Kolkata, India, June 25, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) There was a
time when recitation was confined to the solo regimentation
of the artist. But Sumantra thought otherwise. The rhythm of poetry
brings more joy if shared with others. So, 23rd July, 1989, saw the
Now everything changes fast as years rolled on,
Sumantra with the passage of time passed out of the school portals,
obtaining marks of distinction and acquitting creditably very well in
being able to occupy enviable 1 st and 2nd rank among the contestant
competitors in recitation. He made a long stride in pursuit of higher
studies of college in the face of galaxy of stumbling blocks which could
have handicapped any boy of mediocrity and he qualified ably himself as
an Honors graduate in the teeth of baffling financial circumstances and
obtained with confidence a good Masters Degree from Calcutta
Sumantra began gradually to come to limelight to make a mark in a
mile-stone of steady progress towards the goal, the height of glory.
The elegant lustre of his meteoric rise at the pinnacle of name and
fame, can be traced to the sight of packed house, listening, being
spellbound with undivided at( tention. When Sumantra's maiden solo
appearance named as "Sisir-a Sumantra" at the adorned stage of 'Sisir
Mancha' which was colourfully designed by the great wizard and colossus
in the world of magic spell of light Sri Tapas Sen possessing an
international fame all the world over, to recite in full throated voice
exclusively from memory for three consecutive hours, was really a
marvelously spectacular to see Sumantra manifesting himself fully with
all glare in the year of 1999 in the month of December.
cherished occasion which awaited blissfully Sumantra in the arena of
elocution, was availed of at an oppourtune moment that he accomplished
with buoyant zeal and splendidly as a singularly lone reciter
consecutively for three hours at the illustriously reputed auditorium of
'Shantiniketan' entitled 'Natya Ghar' apparently reminiscent of
Rabindra Nath's glory and great fame as an actor in 'Valmiki Prativa'
before the adorned audience comprising a galaxy of vishavarati varsity
teachers and professors, eminent sculptors and painters and Visha-Varati
The old proverb, 'running thus like nothing
succeed like success' is evidently belied at the sight of revelation of
spectacularly outstanding performance in terms of cassettes entitled
"Ami Ki Rokom Vabe Benche Achi" coming to light on 14th February in
2001, was adjudged on the merit of intrinsic calibre and grit as the
best of the stupendously excellent performance of the contestant
elocutors and reciters of eminence in the whole of West Bengal on the
occasion of "Bangla Sangeet Cholochitra Samman".
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'BEWARE'! A new virus is
coming to town. If you are over 40, it sure will affect you. Stay away
from it! This was one of the posters of Hangover when the makers of the
film were just starting to publicize the film.
a delightful comedy from someone like Prabhat Roy which is bit of a
surprise.Samaresh is a successful businessman who has crossed 40 and
just can’t stay from young women and if they are scantily dressed, then
nothing like it. His wife is fed up of his philandering ways and decides
to teach him a lesson. She pretends to go around with Rajiv, the
Executive Director of Samaresh’s company .Samaresh sets a private eye
after his wife, but later apologizes when he comes to know the truth. By
this time his wife has left him. She is requested to go back by Rajiv
and Mili.They go to his office only to discover that he has gone to
Mondarmoni and is up to his old tricks. His wife decides to teach him a
lesson whereby she becomes the Chairman and he becomes her P.A, but he
is unable to change himself.
Prasenjit as Samaresh, the
pot bellied 40 year old man who has a thing for young girls is
excellent. One doubts if anyone else could have carried off the role as
well as him i.e. any of his contemporaries. The newcomers Joy Mukherjee
and Sayantika are good as is Subhasish Mukherjee as Bangshi.Subhra
Kundu’s the producer’s wife again shows us she can’t act. Though she has
been credited as a newcomer, the fact is this is her second film after
Mon Niye which released quite a few months .This film must have been
stuck for a while. This is one of the better entertainers of recent
times.Rose Valley has gone all out to promote their brand in every
possible way and even the outdoor shooting at Mondarmoni has been shot
at their resort over there.In this film you even see Prasenjit flying
like Batman in complete attire with a mask and the works! In one
particular song in the film, all the actors and actresses of Tollywood
are seen together to show unity.Bappi Lahiri also appears as himself and
also sung the title song. His son in fact makes his debut as the music
director and has done a good job. The songs are not bad at all.
if you are over 40, like young girls, yet you are absolutely harmless
like Samaresh, well you might want to get affected with a virus called
Samaresh.It is not a harmful virus at all and might brighten and spice
up your life a bit.
