Yesterday was Satyajit Ray's 88th Birth anniversary. Tai...his life and times and films was the main story on television yesterday. And a special treat in store: Sonar Kella. I first heard of it as a little girl, in Assam from a friend who had seen it on a recent trip to Kolkata. And what stayed with me was the magic thrill of the deep whisper "Mukul...monay porayche? Sonar Kella".
Years later, when I finally did get to see the film, I think I wept for joy. And each subsequent time, I have lingered over, loved and lapped up every full stop comma, characters, dialogues! And I can say with a lot of confidence that I am not the only one. There was this legendary comedian Louis de Feunes - star of the Gendarme series. My prof at Ecole De Roche told our class that "Le Gendarme" on it's release was seen by 90% of France. Only the very young and the very old and infirm didn't. I think Sonar Kella would be comparable (among bengalis that is). This might not be Ray's best work, however, it has a special special place that cannot be taken by anything else...not even, Ray's other works.
Most of the actors, technicians are gone or retired. Another Sonar Kella cannot be created (the very thought is sacrilegous) and yet it lives on...each time, we find it on TV, we watch it as if for the first time. And so strong is the magic that we wait for the new feluda movies although they pale in comparison - not for the lack of trying though. We understand and accept that. We wait eagerly for the new feluda and go and WATCH it (I saw the last one twice). And it was SRK's bad luck that his "Rab Ne Bana di Jodi" opened along with Feluda and was ofcourse, sidelined!!
How can we ever forget? And one generation will pass on the magic to the next and we will forever wait for Mukul to remember his Sonar Kella.