Satyajit Ray, lovingly
called "Manik Da", is arguably one of the two most revered cultural icons
of West Bengal, the other of course being Rabindranath Tagore. This comparison
in itself is a measure of the greatness of the man. He stands as a giant
among the who's who of Indian cinema, yet with a style so unique and individualistic
that he cannot be considered a part of it alone. Indeed, with his influence
on world cinema and the appreciation and recognition he won form his peers
and admirers abroad, one has to take a worldwide perspective when talking
of this multifaceted genius. Ray was not only a director but also
found an outlet for his creative genius in other methods such as writing
Satyajit Ray was born
into a family prominent in Bengali arts and science for several generations.
But it would not be wrong to say that he surpassed them with his own form
of creativity, with even his son, a director in his own right, not
coming close to the heights Ray reached or the worlwide acclaim he garnered.
In western appreciation, Ray is compared to his European counterparts unlike
any other peer in America or Asia, except for Kurosawa in Japan.
So please join me, as I take
you on a short tour of the life and work
of this great Indian artist, my accolade to one who not only made his mark
on the world cultural map but is also responsible for putting India firmly
on it, something all Indians should be proud of.