23 April 1992.

prepared by Himanshi Goyal of Newsgram. Twitter handle- @Himanshi1104

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Dalai Lama says that India and China have great potential

The spiritual leader feels that both the countries are doing compassionate works

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Dalai Lama talks about India and China
Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai says that India and China can work together. VOA

New Delhi, Nov 19

Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Sunday said India and China have “great potential” and they could work together at a “practical level”.

“I think, a great potential… India and China combined are doing more compassionate work… At a practical level also. Imagine two billion people working together,” he told reporters here after inaugurating Smile Foundation’s initiative, The World of Children.

The spiritual leader, who has lived in India in self-imposed exile since 1959, said neither country had the “ability to destroy the other”.

“Whether you like it or not, you have to live side by side,” he said.

Underlining the ancient spiritual connection between the two countries, he said Chinese Buddhist Hsuan Tsang visited Nalanda (now in Bihar) and brought Nalanda Buddhist traditions to China.

“All thinkers of Nalanda are Indian. So Nalanda’s tradition is India’s tradition,” he said.

The Nalanda traditions had turned Tibetans, who were warriors, into more compassionate, peaceful and non-violent nation, he said.

“So sometimes in Delhi, teasing my Indian friend, (I say) if Tibet still remained in the previous way of life, like Mongols, Chinese invasion may not have taken place,” the Dalai Lama said in a lighter vein.

He said nobody in the world wanted violence but it was happening “because our minds are dominated by destructive emotions due to short-sightedness”.

“Nobody wants problems. Yet, many problems are our own creation.”

The Dalai Lama said the existing modern education was oriented to material values. India can take lead in improving the education system by combining modern education with ancient knowledge, he said. (IANS)

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Manushi Chhillar from India Wins the Miss World 2017 Title

India's Manushi Chillar won the coveted Miss World 2017 pageant here, 16 years after Priyanka Chopra won the title in 2000.

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Miss World
Manushi Chhillar has been crowned as Miss World 2017. Instagram #ManushiChhillar

China, November 19: India’s Manushi Chhillar won the coveted Miss World 2017 pageant, 16 years after Priyanka Chopra won the title in 2000.

Chhillar competed against 108 contestants from various countries at a glittering event held at Sanya City Arena here.

Miss World 2016 winner Puerto Rico’s Stephanie Del Valle gave away the coveted crown to the winner.

Chhillar, who is from Haryana, had earlier this year won the Femina Miss India 2017.

Miss world
Anti Ageing was the official skin care expert for Manushi Chhillar at the Miss World 2017 pageant. Instagram #ManushiChhillar

India, England, France, Kenya and Mexico grabbed the top five spots at the peagant.

Manushi, born to doctor parents, studied in St. Thomas School in New Delhi and Bhagat Phool Singh Government Medical College for Women in Sonepat.

Her entire family including brother and sister were present and they looked excited watching Manushi grabbing top five spot.

As many as 108 beauty queens from different parts of the world participated in the prestigious pageant. (IANS)

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The major Challenge is to make the Youth of the Country Entrepreneurial and not Job Seekers : Venkaiah Naidu

"The challenge for us is to make the youth entrepreneurial, and not become job seekers," Venkaiah Naidu said pointing to the NDA government's various initiatives.

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Venkaiah Naidu
Venkaiah Naidu. Wikimedia Commons
  • At a time of tepid job growth and continuing income disparities, the major challenge is to make the youth of the country entrepreneurial and not job seekers, Vice President  Venkaiah Naidu said on Thursday.

“Disparities continue to remain in India and so there is a need for inclusive growth… there is the need to take care of the suppressed, oppressed and depressed,” Venkaiah Naidu said at the Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust’s (BYST) silver jubilee celebrations here with Britain’s Prince Charles as the chief guest.

“The challenge for us is to make the youth entrepreneurial, and not become job seekers,” Venkaiah Naidu said pointing to the NDA government’s various initiatives to encourage youth enterprises like Startup India, Standup India and the Mudra financing scheme for underprivileged sections.

Modelled on Prince Charles’ Trust for business startups, BYST, founded by Lakshmi Venkatesan, daughter of former President R. Venkatraman, is engaged in building rural entrepreneurship — “grampreneurs” — as also enterprise among under-privileged sections, which includes business mentoring. The current BYST chairman is Bajaj Group chief, Rahul Bajaj.

“Without mentoring, it would be very difficult to set up startups, with all the business, marketing and other vital issues involved in the first two-three years,” Prince Charles said in his address at the International Mentoring Summit organized by BYST to mark its 25 years.

“What amazes me are the sheer number of jobs these young entrepreneurs had created. The aim of such a project should be to create a virtual cycle of creating entrepreneurs who can then invest in the future of business,” Charles said referring to his trust.

BYST was officially launched in 1992 by Prince Charles and expanded its operations to six major regions of India.

Out of these six regions, four — Delhi, Chennai, Pune and Hyderabad — run the urban programme while two regions — Haryana and Maharashtra — run the rural programme.(IANS)