Legendary actor, Soumitra Chatterjee who worked with famous Bengali filmmakers like Mrinal Sen, Tapan Sinha, Asit Sen, Ajoy Kar, and most notably with Oscar winner Satyajit Ray spoke with Asianet Newsable on the 97th birth anniversary of the thespian filmmaker.
Satyajit Ray's art of filmmaking, camera work, technique, knowledge, chivalric personality and of course his ability to effortlessly don several hats with ease is what made him a top auteur. Filmmakers will always remember him as an artist, a songwriter, a scriptwriter or an ace photographer.
Soumitra Chatterjee also wrote a book named The Master and I, where he revisited his past when he worked with Ray. Chatterjee had immaculately preserved his memories of the doyen filmmaker in a box that he unlocks years later in the form of this book.
Chatterjee appeared in fourteen of Ray’s films, starting with Apur Sansar in 1959. In a very quick telephonic interview with Richa Barua, Soumitra Chatterjee discusses his association with the great filmmaker and how he remembers his master.
Q) Which role you personally enjoyed more Feluda or Apu?
A) Both are different roles; I can't say which one I loved or enjoyed both are very dear to me.
Q) Could you tell us about Satyajit Ray that we don't know?
A) He was a genius that we all know, but to see him in person was our fate. Talking to him was not only educating but inspiring.
Q) Tell us something about the new web series on Feluda?
A) I have no idea about it, so can't comment. Also, I don't have access to the Internet.
Q) It was said that Satyajit Ray wrote the character Feluda keeping you in mind, is it true?
A) I don't think so; he probably thought in his mind while writing the story, if and when he will cast that will be me. Generally, his method of writing was not like that, he certainly has some interesting stories to tell to the youngsters for those he started writing Sondesh (Bengali children's magazine) about Feluda. What I find in all Feludu and Sondesh stories is the expression of the writer himself, his quest for Knowledge, his truthfulness and for me it is quintessential for Satyajit Raj himself.
Q) What comes to your mind first when you think about Satyajit Ray?
A) Well, he is still today living for me, inspiring me to go ahead.
Here is a quote from Soumitra Chatterjee's book, "...death was not the end of Manik da. Certainly not in my life."