Sukumar Ray

Synopsis: The life and work of the writer Sukumar Ray, Satyajit Ray's father. Ray made this film as a tribute to celebrate the centenary of his birth. The film comprises still photographs and readings from Sukumar Ray's writings.
29 min

The Government of West Bengal and

Satyajit Ray Productions Present.


Saumitra Chatterjee, Utpal Dutt,

Santosh Dutt & others.

Barun Raha,

Ashok Bose; Editing: Dulal Dutt.

Saumitra Chattopadhyay

Anup Ghoshal & Chorus.

Screenplay, Music & Direction:

Satyajit Ray.

There are few Bengalis

unfamiliar with these pictures.

They are from two wonderful books

and a great short story.

The books are 'Abol Tabol' (The Ridiculous)

and 'Haw-Jaw-Baw-Raw-Law' (Absurdity)

and the story

'The Diary of Heshoram the Clever'

The Author:
Sukumar Ray

He was born 100 years ago.

His father was

Upendra Kishore Ray Chowdhury.

Upendra was the adopted son of

Hari Krishna Roy Chowdhury.

Before adoption he was known as Kamada

Ranjan and was the Second of 5 brothers.

The brothers were all gifted.

They were Sharada Ranjan, then Kamada Ranjan (Upendra)

followed by Muktida Ranjan, Kulada Ranjan & Pramada Ranjan.

Sarada Ranjan taught Mathematics & Sanskrit

His books were used as Textbooks.

He was the principal of Metropolitan College

and the best known cricketer of his time.

Upendra was a noted printer and publisher

He was also a painter, a scientist...

a writer of children's fiction

and a musician.

He was the only Indian to regulalrly publish

in 'Penrose Annual' - on printing technology.

Mukti Ranjan, also a mathematician and a

sportsman, also taught in Metropolitan College.

Kulada Ranjan also played Cricket

and was known for his translations...

of children's classics

from around the world.

Pramada Ranjan served in the office

of the Surveyor General of India.

He wrote about his experiences in a book

called 'Baner Khabar' - Jungle Stories.

Of the 5 brothers 2 were traditional Hindus Upendra,

Kulada and Pramada belonged to the reformist BRAHMO SAMAJ.

Despite the social boycott of the Brahmo Samaj The

relations between the brothers was always cordial.

Upendra Kishore married Bidhumukhi, the

daughter of a leading Brahmo Samaj member

and started living at

13, Cornwallis Street in Calcutta.

They had six children

The second was Sukumar Ray.

Sukumar graduated with Honours in both Physics

and Chemistry from Presidency College Calcutta.

When in College Sukumar established

a group called Nonsense Club.

They published a handwritten magazine on humour

called the "Thity two and a half fries".

It was here that he published

his first humourous poetry

and his famous nonsenseplay

'Jhala Pala' (Cacophony)

Here is a sequencefrom Jhalapala: Asked to

explain the meaning of 'I go up, we go down'

The teacher says: I stands for the 'eye' go = cow (Bengali

phonetic equivalent) Up means water (Bengali phonetic equivalent)

so 'I go up' means "The cow's eyes

water" or "the cow is crying"

the next part tells us why.

"We go down."

We means termites

(Bengali phonetic equivalent)

and 'go down' means godown or a warehouse.

So 'I Go UP, We Go Down' means The cow is crying

because termites have destroyed the warehouse.

Another play was 'Laxmaner Shaktishel' (The magic

spear of Laxman) a spoof based on the Ramayan.

Rama and his army have invaded Lanka

the kingdom of Ravana the powerful king.

They are about to meet

Ravana in the field of battle.

Last night I had a beautiful dream.

I dreamt that Ravana had climbed a tree.

He climbed to the top, his foot slipped

and he fell to the ground unconscious.

Then Ravana must be really dead

The king's dream cannot be wrong

cannot be - will not be - can never be.

I told Hanuman to

throw the body in the sea.

Hanuman said it was unnecessary

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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