Celebrating 100 Years of Satyajit Ray

Satyajit Ray (May 2, 1921-April 23, 1992) was an Indian film director, scriptwriter, author, lyricist, music composer, essayist and was a master of other arts too. He is a well-known name in the Bengal film industry and to celebrate his 100th birthday, the History Society of Loreto College Kolkata planned an event to commemorate Ray on the May 28, 2021.

The event, held through the medium of Google Meet, lauded Satyajit Ray for his various attributes. The students presented a number of dances on notable songs written and composed by him, like ‘Aha Ki Anondo’, ‘Maharaja Tomare Selam’ and so on. The dances, choreographed by the students paid a musical tribute to Ray’s expertise as a music composer. An original poem recited by Anangsha Bakshi of third year also have us a picture of Ray’s prolific career against a montage of critically acclaimed and commercially successful movie shots.
Directed by Sarani Deb of second-year, a skit was used to depict some of Ray’s finest works as beloved characters like Feluda, Apurbo, Topshe, Jatayu, Ang the Alien and others were brought to life by the students of all three years. The play presented the characters trying to celebrate the birthday of their creator, Satyajit Ray, through a virtual meet which is accidentally joined by Dayita, a normal college student. The depiction of these characters in the present scenario of the pandemic not only refreshed our memories with them but also gave us a new perspective of them.

Satyajit Ray is an important figure in the history of Indian cinema as his contributions have not only enriched it but also brought world recognition to it. Some of his famous works like ‘Pather Panchali’, ‘Apur Sansar’ and ‘Aparajito’ won him accolades both in the national as well as international community. Eventually writing becomes his main source of income instead of film-making as he pens numerous short stories and novellas, including the famous Feluda series.

Cherished even today, a large number of Ray’s movies and books have been translated to other languages and continue to enrich the minds of the people. Satyajit Ray has managed to earn his place not only in the pages of history but also the hearts of the people through his talents. Organized through the combined efforts of the students of all three years of the Department of History, the event allowed us to look back on these talents and gave an opportunity to the un-initiated to explore the works of Satyajit Ray.