New Delhi, May 2: It's not all gloom and doom- deaths and destruction- it's also the worship of life and creativity. Saturday is the birth centenary of legend Satyajit Ray. Born on May 2, 1921, Satyajit Ray was a creator par excellence- a filmmaker, screenwriter, music composer, illustrator, lyricist and author- widely regarded as world's one of the greatest film directors of all time. He was born in then Calcutta into a family which was prominent in the fields of arts and culture.
Starting his career as a commercial artist, Ray was drawn into independent film making after meeting French filmmaker Jean Renoir and viewing Vittorio De Siva's 'Bicycle Thieves' (1948) during a visit to London. Ray directed 36 films, including feature films, documentaries and shorts. He authored several short stories and novels, meant primarily for young children and teenagers. 'Feluda,' the sleuth, and Professor Shonku, the scientist in his science fiction stories, are popular fictional characters created by him. Ray's first film, 'Pather Pachali' (1955), won eleven international prizes, including the inaugural Best Human Document award at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival.
The film, along with 'Aparajito' (1956) and 'Apur Sansar' (1959) form The Apu Trilogy. Ray received many major awards in his career, including 32 Indian National Film Awards, a Golden Lion, a Golden Bear, 2 Silver Bears and a number of other awards at international film festivals besides Dada Saheb Phalke award and an Honorary Oscar. The Government of India honoured him with 'Bharat Ratna,' it's the highest civilian award in 1992. Ray, the grandson of versatile genius Upendrakishore Ray Chowdhury and son of famous writer Sukumar Ray, passed away on April 23, 1992. (UNI)