[Editor's Note: The Complete Ritwik Ghatak Bengali Movie DVD Collection Box
Set has now been released in North America (USA/Canada). The
collector's boxed set includes all 8 films by Ritwik Ghatak - Nagarik
(The Citizen-1952), Ajantrik (Pathetic Fallacy-1958), Bari Theke Paliye
(Runaway-1959), Meghe Dhaka Tara (The Cloud Capped Star-1960), Komal
Gandhar (1961), Subarnarekha (The Golden Line-1962), Titas Ekti Nadir
Naam (A River Named Titas-1973), Jukti Takko aar gappo (Arguments and a
here to order online.]
Meghe Dhaka Tara
– Celebrating 50 years
by arin paul
Meghe Dhaka Tara (1960) - Trailer
In one of his last
interviews Ritwik Ghatak had said when asked Why does he make
films? Because I am totally crazy. I can not live without making films.
Must not we do something? So I make these films. No other reason
one of the greatest films of Indian Cinema was hence given life by the
Man, who had to do something. Meghe Dhaka Tara (The Cloud-Capped
Star) was made and released on 14th April, 1960. And this
year (2010) we celebrate the 50th Year of The Classic.
Meghe Dhaka Tara
by Ritwik Ghatak (scenario) and Shaktipada Rajguru (story) starred
Choudhury, Anil Chatterjee, Niranjan Ray, Gita Ghatak, Bijon
Gita Dey, Dwiju Bhawal, Gyanesh Mukherjee, Ranen Roy Choudhury and
Cinematography by Dinen Gupta, Music by Jyotirindra Moitra & Ustad
Bahadur Khan and Edited by Ramesh Joshi.
Ritwik Ghatak had said,
“The title 'Meghe Dhaka Tara' was given by me, original story was
in a popular newspaper by the name of 'Chenamukh'. Something in this story stirred me. And
that is why Shakespeare’s 'The Cloud Capped Star'
struck my mind and I decided to pen a new
script all together. It could be a bit sentimental,
but to throw overtones out of it came to mind gradually.
Here I made use of Indian mythology which is a part of my life.
'MegheDhaka Tara' expressed my thoughts.”
The film is about Neeta
(Supriya Choudhury) and her brother (Anil Chatterjee). Their family
were refugees and lived in the suburbs of Calcutta. Self-sacrificing
Neeta would always be exploited by everyone including her family. The
only person to take care of her was her brother. Her scream at the end
of the film, “Dada Aami Bachte Chai (Brother, I Want To Live)”
is one of the most dramatic and remembered scene from the Classic.
An interesting info
is that Ritwik Ghatak wanted Ruma Guha Thakurta to play the lead
character but she couldn’t as she was busy shooting for Rajen Tarafdar’s
had said, “One thing I felt that there wasn't anything false in
Ritwik Da. He was very normal. Then practically I had no idea about
film. Didn't know much about acting, yet kept on acting--five-ten
I guess I learnt acting in the true sense from him... Ritwik Da's
is a big plus point of this film.”
“The film is perhaps the most widely viewed film among Ghatak's works;
it was his greatest commercial success at home, and coincided with an
international film movement towards personal stories and innovative
The film is
The music and songs were very soothing be it “Majhi Tor Naam Janina”
or “Laagi Lagan” or “Jai Mata” or “ Je Raate Mor Duar Guli”
or “Karim Naam Tero”.
had said, “For the music, all credit goes to Ritwik Ghatak. Bahadur
Khan played, A.T.Kanon sang, but he got the best out of them... The
speciality of Riwik Babu -- everything was in his mind, nothing in the
script... There was dimensional surprise, improvisation. But what he
would want was clear.”
