Watch Satyajit Ray's imaginative short stories come alive at this performance

Updated: 21 November, 2017 09:21 IST | Shunashir Sen | Mumbai

A performance highlights master filmmaker Satyajit Ray’s genius as an imaginative short stories writer

Satyajit Ray's short stories are a staple literary diet for Bengali children, as much as rosogolla, for instance, is when it comes to food. The imaginary worlds he weaved formed the fabric of their imagination, since the stories were tailored to plant a sense of wonder in their adolescent brains.

A scene from Discovering Ray
A scene from Discovering Ray

But Ray might have done himself a disservice when he started focusing his creative energies solely on filmmaking, as his literary genius was thus confined to the shadows, feels Soumitra Acharya, the co-founder of Tantra Theatre Group (TTG). "There are so many things I learnt as a kid from Ray's short stories. I first came to know about pterodactyls and the word 'kleptomania' from him, for example. So, I call his stories as 'infotainment', but not in the sense the word is used today," he says.

Satyajit Ray
Satyajit Ray

The 31-year-old continues, "But what happens is that if you make it big in a certain profession, your other works get overshadowed. So, because of his films, one side of his personality became too overbearing for the other and Ray's literature gradually took a backseat."

Bringing that literary prowess to the forefront is what TTG aims to do with its show this weekend, titled Discovering Ray: Time Machines and Haunted Houses. The performances involve 12- to 15-minute sketches of four short stories, which are interspersed with short narratives that delve into those corollary aspects of the auteur's creativity that make him a unique figure in the annals of Indian culture.

"You might find it interesting to learn, for example, that Ray influenced [Steven] Spielberg's ET - his earliest sketches of an alien character match completely with Spielberg's creation. Even Martin Scorsese has acknowledged the same; this is an example of some of the things we will talk about during the narration in between the sketches," Acharya reveals.

Till: November 25, 7 pm
At: Overact, Bungalow number 90, Aram Nagar II, Andheri West.
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Entry: '240

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First Published: 21 November, 2017 09:20 IST

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