What It's Like To Be a Satyajit Ray Fan


It's been a while I got back to my love for cinema, my love for Satyajit Ray and the impeccable mark that he has left on the entire cinema community. When a person like Akira Kurosawa asks you to watch a Ray classic, you listen. As a bengali kid who grew up all across the country, my only way of entertainment during the Summer holidays in my Grandma's place would be Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne and the entire trilogy aired everyday for 30 minutes on DD Calcutta. For those 30 minutes, I'd be glued to the screen, just because of the story.

Ray had beautifully captured the imagination of the child in me. I was a fan. Joy Baba Felunath and the likes happened way later, when I was in my teens and there would be nothing to do on a Sunday afternoon but to flip through cable TV. I would draw back to Ray's movies, airing on anyone of the countless bengali channels that had come up back then.

This man was everything every Bengali aspires to be - in touch with his true artistic sense. In every sense of the word, Ray was a true artist - one who dabbled with so many hats anyone would just give up trying to put this man in a bracket.

Almost a movie per year in his long and illustrious 35-year career, Ray's advertising background helped him craft his dreams in a way to make them commercial successes. Apu Trilogy, my favourite work of his taught me how irrelevant money (or the lack of it) is in defining love for one another. Goopy Bagha series taught how important friendship and honesty is and how every good thing in the world happens to you if you just remain happy.

Charulata, a movie that I happened to bump into during my film studies days in college, gave me a perspective unlike any other movie of the time - that it's alright to fall in love, even if it is wrong.

The reason I owe everything to Ray is because of that one movie that haunts me to this day - Nayak. The beautiful story of a celebrity and a journalist sharing a train ride didn't seem that important until the day I came to know how big a fan my maternal grandma was of Uttam Kumar. The day I was born, without any hesitation from my Grandma's end, I was named after Uttam's character from this movie. Humble brag? Yep.

Regardless to say, here's to every single one of you who loves movies - Go watch a Ray classic today. You'd be doing yourself a great service.

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