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Rendezvous with Ray’ is the news report published by Frontline on July 29 and on August 11, 2006. This is all about Satyajit Ray, the distinguished cine director from Calcutta (Kolkata). Gaston Roberge, a French-Canadian priest presents his experiences with Ray in this lesson. Gaston Roberge was very impressed with Apu Trilogy and after watching the movie he came to Calcutta. Both of them had a lasting friendship. They had elaborate discussions on various aspects of films and set up ‘Chitrabani’, a communication and film institute as Ray was an icon of Indian cinema at that time.
Gaston Roberge wanted to meet Satyajit Ray
In 1961, when Fr. Gaston Roberge was 26 years old, he was acquainted with the works of Satyajit Ray through the Apu Trilogy. He saw all the three films in one sitting -the incident which made him love the people of India and Bengali cinema and culture. Roberge gives a scholarly, original analysis of Ray’s works in his latest book, “Satyajit Ray, Essays: 1970-2005”.
In his youth, Roberge knew of Bengal through Mircea Eliade’s La Nuit Bengali, some of Tagore’s poems, and a Reader’s Digest article on Mother Teresa. He was haunted by the harsh image of poverty shown in “Saint of the Slums” and Apu’s world came as a reassurance. Ray’s critics accused him that he made his reputation of selling India’s poverty to the West. But Roberge was struck by the enormous spiritual poverty of some rich people which is worse than material poverty. He wanted to meet Ray and make friends with him but it took him nine years after reaching Kolkata. He wanted to get to know Ray’s works more so that there could be a worthwhile dialogue between them when they met.
Roberge and Ray became friends but not for long
Their friendship lasted about 22 years until Ray died in 1992. Their quiet friendship developed over the years. Ray’s friends called him Manikda. He was shy and discreet about showing his emotions. He was very simple and modest with a subtle sense of humor. Both the friends used to meet on Sundays at 9 a.m. at Ray’s residence on Bishop Lefroy Road, Kolkata. Ray used to show Roberge the private screenings and welcome his comments. Ray often addressed Roberge as the French-speaking priest in Bengali and Roberge felt it was Ray’s appreciation for him. Ray wrote his manuscripts in Bengali, with notes in English for his set-designer, with sketches and staff notation of music.
Once, he missed the Charulatha screenplay. Though he knew who the culprit was, he didn’t want to take any action with humane concern. We find a striking comparison between Tagore and Ray in their works. There is a philosophical analogy too between them. We find all the characters – the rich, the poor, the powerful, the humble, the peasants, the city persons, children, teenagers, adults, old people, men, women, etc. in Ray’s movies.
Each paragraph of this article has a clear idea conveyed in a rich range of vocabulary. This article is a typical example that should be read by any learner who is a potential reader of feature articles. It is well-known that feature articles provide the reader with a good range of vocabulary and interestingly organize the events. This text is a good model for practicing writing feature articles. It is interesting to note that this article has two narrators.