A magical world, Indeed :)

As I was roaming in the library in search of some entertaining book which will amuse me, I found this book – “Goopy Gyne, Bagha byne: The magical world of Upendra Kishore Roy Choudhury”. The author’s name might not ring a bell immedietly. Well, infact, he is Satyajit Ray’s grandfather. The title story, “goopy gyne, bagha byne” was made in to a movie by Satyajit Ray too. I did not see the movie but read about the shooting experiences of this movie in Satyajit Ray’s “making movies” essay series. Hence, seeing the book made me curious about the other stories in the book.

Well, coming to the point, its essentially a book for children. Its full of all those fantasy stories of a kind that one would love to hear as bed-time stories from mom, dad or grand parents. Yeah, I am well past that age.. I am well aware of it.🙂 Nevertheless, I enjoyed whatever was written in there. Perhaps, thats the beauty of this kind of fantasies. Anyone can enjoy them irrespective of the age. Or perhaps, not anyone can do that… if at all one needs that spark of childish innocence left in oneself to enjoy them. The book is a modern day Panchatantra, albeit not a moral-story sort. Primarily the characters are animals, as it is obvious in the “stories of foxes”, “stories of a cat” etc. There are “human” stories too, though.

A distinctive character of all the stories is the element of this sort of comedy … I don’t find a proper name for it now. Lets call it non sensical comedy for timebeing. I had this kind of fascination and awe to whatever is written by the Ray family. Satyajit Ray (the writer only) ofcourse, I explored to the extent possible for me. Sukumar Ray (Satyajit’s father) – I read very little of “abol tabol” through English translation. Over this periods of reading, I noticed that the style of comedy in the grand-father and father was similar. As the days of Satyajit began, a stinge of that kind of comedy stayed back, though his style is a bit different. I perhaps need more observation to validate this, but I believe I am right🙂

Coming back to the book again, yeah, it was a good experience in many ways, reading the book. Firstly, its entertaining and amusing – the two essential things I was looking for at that moment. It helped me understand the background of Satyajit Ray’s writings better. It made me wonder again at the Ray gene🙂 .

Final verdict: Its not something like a must read book for all readers. But, its an enjoyable romance. Due to personal interest in any writing from the Ray family, it sorta became a must read for me🙂

Book Details:
Goopy Gyne, Bagha Byne – the magical world of Upendra Kishore Roy Choudhury.
Translated from Bengali by Swagata Deb
Puffin Books
Rs 199/-

Published in: on November 9, 2008 at 9:57 am  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. సమీక్ష బాగుందండీ.
    “Anyone can enjoy them irrespective of the age. Or perhaps, not anyone can do that…” – రెండూ నిజమేననిపించే గమ్మత్తైన వాక్యం.

  2. Goopy and Bagha were much simpler, and golden-hearted than the other literary creations of Ray- the genius Shanku, the cool Feluda, and Apu. Tapen Chatterjee and Rabi Ghosh were masterful actors with brilliant comic timing, and their chemistry unmatched. With master Ray’s perfect direction in place, Goopy and Bagha captured the essential Bengali character. They would break out of prison by offering the guard a tasty fish and stop wars by raining magical sweets from the heavens.

    I wonder how something so ‘childish’ could have such layers and meanings below their surface. Even today, when I’m depressed I remember Bagha saying- ‘Tumi koro giye chinta. Pet bhore khabo, pran bhore ghurbo’ (Why worries! I’ll eat till my stomach is full. I’ll wander (sing and dance) till my last breath). The sadness we feel today is not just for the passing of a true artist. It marks the end of a magical age when movies were works of art, stories were simple, soul ruled over special effects, and characters stayed in our hearts long after the end credits had rolled. It is hard to digest that for the final time- Goopy will sing no more!

  3. […] Here is a note I wrote (more than 3 years back) on Sukumar Ray’s father Upendra Kishore Roy’s collection of “nonsense” – “The Magical World of Upendra Kishore Roy Choudhury” […]


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