New treats for fans of Satyajit Ray, Pandit Ravi Shankar

Kolkata, March 30 : A collection of about 250 pictures of legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray and sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar, freezing poignant moments in their professional and personal lives, compiled into two hardcovers, was launched here.

The books, called "Ray" and "Ravi: The colours of the sun" contain photographs by eminent photojournalist Aloke Mitra and texts explaining the significance of each photograph by noted writer Shankarlal Bhattacharya.

Renowned film director Goutam Ghose said the book on Ray was more than an album, and could serve as a "garland of memories".

"Aloke Mitra followed Ray everywhere, and because of his efforts we can see the man shooting classics like "Nayak" and "Charulata". There are many stories behind each photograph, that are told in this book," Ghose said at the release function at Starmark, South City Mall, here, Friday.

"Ray" has a foreword by critically acclaimed filmmaker Mrinal Sen, a contemporary of Ray.

Ray is best known for his cult flms "Pather Panchali", "Nayaka", "Aranyer Din Ratri", "Seemabaddhaa", "Charulata" and the "Feluda" series.

Ray can be seen in conversation with eminent doctor and then West Bengal chief minister Bidhan Chandra Ray and Ravi Shankar, there are also photographs showing him directing Bengali megastars Uttam Kumar, Suchitra Sen, Utpal Dutt and Soumitra Chatterjee.

According to Ray's son, Sandip Ray, the director of the current edition of "Feluda" films, "Mitra has captured the golden era, which no one else has shot before. The shooting of 'Charulata' and other masterpieces are precious to me."

With a preface by renowned American violinist and conductor Yehudi Menuhin, the second hardcover "Ravi: The colours of the sun" shows Ravi Shankar at the sitar, both as a child and as an adult, his wives and daughters and his various stage performances.

Percussionist Bickram Ghosh, who performed with Shankar in numerous concerts, said: "Pandit Ravi Shankar was a playful person, and very curious. He loved to play various roles, almost like an actor."

"The book has captured him assuming those roles - he plays being a Bengali, a Frenchman, and just having fun. This is a stellar piece of work," Ghosh said.

Published by Alchemy publishers, "Ray" is priced at Rs.1,495, while "Ravi: The colours of the sun" has been marked at Rs.1,895.

--IANS (Posted on 30-03-2013)

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