As part of the Satyajit Ray family’s centenary celebration of the icon, his lyrics of an unused song titled ‘Aha ki somoro sombhar’ from ‘Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne’, his unpublished essay titled ‘Thoughts on Filmmaking’ and unseen letters will be unveiled on Poila Boishak. The original plan was to unveil these on May 2 in the literary magazine ‘Bichitrapatra’, of which Sandip Ray is the chief adviser. However, the declaration of election results on the same day has jeopardized the centenary plans, resulting in the schedule being brought forward.
Incidentally, the family isn’t aware of the plans the information and broadcasting ministry has for the newly-instituted Satyajit Ray award. Sandip acknowledged that various publications have lined up special issues for the Ray centenary. “But this is the only one with which the family has a direct connection,” he said.
None of these unpublished works are lockdown finds and have been reserved for the centenary tribute The unseen lyrics that Ray wrote for ‘Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne’ has two alternative stanzas for the original song. “This song was found in the kheror khata of ‘Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne’. For some reason, it was not used in the film and was never recorded,” he said. There’s no trace of his notation for these lyrics.
Ray’s unfinished essay — transcribed from the kheror khata of ‘Aparajito’ — was written when he lived in the rented Lake Avenue flat sometime in 1957 and has answered criticism regarding his film deviating from the original novel. To those who criticized his film for leaving out “some” characters while adapting the novel, Ray pointed out that he had left out exactly 237 of them while explaining that “allotting an average of one minute to each character, we arrive at a running time of a little under four hours…”. Ray also answered back critics who felt his film ‘misses the dramatic possibilities of the original’ or ‘the place (Benaras) has come alive, but not the people’.Sandip Ray’s selection of sketches and pages from his father’s ‘kheror khata’
Another very interesting revelation are a set of 14 letters written to Pathikrit Bandopadhyay, the son of author Supriyo Bandopadhyay. One among them is unique because of the style Ray had adopted. Soumyakanti Dutta, who along with Souradip Bandyopadhyay and Ayan Chatterjee are part of the think tank behind ‘Bichitrapatra’, said, “Back then, Pathikrit Bandopadhyay was a teenager and loved to read Feluda. Not only had he signed off the letter as Topesh Ranjan Dutta C/O Satyajit Ray, even the handwriting was changed to match that of a teenager.”Dutta also mentioned that the edition of the magazine will publish “two unseen photos of Ray by Nemai Ghosh”, the complete script of ‘Sonar Kella’ and the facsimile edition of the film booklet of ‘Sonar Kella’. In addition, there are Sandip’s selection of sketches and pages from the red books of ‘Aparajito’, ‘Paras Pathar’, ‘Jalsaghar’, ‘Apur Sansar’ and ‘Devi’. “My father started using the ‘Kheror Khata’ from ‘Aparajito’ onwards. For this edition, I chose matter from five films.” This choice was based on “interesting visual selection” and includes makeup and costume sketch of Pinaki Sengupta in the role of Apu in ‘Aparajito’, Ray’s calligraphy of the original title for ‘Paras Pathar’ which was ‘Pares babur Paras Pathar’, sketch of Anil Chatterjee in the role of Bhudeb in ‘Jalsaghar’, sketch of Alok Chakraborty in the role of Kajal for ‘Apur Sansar’ and Ray’s calligraphy of a Sanskrit sloka for ‘Devi’.
Source: Times of India