What: Satyajit Ray’s Ravi Shankar, edited by Sandip Ray, reflects upon the relationship between the master director and the legendary music composer, who worked together for The Apu Trilogy. Satyajit Ray had wanted to manifest their friendship in the form of a very unique film but never managed to accomplish it, which is the core of the book. The author also highlights how nobody can figure out when exactly Ray made the elaborate plans for the film or why he did not manage to shoot it.  The book will amaze the readers by taking them on a journey through the fascinating mind of a world-renowned filmmaker.

Satyajit Ray and Ravi Shankar during the composition of music for Pather Panchali

How: The book contains the visual plan for A Sitar Recital by Ravi Shankar, the documentary on Pandit Ravi Shankar that never got made. As the recital begins, the dark screen lights up to reveal Ravi Shankar playing the sitar. The camera then zooms in, to show the artist performing, with emphasis laid on the fast hand movements.

Rough sketches of A Sitar Recital by Ravi Shankar

There is also constant juxtaposition with images of trees, storms and spring. The book also has interpretations of the storyboard made by Ray for the film, discussions on what raga he wanted Ravi Shankar to perform and comparisons to his other films.

Sandip Ray, son of Satyajit Ray, a filmmaker and photographer himself, connects the unmade documentary to his own life and the relationship that he shared with the protagonists. The book, apart from highlighting how the relationship between Ray and Shankar may have come in conflict due to their interest in music, is filled with anecdotes and instances of Ray’s passion for filmmaking and his ability to experiment.

The LP cover of the music of The Apu Trilogy

The front cover of the book, Satyajit Ray’s Ravi Shankar. Design is by Arjit Ganguly