The opening shot of
the film is one of the best shots of all times, where a big tree is
seen in a wide frame.
remembered, “During 'Meghe Dhaka Tara', Ritwik Da used to say that
the producers were trying to get a 'commercial film' by of him... There
wasn't anything commercial in the whole approach I believe. If the film
had become a success, it was because it was able to reach the human
We can always talk
endlessly about the man and his creation.
new film 'Meghe Dhaka Tara'... constitutes a glorious triumph for the
rising group of young film-makers who have been striving to rescue the
cinema from the quagmire of escapist entertainment...His entire approach
is realistic to a poetic degree and he shows exceptional imagination
and warm sensitiveness in building up the climate situations which leave
an inedible impression on the audience mind. -- Amrita Bazar Patrika, 22 April,1960.
As a film-maker,
Ritwik Ghatak has his forte, he has his originality.
If his style is to be categorized,
well, it's a new dimension of the Neo-Realist school.
Countrymen have already experienced a bit of it in his previous films
such as 'Ajantrik' and 'Bari Theke Paliye'.
'Meghe Dhaka Tara' has abundance and reached the pinnacle of it. -- Jugantor, 22April, 1960.
To begin (not 'to end'), here is what
Ritwik Ghatak had said, “Every
work of art is distinct. The form comes out of its theme, philosophy
and reflections. I picked the form I felt right for its themes. So there
is no point in asking about change in forms. Content dictated it.”
Paul is a critically acclaimed Bengali film director from Kolkata. In addition to numerous accomplishments as a director,
Arin is a founder member and President of the Bangla Telefilm Club - the
first telefilm club in the world, and a founder member and
administrator of the wildly popular facebook group Cinemania.
Arin can be reached via e-mail at
aarinzz [at] gmail [dot] com.
Fifty Kilometers away from
Joynagar railway station in the district of South 24 Parganas of the
Indian state of West Bengal, there flows a river called Thakurani. One
of its banks is covered under the dense canopy of mangroves and on the
other bank, surrounded almost on all sides by the various branches of
Thakurani as well as by the main river itself, stands a village called
Devipur is a very interesting place. Its one of the frontier human
settlements standing between the civilized world of mainstream Bengal
and the menacing Sunderbans and thus has to serve two masters for
survival. The two masters , the nature on one side and the human
‘civilization’ on the other, function at two completely different
levels, both equally inscrutable and unpredictable. JOYDHAK
WORKSHOP AT DEVIPUR >
The continuous subjugation to two such different , difficult and
demanding masters has left an indelible stamp on the entire settlement.
It’s a study in contrasts. People discuss the latest nabbing of a
burglar or nabbing of a tiger on the village grounds in the same pitch
as if there’s no difference between the two.
On 30th May 2010 a Joydhak Team began the experiment of strengthening
these people from inside through its first workshop at Devipur. The work
will continue now. Read the detailed report on the workshop at the
following link: JOYDHAK
WORKSHOP AT DEVIPUR >
Washington Bangla Radio presents Shyama Sangeet (songs dedicated to
Hindu Goddess Kali) performed by Tripti Sanyal. Tripti sings original
Shyamasangeet songs written and composed by her mother Smt. Renuka
Acharya. Music direction is by Tapan Sanyal.
Tapan Sanyal &
his wife Tripti Sanyal both belong to musical families in Kolkata.
Is it only a film which is based on the great epic Ramayana?
Is it a work of celluloid-art which brings back old wine in a new bottle?
As a matter of fact, it’s not that I guess! It’s something more than that, and oh, yes – the pre-release hype which it received encompassing each and every corner of the world wherever Indian film enthusiasts hovered hasn’t gone to waste, as this film, heard over the grape vine, being a pet with the director for two-three years has come out to be a very smooth journey for Mani Ratnam as a film maker, resulting in a film which flows effortlessly bringing about Abhishek Bachchan in one of the most ‘larger than-life’ role of his entire career, and oh boy, he carries the character of Beera on his shoulders effortlessly and with much flamboyance.
Though it may sound like a drone, I must say that “Raavan” is perhaps Abhishek’s turning point film after GURU, where he literally gels with the character and brings about a portrayal which is brilliant!
