Apu & Durga (Pather Panchali & Aparajito), Kajal (Apur Sansar), Ratan (Postmaster), Mrinmayee (Samapti), Mukul (Sonar Kella), Ruku (Jai Baba Felunath), Pikoo (Pikoo), Dingo (Shakha Proshakha), Satyaki (Agantuk), or the ‘Two’ kids…
Just these characters can continue reminding us for decades to come how brilliant a film maker the Maestro was… It takes a genius to get the best and most natural out of children in cinema, and He did it every single time with each one of them. The characters above have become legendary, not just with their writing, but also with the kind of performances these kids could deliver under the guidance of Ray..
When Kajol asks Apu to take him to his father – you cry! When Ruku fantasizes Captain Spark, you play along! When Dingo tells his grandfather that he knows ‘ek number’ and ‘dui number’, you simply get amazed by Ray’s thinking with these kids! Sheer magician!
And it was limited not just to lead characters. Even if a child had a one off scene in a Ray film (remember the other Mukul in Sonar Kella, or the little pahari boy of Kanchenjunga), they all stole the show even with that!
It is his 98th birthday today, he has left us for more than a quarter century now, but he will continue to live through his cinema and his literature forever… Especially what he did through the kids and for them..
The greatest ever… The Satyajit Ray… Respect & Salutations!