The flavour of Kolkata

The flavour of Kolkata
The city is known for its old alleys. One such is shot by Atanu Pal.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

A unique Bengali new year calendar

I read in Ei Samay, the Bengali daily, a few days ago that a Bengali new year calendar was printed in thirty thousand by a leading cake shop chain, and it went out of stock within two weeks of the Bengali new year day this year (14th April) or less, thanks to the demand from customers among whom it was distributed.

Drooling over a calendar of Bengali new year (it’s 1423), something that most of us don’t follow except for certain times of the year! Also, the creative aspect of such a calendar is generally not worth writing home about. So this one had got to be something extremely special, I thought.

The name of the creative agency (Mayurakshi) and that it was for a leading cake shop chain rang a bell. So when I was in Mio Amore earlier this week and had a fleeting glance of someone walking out with a sophisticated rolled up calendar, I asked a salesman whether they had come up with a new year calendar. As he answered in affirmative, I asked whether it was for a price. He embarrassedly said no, and picked up and handed over one to me. It was a wonderful reward from the chain to me for being a loyal customer for many years.

It is a theme calendar based on Satyajit Ray and the legendary sleuth created by him- Feluda, produced in association with the Ray family and Ray Society, with a well-worded foreword by Sandip Ray. It celebrates the fiftieth year of Feluda’s debut in Bengali literature. Sandip has revealed how Feluda had gradually developed noticeable resemblance in psychological traits and similarities in physical traits and dress sense with his creator.

The calendar presents the versatile creative genius of Ray, from writing, illustration and book designing to various aspects of filmmaking.

It starts with the manuscript of the first Feluda story- Feludar Goendagiri along with its published illustration and the book cover design of Joy Baba Felunath.

The manuscript of Feludar Goendagiri

It then walks into his world of filmmaking where we see the first page of the Sonar Kella script, Ray’s work on the production design (like the sketch of Feluda’s room in Sonar Kella), costume design and character sketches.

The first page of Sonar Kella script (Middle at the left)

The sketch of Feluda’s room in Sonar Kella

The character sketch of the knife thrower Arjun (Right) and the design of the dart board in Joy Baba Felunath

Costume design for Sonar Kella

There are stills of the making of the two Feluda films made by Ray showing him busy in the shooting with the actors.

The maestro earnestly believed in getting every small detail right in his films and used to be personally involved in ensuring the same. The shooting stills of Joy Baba Felunath in the calendar bear ample testimony to it. How many of us know that the freeze-frame at the end of Joy Baba Felunath showing the title written on stone at the Beneras ghat was created by Ray himself?

Ray adding touches to the Durga idol in Joy Baba Felunath 

The master writing the title on stone in Benaras which we see in the 
freeze-frame at the end of Joy Baba Felunath 

My sincere thanks to Mio Amore for creating this collector’s item where they have cheered for the Bengali intelligence and creativity.

#BengaliNewYear #SatyajitRay #Feluda50 #FeludaFilms #MioAmore

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