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Uttam Kumar and intimations of immortality

Published @ The Hindu
Poster of Satyajit Ray’s Nayak In 1971, Satyajit Ray took his turn in defining what he means by a star. “A star is a person on the screen who continues to be expressive and interesting even after he or she has stopped doing anything.” This was as fair and ingenious a definition as any. But how long is that ‘even after’, one might want to ask. This is because the star in question is none other than Uttam Kumar, for…

মৃত্যুর চল্লিশ বছর পরও এক চলচ্চিত্র-তারকা জীবিত থাকেন কেন (The stardom of Uttam Kumar)

Published @ Anandabazar Patrika
কেমন ছিলেন ব্যক্তি উত্তমকুমার, মৃত্যুর চার দশক পরে সেটা নিয়ে কিছু বলার চেষ্টা প্রয়োজনহীন। মানুষ উত্তম মিশুকে; বন্ধু উত্তম আড্ডাবাজ, পুত্র উত্তম মাতৃভক্ত; ইন্ডাস্ট্রির ‘বড়দা’ উত্তম দানশীল; প্রেমিক উত্তম মেদুর; শ্বশুর উত্তম স্নেহশীল; অগ্রজ উত্তম অভিভাবকসম; পেটুক উত্তম ভোজনবিলাসী ইত্যাদি অজস্র আদিখ্যেতা উত্তমকুমারকে নিয়ে ছড়িয়েছিটিয়ে আছে। গত দু’বছর উত্তমকুমারের সিনেমা নিয়ে একটি বইয়ের গবেষণায় বার বারই চোখে পড়েছে এই রকম গদগদ অসংখ্য স্তুতি। সত্যি বলতে, ঘরে ঘরে এ রকম অনেক ব্যক্তি আছেন, যাঁরা দাদা, সন্তান, শ্বশুর, প্রেমিক হওয়ার বিভিন্ন পরীক্ষায়…

There’s no record to disprove Bose’s death

Published @ The Bengal Post
It is time we understand that for a figure like Subhas Bose, there is no greater honour than to die in the battlefield in the war for freedom, insists Harvard’s Professor Sugata Bose, in an expansive interview with Sayandeb Chowdhury The setting of the large, airy, six-windowed second-floor room at Netaji Bhavan is doubtlessly the most fitting location for an interview of this nature. This room is directly above the room where he, the talismanic subject of our discussion, for…
By Sayandeb Chowdhury | | Tags: History, Politics, Profile | Read More

The man from a lost world

Published @ The Bengal Post
Facsimile of the published article Amitav Ghosh is great hope for fiction in the 21st century and now, at the height of his powers, his influence is all set to grow bigger, writes Sayandeb Chowdhury Amitav Ghosh’s novels are an Olympian event; a peripatetic storm in the largely sterile cultural topography of this ‘city of lost causes’ as he calls Calcutta succinctly and appropriately. On his arrival, the city’s literati suddenly wake up to the possibilities of fiction, a possibility…

I always told myself that fame can wait

Published @ The Bengal Post
The name Manishankar Mukherjee was thought to be difficult to pronounce. So he changed it to Sankar. And the name stuck like a second skin all his life — as a lowly clerk, as the author of national and now international repute and a high profile corporate job as the CPRO of one of world oldest electric supply companies. But who was he who changed his name? “Noel Frederick Barwell”, came the reply from the other side of the large…
By Sayandeb Chowdhury | | Tags: Calcutta, Profile | Read More

The clown is a very powerful archetype

Published @ The Bengal Post
Poster of the long-running play While watching Hamlet, the Clown Prince at GD Birla Sabhaghar, a member of the audience was going to pick up a call on his mobile. His seat was far into the auditorium, away from the stage and he must have thought that a quick word on his mobile would not harm the proceedings! But to his complete dismay, someone in the dark rushed forward and pleaded with him to please forgo the call. The man found that…
By Sayandeb Chowdhury | | Tags: Profile, Theatre | Read More

Indian marxists lack original thinking

Published @ Bengal Post
The sunlight inside the spacious atrium at Taj Bengal seemed to have been looking for him. The itinerant light, when it found Ramchandra Guha posing on a chair for a restive photographer, seemed to stand still on him for some time. The sun, obviously partial to leading lights on a clear December morning in Calcutta, set its sight on the award-winning author of India After Gandhi because he was the most sun-worthy man in a city that day, which once had many…
By Sayandeb Chowdhury | | Tags: History, Profile | Read More

The universality of Feluda is unfailing

Published @ Bengal Post
The cover of the novel based on the film Sonar Kella, (The Golden Fortress, 1973) Sandip Ray has always battled the distinction of being the only son of a world-renowned master of cinema. Perhaps it goes to the skewed and myopic understanding of culture in this part of the world that considers the son of a world master blessed with similar distinctions. But Sandip Ray, a Bhadrolok to boot, has handled the pressures of such absurd expectation despite being in…
By Sayandeb Chowdhury | | Tags: Profile | Read More

In Camera and outside

Published @ Bengal Post
Ranjan Palit is so soft speaking that in between the first and the fifth row at Max Mueller Bhavan’s partly refurbished auditorium, his voice was almost lost. But he is not a singer but a cameraman and filmmaker, a maker of some of the most well-received and critically acclaimed documentary pour une cause in the last three decades, and hence it was film and his camera that did all the talking. And what a cracker of a film he showed! He…
By Sayandeb Chowdhury | | Tags: Film, Profile | Read More

Room Service

Published @ Hindustan Times
Mani Shankar Mukherjee alias Shankar talks to Sayandeb Chowdhury about the jump he has made from being a Bengali bestselling writer to an Indian one The fear of becoming obscure after his first novel, Koto Ajanare (The Many Unknowns) haunted Mani Shankar Mukherjee alias Shankar. So what if it became an instant bestseller? “I was about 19 or 20 and had already fallen out with the mandarins of Bengal’s premier literary magazine where the novel was serialised. They spread the rumour that…
By Sayandeb Chowdhury | | Tags: Calcutta, Profile | Read More