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Recalling Satyajit Ray inaugurating Film Festival in late 80’s

Today, the 23rd Kolkata International Film Festival was inaugurated. I missed the event though, being down with Slip Disk fell asleep with hot water bag. After waking up, saw the news and heard the speech of Mamata Banerjee doing same old rhetoric praising Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan . Also heard other two but sorry to say did not get the kick…

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I thought of sharing a sharing a ‘nostalgic’ pic of inauguration of festival at Nazrul Mancha in late 80’s. Great Master Satyajit Ray was the chief guest of the evening while Debosree Roy was the Thali Girl.

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The festival was iconic simply because it was inaugurated by none other Great Master Satyajit Ray, no festival can ever equate the moment people witnessed on that day, truely, ‘iconic’ moment. It was Ray who took a pick at then West Bengal state government and from the dias, Ray said, “there are more potholes in the street, more telephones that don’t work, more traffic jams ‘but’ …..warmth, this is why we work here or live here…”

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On that day then Chief Minister Jyoti Basu was also present on the dias and did not show any hard feelings (may not have been able to eschew) not showing anger or flexing facial muscles…On the contrary chief minister Mamata Banerjee who talks so high of CInema and artistic values had put stalwarts like Mrinal Sen (the only living legends out of the trio – Ritwik Ghatak, Satyajit Ray and Mrinal Sen) in blacklist for calling festival a ‘circus’ in protest against Banerjee shifting opening and closing of KIFF to Netaji Indoor Stadium…

 

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Politics, News,

Tributes to Mahanayak Uttam Kumar on his 37th death anniversary

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Tributes to Mahanayak Uttam Kumar on his 37th death anniversary. Not just an actor, much more than that, the charisma simply mesmerizing. Even after so years, when he is not around, yet people simply go crazy for him still today. Whenever there is a screening of his old cinema be it at the cinema hall or TV, people would simply sit and watch and bask in the ‘nostalgia’ that Uttam babu has left behind. What surprises more is when on an average, the new generation show immense apathy and would hesitate to tell on the face that they are not ready to watch old cinema least talk about actors, Uttam babu still finds place in millions of heart of young people and it is this generation which organises programmes, debates, exhibitions and talks to commemorate the birth and death anniversary of this man who still captures heart with his smile.

On this day, I felt like sharing something which will help you to know Uttam Kumar better.

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We all have heard so much about the helpful nature of Mahanayak Uttam Kumar. I had an opportunity to meet a old technician at Tollygunge (one of the studious). When he said he has seen Uttam babu, I could not stop myself from asking questions. He shared few instances but the most touching was the story that brought tears to his eyes. He said during his daughter’s wedding he had taken some money Uttam babu. He also told me that Uttam babu would never say no or show tantrums. When he managed to gather the amount and went to return to him, he said “onek boro hoye gechish na, ota raakh” (you have become very big man, keep it with you) and this man began crying, tears rolled from his eyes. He told me “dada r baan haat jantona daan haat taka diyechey, eram uni oneke diyechen, uni shotti kar r Mohanayak chilen” (dada’s left hand would not know his right hand gave money, he was like this, not just me but he helped so many people. Dada was a true Mahanayak).

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I deliberately did not divulge this man’s identity, just wanted to share this incident…

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