Satyajit Ray birth anniversary: How the auteur created a fascinating world for children
Satyajit Ray may have been known the world over for his thought-provoking, realistic cinema but the filmmaker had also created a fascinating world for children through books and of course a few films.
The auteur had something to offer to everyone. From science fiction to human interest to detective thrillers to adventures, Ray created a fascinating world for young adults and adults which was ahead of its time and to date is loved by children and adults.
On his 101 birth anniversary- here's a look at the fascinating world that he had created for children.
Perhaps one of the most popular fiction sleuth's in Indian literary world, Ray's Feluda was a detective extraordinaire, who solved mysteries with his keen observation, wit and sharp mind. He was always assisted by his cousin, Topshe and sometimes the duo was joined by Lalmohan Ganguly aka Jatayu who wrote crime novels for a living and provided the comic relief in serious cases. Written in Bengali, the Feluda series has over the years been adapted in English -which too are known to be popular among book lovers.
Professor Shonku series
Ray was known to be obsessed with science fiction. Ray had even alleged that Steven Spielberg had plagiarised his original script and made ET. In literary word, much before ET and aliens were made popular through cinema, there was Ray and his Professor Shonku series. A scientist, Professor Shonku's adventures were not just limited to his laboratory but took him to countries, historical lands and even imaginary places to solve mysteries. The series too has been translated in English and is available in book stores across the country.
Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne
It is believed Ray made this film for his son who, at that time was a young boy. The film was based on the director's grandfather Upendra Kishore Roy Choudhury's short story by the same name which Ray adapted and changed it a bit for the big screen. A story of two village idiots who are tone-deaf and aspire to become great musicians, the film talked about hunger, poverty and futility of war in the most effective way possible. Complete with a haunted forest, soulful music and crazy, fun plot- 'Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne' became popular across all age groups for its universal message.
Based on a Feluda story that he had written, the film had veteran actor Soumitra Chatterjee playing the popular sleuth who goes to Jaisalmer to rescue a boy who has visions of his previous life as that of a boy living in the king's palace in Jaisalmer. The boy now conned by two thieves holds the key to some royal treasures which they presume is hidden in the Jaisalmer fort, which only the boy can help them discover.
Joy Baba Felunath
Another film based on Feluda series, this one took the sleuth to the ghats of Benaras to reveal the identity of a spiritual guru and to investigate an attempted theft of a golden statue of Lord Ganesha from the house of a wealthy business family in the city. The film had Soumitra Chatterjee reprising his role as Feluda and took viewers on a exhilarating trip through the by lanes of Varanasi.
Hirak Rajar Deshe
Years after the success of 'Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne', Ray returned to make a socialist film with his two favourite on screen musicians Goopy-Bagha travel to the kingdom of the Diamond King, to find a sinister plot at work - subjects are being brainwashed by rewriting their thoughts with rhyming slogans.