Download “Ami Akhono Topse” (Bengali)
"Newz Bangla Release 17.07.12 View page, continuation
Acting in films happened by a pleasant accident when I was only 13years. Satyajit Ray was looking for a young boy to play the role of 'Topse'. He was going to film 'Sonar Kella' having already chosen Soumitra Chatterjee as Feluda. I was a student of Patha Bhavan, Kolkata and many of you would know that he along with a few known personalities, were instrumental to the creation of the school. Sandip Roy and Amit Kumar were few of the students of our school and were senior to me. Satyajit would normally hunt in our school whenever he required young boys & girls to cast in his films. Into 'Hirik Rajar Deshe' the entire team of Students of Mastermosai was from Patha Bhavan. I was a prey to this hunt. Partha Bose, who was our Bengali teacher, was also assisting Satyajit in his literacy work of Sukumar Ray’s collection, thought that I could be Topse. One evening, close to Kali Puja in Kolkata, I was made to accompany him to the Beshop lefroy Road residence of the master and was placed in front of him. I did not know how Satyajit Ray looked like, director of 'Goopy Gyne' and 'Pather Panchali'. My initial meet was non event for me since I could not recognize him as Satyajit in my first meeting but knew him as the director.
While he was asking questions to me about my interest in studies, sports, cinema etc, he was literally bowled out to hear that I had never heard of Feluda and his works though I did mention I read about Bomkesh as well as Cheap detective thriller hero Dipak Kumar of Swapan Kumar fame. That prompted him to present me an autographed 'Sonar Kella' for me to read and comment back to him. That was my first and comment back to him. That was my first introduction to Feluda novel which I cherish till date. Unfortunately that autographed book is missing from my possession.
I was offered to play 'Topse' in his forthcoming film on an evening that changed my course of life. However, I was quick enough to reject the offer on the ground that I do not know how to act and getting into films would be vehemently opposed by my mother. He was happy to note that I never acted in plays & dramas at school and remarked ”Tate to barti subhidha” (that is an advantage by itself). On my mother opposing the idea acting in films, I remember his remark ”Ami onar sange kotha bolbo” (I will speak to her). He was more interested to know whether I was excited about the idea of accompanying Feluda in his adventurous pursuits in Rajasthan, chasing dacoits using revolvers. At the age of 13, I suppose that’s exciting enough to lure a young boy’s mind. We all dream of exciting adventure at teens and I was no exception to this. I reluctantly said “Ektu ektu exciting lagche” (I am getting but excited). That was taken as a nod by Satyajit and I became Topse in his first Feluda film 'Sonar Kella'. Thus an introvert teenager of Bhowanipur, where I resided, got into acting in films while managing school studies. I went without parent’s alongwith the shooting team to Rajasthan and spent around 20/21 days covering Jodhpur, Jaipur and of course Jaisalmer. That was the first time I went to Rajasthan and it was pure fun at outdoors with unit members of Satyajit Ray.
Jethu, as I would address Satyajit Ray, was a parent by himself to me and Mukul (Kushal Chakraborty) and Jethima was there to look after the kids like us. In fact she was the only lady in our shooting team and was mistaken as the heroine of the film by the local Rajasthanis who could not believe that a shooting team will not have a heroine. There are very interesting episodes while shooting and I was to write about those as and when it occurs.
