28 January 2013

Childhood Days of Satyajit Ray

Satyajit Ray childhood picture
Childhood.. words can’t describe the beauty of it.. it’s like a personal treasure that everyone has.. Sometimes when you meet an old friend, or visit your home town or someone tells you about their own childhood... images start pouring in.. how things were then, what pranks, what carefree days, what games.
In this book Satyajit Ray takes us through his childhood memories. Though his childhood was half a century before mine.. but things like joint families, funny relatives, family get-togethers, festival celebrations, childhood playmates, houses that we lived in, favorite foods, and innovative local games - all these things were equally part of my own childhood and I have some fond memories of them.
Claypot lantern
He talks about little things and incidents which left an impression on his mind and thinking about them warms one’s heart. They were ordinary things but become a part of your childhood like toys and products lost to times –Stereoscope (picture), Magic lantern, Key banger, Clay pot lantern (picture), Kolynos toothbrush and toothpaste, Swan and waterman fountain pens and Erskine sedan car. An uncle who chew every mouthful thirty two times or nothing he ate would ever get digested. He used certain childhood experiences to build his characters and stories like when he saw a magician’s show as a child became the central character to his short story on a magician.
The second part of the book is on Business of film making and complexity behind it. How shooting a scene with a buffalo, a tiger or a 1000 camels. Adventures of shooting in alleys of Benares, or snow in Kufri, or deserts of Thar. He maintains that not everything was as fun as it sounds and required a lot of hard work and planning. With only 3 minutes of film being shot over days. Challenges of time, money constraints, crowd at the background, lack of stunt men,trained animals, and changing landscapes – everything has been described in Ray’s typical style.

I love the way Ray tells you a story –there is fun and a personal element to it –as if he is sharing his life with you. For Ray…


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