Satyajit Ray (SR) was an unusual choice, being known primarily as a film-maker. However he has a body of Bengali writing – detective stories, science fiction, and short stories – translations of which are available in English, a few by Ray himself. Several have been made into films and comic books.
Saras & Gopa, both garden lovers in KumKum's garden
But SR was much more than a film-maker. He was an artist with a keen eye and imagination to design advertisements (his first trade after graduating from Santiniketan). Later he went on to design type-fonts in Bengali and English scripts, and then became the internationally recognised film-maker with the Apu trilogy comprising Pather Panchali (1955), Aparajito (1956) and Apur Sansar (1959).
Epitaph on Job Charnock's Tomb in St. John's Church compound,Kolkata
Preeti who recommended the stories recalls them fondly from her youthful reading. She selected five stories for our reading but many readers could not resist delving into the rest for the entertainment and excitement they afforded. The stories are addictive, just like the Sherlock Holmes stories. SR confessed to his wife that having to keep of sex and violence denied him as an author the full creative licence (the stories were originally written to appear in the children's magazine, Sandesh, started by his grandfather). His own father, Sukumar Ray, was also a well-known author of children's stories and nonsense verse.
Shoba, Preeti, Talitha, KumKum having tea
This being the first reading session of the year KumKum invited the readers home for tea and snacks. Sunila (wife of Sunil) made a lovely orange cake and mini-idlis for us. Some pictures of the readers enjoying the convivial gathering are here.
Saras, Priya, Thommo, Sunil at tea
At the end the readers posed for a closing shot here below – it was the largest gathering we have ever had at a session.
Kavita, Zakia, Priya, Sunil, Gopa, Shoba, Preeti, Thommo Talitha (standing), Shehnaz, KumKum, Saras, Philo, Mrs Sheila Cherian (sitting)
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