Beyond Satyajit Ray's films

FOR AN evening high on "Bong'' bonding and the unbreakable Calcutta connection, this was perhaps one of those rare occasions when Delhi seemed to literally speak the language of celluloid.

With some of the silver screen's erstwhile names coming to the city to be part of a book release ceremony focusing on the legendary Satyajit Ray, the launch of "The Vision of Ray: Cine Posters and Beyond'' may have seen many of his stars travel the distance to be there for the special occasion, but one person who was clearly conspicuous by his absence was his son Sandeep Ray.

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of "Pather Panchali'', the book gives lovers of Ray's works the chance to go beyond his films and take a look at the brilliant promotional material that Ray created for his films.

And while a number of his regular cast came to be part of this special occasion, his son Sandeep seemed to have got caught up with his own film.

In a statement issued by him and read out by the organisers, Sandeep expressed his inability to make it to the event as he was working on his new film.

Published by the Kolkata-based publishing house Pratikshan and Sahara India, it was a day that saw Satyajit Ray's contemporaries and colleagues take a trip down memory lane.

As actress Sharmila Tagore laughingly put it: "At one point, he was literally doing everything himself -- directing, doing the screenplay, the posters, the camera -- except acting. But I am sure he would have been brilliant even in that had he tried.''

By Anjali Dhal Samanta and Lakshmi B. Ghosh

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