Paul - the critically acclaimed Bengali film director from Kolkata,
reviews Maniratnam's Raavan (2010). Among numerous accomplishments,
Arin is a founder member and President of the Bangla Telefilm Club - the
first telefilm club in the world, and a founder member and
administrator of the wildly popular facebook group Cinemania. Arin can be reached via e-mail at
aarinzz [at] gmail [dot] com. WBRi thanks Arin for contributing this
First Day Second Show scenario at Navina Cinema Hall, Calcutta said
it all. A 999 capacity Hall was below 50% full. The crowd reacted
initially in jubilant ways when Abhishek was seen on screen and the
journey of watching Beera started. Dazzling visuals, Amazing
Cinematography, Haunting Background Score leaves you expecting Genius as
the film progresses. With every passing frame, you think the Magic will
Begin. But sadly it never begins. You just sit there disappointed,
frustrated and wait endlessly for the unseen magic.
Santosh Sivan and V. Manikandan's Cinematography is something which will
take an effort to forget. It’s simply mind-blowing. The fight sequence
shot on the bridge is something which probably hasn’t been seen yet in
Hindi Cinema. It’s absolutely astounding.
As of the actors, it was Priyamani, Ravi Kishan and Govinda to watch out
for. Priyamani was the BEST and stands out. Abhishek, Aishwarya and
Vikram fail to create an impact.
Rehman’s Music is very good and the picturisations are brilliant. “Thok
De Killi” is a revelation.
The story was interesting but the narration very slow and boring at
parts. The climax let’s you down in a big way. There are few questions
which are never answered in the film.
Overall, Watch Raavan for a scintillating Visual Experience.
*Calling “forgiveness begging” “step in right direction”, Hindus urge Pope
for “white paper” on sex scandal*
Calling Pope’s “forgiveness begging” at a Vatican Mass on June 11 a “step in
right direction”, Hindus want Pope to urgently come up with a white paper on
global sex scandal engulfing the Roman Catholic Church, which they called
“unprecedented and shocking”.
His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI was concelebrating Mass at St.
Gauhar Jaan (गौहर जान) (1873–1930) was an Indian singer and dancer or
a tawaif from Calcutta. She was one of the first performers to record
music on 78 rpm records in India.
My Name is Gauhar Jaan! : The Life and Times of a Musician tries to
demystify the myth and mystery around one of the most enigmatic legends
in Indian music history Gauhar Jaan. Vikram Sampath, in this remarkable
book, brings forth little known details of this fascinating woman who
was known for her melodious voice, her multi-lingual skills, poetic
sensibility, irresistible personality and her extravagant lifestyle.
From her early days in Azamgarh and Banaras to the glory years in
Calcutta when Gauhar ruled the world of Indian music, to her sad fall
from grace and end in Mysore, the book takes the reader through the
roller-coaster ride of this feisty musician. In the process, the author
presents a view of the socio-historical context of Indian music and
theatre during that period
The author Vikram Sampath was born in Bangalore and completed his
Electronics and Masters in Mathematics from BITS-Pilani in 2003. He
subsequently did an M.B.A. in finance from S P Jain Institute of
Management and Research, Mumbai. He currently works in the retail
banking division of a leading multinational bank in Bangalore.
book is a must-have for all Indian and world music lovers. The book
is available online - click
here to order >
Bravery, sacrifice and
chivalry are the words that are associated with Rajasthan; Chittorgarh and
Udaipur to be precise, be it for Rana Pratap, Queen Padmini or even Panna Dhai
(the wet nurse of Prince Udai Singh II)....
Feb 19, 2010 (Washington Bangla Radio) Acclaimed Rabindra Sangeet singer Roquaiya Hasina Neely was awarded the Citycell Channel i Best Music Award in Rabindra
Sangeet for 2009. Channel i broadcast the Award Ceremony live from
Hotel Sheraton Winter garden, Dhaka on January 12, 2010 at 7:30.
In the adjacent picture Roquaiya Hasina is seen receiving the award certificate and trophy from revered Tagore singers Ajit Roy and Mita Haque.
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