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Satyajit Ray was my favourite writer and director
Posted On 1/17/2016 3:20:29 PM By-Tanmoy
The whole world knows Satyajit Ray as a great Indian filmmaker but his name first came to me not as a filmmaker rather as a great detective novel writer. Now I don’t remember the exact year but some time in early 90s, my father gave me a book as a birthday gift and I was very excited with the cover photo which looked very interesting to me. It was a Bengali detective novel for kids and its name was “Sonar Kella”. I read that book and you don’t believe how much excitement and pleasure that book gave me. That detective or private investigator’s name was Prodosh Chandra Mitra better known as Feluda. His nickname is Felu and da is the short form of dada which means big brother in Bengali because his cousin Tapesh served as a narrator and he used to call him Feluda. I was a kid and I immediately fall in love with Feluda. That time, the author name specially Satyajit Ray himself meant nothing important to me, I just wanted to read Feluda’s detective stories. Then I started insisting my father to buy more Feluda books. But I also couldn’t wait for long and therefore started asking my friends about Feluda’s books and I discovered that some of them also used to like Feluda. So, we exchanged a lot of Feluda books and then I insisted my father to allow me to get the membership of a local library. I successfully made him convinced that the subscription money for that local library would have been much cheaper than buying me new storybooks every now and then. So, one by one I almost finished all Feluda books. During that time, I also discovered that there was another interesting fictional character Professor Shonku who was also created by Satyajit Ray and this character Professor Shonku was a great scientist and his adventures were all based on science fiction and that was the first time I started to like science fiction stories.

There is a popular children’s magazine “Anandamela” and every year just before the biggest festival of Bengal “Durga Puja”, a special puja edition is published by ABP group, the leading media group and the publisher of the most popular and commonly read Bengali daily newspaper “Ananda Bazar Patrika”. Every year a new adventure of Professor Shonku was published in that special puja edition of “Anandamela” and every year I used to wait for that special puja edition. I think every Bengali kids even current generation’s kids love to read “Anandamela”. But “Anandamela” didn’t have Feluda stories instead it used to get published in another magazine “Desh” in its special puja edition which also belongs to the same ABP group. Now “Desh” is not a children’s magazine but readable for grown up persons. Despite being a teenager, I still managed to borrow some special puja editions of “Desh”. I also discovered that “Desh” was full of romantic and little adult kind of novels. So, that was how I came to know about love, sex and some secret human emotions and behaviours which I never experienced before. Now when I see young kids, I really surprises me how smart and intelligent they are now. By their age, we were quite simple and silly.

Satyajit Ray was still alive by that time because I still remember that later I saw his death news in 1992. Even then I didn’t know much about Satyajit Ray. First I saw the news that he was hospitalised. But then he was awarded “Oscar” as a lifetime achievement honour. I still remember the TV footage that he was laying in a hospital bed holding the “Oscar” statuette on his chest by both of his hands and he was talking something on camera. I heard from my elders that he became the first Indian to receive such a prestigious award like “Oscar”. But his health condition was still deteriorating and then I saw the news on TV that he is no more. In India, the most popular and famous persons are either film starts or cricketers. Satyajit Ray was none of them yet I felt sad on his demise. I got the same feeling again when I saw the death news of Mother Teresa in 1997. I never got the opportunity to meet both Satyajit Ray and Mother Teresa face to face despite living in Kolkata suburbs but I saw Nelson Mandela from a long distance when he was received and honoured at Iden Gardens stadium in Kolkata by the govt. of West Bengal. It was 1990 and I have a vivid memory of that incident. I was present at Iden Gardens stadium with my parents in that great reception. Now we are hearing the news that Nelson Mandela is going through a critical health condition. I pray to God for his long life and good health.

Due to the character limitation of publishing Articles in MagikLife.com, I have published a few paragraphs of this Article in MagikLife.com. So, if you want to read rest of this Article, please visit my Blog www.worldoftanmoysarkar.blogspot.in.
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