Saturday, June 6, 2020

Satyajit Ray showed his class in casting in Post Master and Monihara.


Satyajit Ray
showed his mastery in casting in Post Master and Monihara. Satyajit Ray was a master of casting whenever film direction was in question. He experimented with Rabindranath Tagore’s epic literature Teen Kanya in his film Teen Kanya. He chose the stories Post Master, Manihara and Shamapti. In Post Master, Ray’s choice of Anil Chatterji in the role of Post Master showed his immense class in casting of characters. Anil Chatterji displayed the uneasiness of a Post Master in adjusting in village conditions very well. He listened to the rural music of the old villagers. He got frightened to weird mannerism of Nripati Chatterji who played the role of a village beggar. He faced fever, and even in sleep he dreamt about the weird beggar. Ray’s casting of Chandana Banerjee in the role of the little girl was equally excellent. The girl lost her parents at a young age and served the Post Masters in the village. She took care of Anil Chatterji when he got fever and treated him like an elder brother. Anil Chatterji taught him to read and write. When he got transferred and a new Post Master came in his place, Chandana Banerjee made the viewers weep through her passionate expression. She got attached with the Post Master and did not even take the money offered to her by Anil Chatterji when he left the village. In Manihara, the casting of Kali Banerjee and Konika Majumdar in the lead roles also showed Ray’s class. Kali Banerjee was a zamindar and Konika Majumdar was his wife. She had a troubled past. She was possessive towards her jewellery. When Kali Banerjee went to Kolkata for work, she asked one of her friends to reach her to her native town. Konika Majumdar died. When Kali Banerjee returned back, her ghost came and appeared before Kali Banerjee. Kali Banerjee looked at her hand full of jewellary which later turned into a skeleton. A road passer told the story to a visitor who was also a ghost. Kali Banerjee’s frightened expression amazed the viewers. Ray was a great artist and his illustration helped him to cast the right actors and actresses at the right roles. The characters came out of classic novels and mesmerized the viewers with conviction and accuracy. The film should be preserved for Tagore’s brilliant literature, Ray’ s powerful direction and the effortless performances of main actors and actresses in the film.

Nirmala Mishra in previous interview said Carribean humming gave her the song "eman ekta jhinuk".


Nirmala Mishra said Carribean humming gave her song “emon ekta jhinuk”. Eminent singer Nirmala Mishra gave an exclusive interview in Anandabazar Patrika on 16th October, 2011. At an age of 73 years she talked about many unknown facts. She disclosed that her father Mohinimohan Mishra was Pandit, Sangeet Ratna and Sangeet Nayak. He went to Benaras to get those degrees in music. Nirmala Mishra’s second brother who was also a great talented singer was given poison and did not survive, otherwise would have been a great singer. She was very mischievous during childhood, that was the reason she was called “jhamela”. She got typhoid 6 times, for that reason her eyesight was affected. Everyone prescribed her to sing light songs, but her father was upset as he was an eminent classical singer. Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan had many times given her medicine for voice. Eminent singer Dhananjoy Bhattacharya had helped her in her initial days of career. When composer Nochiketa Ghosh composed a song and asked her whether she could do Carribean humming, she said yes. Nochiketa Ghosh thought about Lata Mangeshkar for the song. But she did the humming, and got the song “emon ekta jhinuk khuje pellam na”. It became super hit. In the same way she got the song “o tota pakhire” from the brilliant composer Prabir Mojumdar. She was called by superstar Uttam Kumar a number of times in his own house whenever Supriya Debi cooked a delicacy of prawns. She was asked to sing songs many times. She talked about her husband also who wrote the song “ami je tomar chirodiner hasi kannar saathi” which was later recorded and became a big hit. Nirmala Mishra said that just as Lata Mangeshkar was called the melody queen of Mumbai, Sandhya Mukherjee the melody queen of Kolkata, similarly she was considered the melody queen of Orissa. She had sung many Oriya songs and majority of them had become hits. Romantic singer Gayatri Bose sang many romantic songs during 1950s and 1960s. Romantic Singer Gayatri Bose sang many romantic songs during 1950s and 1960s. Some of the songs were for children also. Her song “amar sondhya pradip jolbe angina” composed by Robin Chatterjee was one of the successful songs. Her song “shuktara akashero konete” was one of the other songs. One of her other songs was “ei phalgun hok obosan” which was composed by Shyamal Mitra. There was another song “amar jibone pradeep jalate” which became very popular in the 1950s. Gayatri Bose showed her immense romantic andaz in the song “poddokoli sakal khoje” which was very melodious. Some of her other notable songs included “oi baaje kini rini rini”, “gun gun gun bhramara”, “aakash kandey baatash kaande”, “e mon kemon kore jeneche”, “dure pahar jeno koto”, to mention a few. Gayatri Bose sang many melodious songs in the 1950s. They included “aaj malonche moushami howa”, “andhare prodip mor”, “swapnabhara ei banatal”, “prothom mukul tumi jhorona”, “dekho dekho krishnachura”, “o meghe meghe”, etc. There was strong competition between a number of female singers during the golden age including Sandhya Mukherjee, Geeta Dutt, Alpona Banerjee, Pratima Banerjee, Ila Bose, Shipra Bose, Nirmala Mishra and others. That was one of the reason Gayatri Bose could not dominate the music arena but she had her own identity and singing style which was appreciated by the audience. She had also sang in Uttam Kumar’s films like Bidhilipi where Sandharani acted opposite Uttam Kumar. The music of the film was composed by Kalipada Sen. There were four songs in the film which were sung by Gayatri Bose, Mrinal Chakravarty and Alpona Banerjee. All the songs were very successful. Sandhya Mukherjee and Geeta Dutt sang majority of songs of actress Suchitra Sen. So in the film arena Gayatri Bose’s talent was not exploited to that extent. But she sang brilliant songs in the modern song arena and for those reasons the songs should be preserved.

Friday, June 5, 2020

Basu Chatterjee still remain immortal in his realistic films like Chitchor, Rajnigandha.


The demise of Basu Chatterjee at 93 age was a big blow to realistic films in India. He gave a lifetime break to actors Amol Palekar and Zarina Wahab. Amol Palekar caught the attention of the viewers with his performance in the film Rajnigandha, directed by Basu Chatterji, where he acted opposite Vidya Sinha, the successful actress of the 70s. Salil Choudhury’s music in the film including songs sung by Lata, Yesudas and others like “janeman janeman”, “ranjigandha”, etc., created special impact on the viewers. Amol Palekar’s performance in the other film of Basu Chatterji, titled Chitchor also impressed the viewers. In that film a new pair of Zareena Wahab was created with Amol Palekar who was accepted by the viewers. The film revolved around the romantic story of Amol Palekar that took place in forest locations. The performance of Master Raju in the role of a child artist was also impressive. The music of the film composed by Ravindra Jain including songs like “gori tera gaon”, “tu jo mere sang me”, etc., sung by Hemlata and Yedudas was very impressive. Even the films based on classic literature of Sarat Chandra Chatterjee made in hindi by Basu Chatterjee still remain in the minds of viewers. Films like Swami, Apnapan still haunt the viewers. Shabana Azmi, Utpal Dutt, Girish Karnad did a great job in these types of films. His film Ek Ruka Hua Faisla was also a great experiment. Basu Chatterjee's films hovered around the common man. He showed the life of simple man, like the employee Amol Palekar in film Chitchor. The simple village life really impressed the audience.Basu Chatterjee's film Choti Si Baat, with Amol Palekar and Vidya Sinha was also a great experiment. Ashok Kumar did a great job in the film. His films require restoration and preservation