Joy Baba Felunath
After Sonar Kella, the second film was again Ray. It was 'Joy Baba Felunath' another Feluda film where I again played the role of Topse but this time Topse as an young adult had to insert a shot where Topse is shaving just to suggest Topse has grown up. The innocence in 'Sonar Kella' was missing a bit at the age of 19 when I was doing Felunath. Nevertheless, I thought I did a pretty fine job and so did Ray. Felunath to my understanding is technically a better film than Sonar Kella but Sonar Kella had an appeal of its own. Actually the canvas was itself so beautiful with the yellow sand, the blue sky, the gorgeous Rajasthan desert more than a film it was a piece of painting. Hence it appealed to everyone and till date in my interviews on Ray repeated mention on Sonar Kella occurs. But Felunath again had its own charm of Benaras where I frequent next till date. In one of my recent visits, the boatman while ferrying on the bank of Ganges, narrated about where all the great Bangali director in his film Felunath had shot various scenes across the Ghat. I can assure that he was talking all nonsense but I do not mind if that gave him some extra bucks from Bengali tourists. But the Ganges in Benaras is equally gorgeous and the evening arati is awesome. 32 years after Felunath, I again went for a outdoor shoot for the film 'Arohon' directed by Pinaki Chowdhury to Benaras in 2010. It was nostalgia for me, not because I had shoots on the Ghat but more because this time I was playing the role of NRI son to Soumitra Chatterjee. This time the team had Tulika Basu as my wife, Soumitra Kaku (as I call him) my father, Sandhya Roy as my mother, Rituparna Sengupta in my daughter in law. She played the role of a rustic village girl from Bihar and portrayed it very well. I believe the Benaras Ganges is being recleaned and dredged to make the water flow as it used to when Felunath was shot.
Last year 2010 I got a call from Sandip Ray for his film 'Hit List' and I happily agreed to play the role of the CEO of an advertising firm where couple if murders happen. It was not only the hear of Joy of returning to the Ray unit (not that all of them are there) but it was fascinating work again with the likes of Punu Kaku (assisted in the film making from the days of Ray). While Babuda (nick name of Sandip Ray) was busy in his script writing,
I got a surprise call from Anjan Dutta, the singer, actor and director to play a role of the father in his film 'Madly Bangali'. My role as a father and my strained relationship with my son was to a large extent non- bong types where the father and son exchange talks while sharing the same dope and which may not have been acceptable to the common viewers. Anjan’s film was modern in style but had ‘ Bangali’ values embedded in it.
While all this was happening in 2010, I, for the first time did a couple of mega serials, where the experience was traumatic. Indiscipline of the entire production team would be at its heights with pressure to complete a couple of episodes within a short time frame. Lines of the actors would get ready only 30 minutes prior to a shoot of any scene which was something I was not used to. While working in the stock market through my laptop, I managed shooting for Dhanniye Meye (TV Serial), Ekhane Akash Neel, etc. My experience had been frustrating, not to mention about monetary compensation.
I look forward to acting in feature films as and when such offer comes in – it has its own charm and is a deviation from my hectic schedule.
After Felunath, close to my becoming a Chartered Accountant, I was signed up for a film Parajito Parasher — as the hero.
I did about 15 days of shoot when Santuda. (Santu Mukherjee) one of my Co actors in the film, whom I met at the Bhowanipore Olympic Salon (Mahimda the owner & master hair cutter those days used to do it for Uttam Kumar also) said that ”Tor aar shooting e jabar darker nei - Chobi bondho hoye jaabe” (you need not go for the shoot - the shooting will stop). This was a aborted film for want of fiancé. After that it was a long haul for about 20 years that I was not in films though in the last 10 years I was very much on television everyday on 24 Ghanta, Kolkata TV, Channels for my stocks market related Progamme.
Last year 2010 I got a call from Sandip Ray for his film 'Hit List' and I happily agreed to play the role of the CEO of an advertising firm where couple if murders happen. It was not only the hear of Joy of returning to the Ray unit (not that all of them are there) but it was fascinating work again with the likes of Punu Kaku (assisted in the film making from the days of Ray). While Babuda (nick name of Sanip Ray) was busy in his script writing, I got a surprise call from Anjan Dutta, the singer, actor and director to play a role of the father in his film 'Madly Bangali'.
My role as a father and my strained relationship with my son was to a large extent non- bong types where the father and son exchange talks while sharing the same dope and which may not have been acceptable to the common viewers. Anjan’s film was modern in style but had ‘ Bangali’ values embedded in it.