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Tag: Feature

Stardust Memories: The Cosmopolitanism of Uttam Kumar and His Era-Defining Cinema

Published @ The Wire
Booklet of the unforgettable romance Saptapadi (The Seven Steps, 1961). On Uttam Kumar’s death anniversary on July 24, remembering the Bengali hero for the ages – the natural actor who won over generations with his charm and persistence. Sometime in May 1966, Satyajit Ray called Uttam Kumar. “Uttam, Nayak premieres tomorrow at Indira Cinema. I hope you will be there,” Ray reportedly said. “But Manikda, the press and public will be in attendance. Do you think I should go?…
By Sayandeb Chowdhury | | Tags: Feature, Uttam Kumar | Read More

The loss and recovery of a city

Published @ The Bengal Post
Facsimile of published article A new exhibition on the visual history of Calcutta opens a large window to the heterotopia of itsglorious past and forces us to stand by it in awe, writes Sayandeb Chowdhury One only has to open one’s eyes to understand the daily life of the one who runs from his dwelling to the station, near or far away, to the packed underground train, the office or the factory, to return the same way in the evening…

The poet and his pasture

Published @ Bengal Post
Students surround writer Rabindranath Tagore (1861 – 1941) at his university, Visva Bharati, in Santineketan, West Bengal, India, 1929. Photo by E. O. Hoppe/Getty Images (Under copyright). Munich born Emil Otto Hoppé (1978-1972), German photo-portraitist, had by the second decade of the last century established himself as a photographer of repute. Having learnt painting under Hans von Bartels, Hoppé travelled to Paris and Vienna in the last years of the 19th century before he settled as a banker in London.
By Sayandeb Chowdhury | | Tags: Art, Feature | Read More

Cause célèbre de Carnival

Published @ Hindustan Times
A Durga idol. Autumn, 2014. Photo by author. If there is one word to describe the explosion of gaiety amidst a wrecked urban landscape, it would probably be ‘flourish’, as Shakespeare used it. Writes Sayandeb Chowdhury. Shakespeare, otherwise so abundant with words and the magical incantations of poetry was, in keeping with the norms of Elizabethan playwriting and Globe Theatre conventions, severely frugal in matters of stage direction. Hence in many a Shakespearean play, after the entry of the principal…
By Sayandeb Chowdhury | | Tags: City, Feature, Festival | Read More

Fiction that Sought to Define a Nation

Published @ Daily News & Analysis
Few works go beyond the obvious and remain entrenched in the history of a people Does it ever happen that a single book defines an entire nation? In its sweep, in its expanse, in its narration or its intent? Maybe only rarely. The ancients had a vision which, simply put, was epic. Nations merged into narrations and narrations defined nations. Iliad, Aeneid, Mahabharata, Divine Comedy – literary coliseums – in front of which generations stood, dwarfed and awestruck. But not anymore. The idea of a…
By Sayandeb Chowdhury | | Tags: Feature, novel | Read More