Satyajit Ray’s relevance among his readers has never gone down, across generations. His short stories have never ceased to amaze.
It is now time to explore his works in yet another unexplored medium, a graphic novel. One of Ray’s most powerful short stories, Khagam has been presented in a graphic novel in Bengali.
The brain behind the concept, Shamik Chatterjee, founder of Grinning Tree, feels this is a still less travelled space in the field of Bengali literature.
Filmmaker Sandip Ray, who released the book, said, “Khagam is one of the best short stories written by my father. Thus, when the idea was broached to me, I was thrilled. I was confident that Shamik would do justice in retaining my father’s thought process and creativity, yet give it a new perspective. I hope the graphic novel attracts the new generation to read the works of my father.”
Mr Chatterjee said, “We have tried manual drawing. We discussed the idea in 2019 with Babuda (Sandip Ray). He was very keen. But due to the pandemic break it took four years for this to materialize. We chose Khagam as it has visually appealing elements in it. We had taken a conscious decision not to take any liberties with the story.”
The agency also has the rights of Lucknow-er Duel from Tarini Khuro stories apart from Ratan Babu aar shei Lokta apart from a few others. “It is or effort to increase access to Bengali literature for the younger generation,” Mr Chatterjee said.
Filmmaker Sandip Ray, who is also editor of Sandesh, released a special calendar for 2023, ‘Sandesh 110’ featuring magazine covers designed by the four generations of Ray family, Upendra Kishore, Sukumar, Satyajit and Sandip himself.
The concept and initiative is by Sudipta Chanda of The Dreamers. At the release, a discussion on Sandesh was also held.
Talking about the launch Sudipta Chanda, said, “They are now trying to bring out Sandesh in digital format too, which will help it increase its reader base, which Sandip Ray has expressed to us. We have been bringing out calendars on some special themes such as on Uttam Kumar, on Ray, Soumitra Chatterjee. Last year our theme was Dev Anand. He mentioned help from Genius Kids for the effort.
Mr Chanda swears by the cult Bengali magazine, which completed a Century. This magazine is special. It has introduced us to cult characters like Feluda and Prof Shonku. There have been contributions from Kavi Subhash Mukhopadhyay, Leela Majumdar, so we chose it. This idea was in our minds from before. “The covers we used are rare and not all of them are available. Calligraphy work and presentation, colour combination have been highlighted,” said Mr Chanda.