Google salutes Ray with Pather Panchali doodle

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on May 02, 2013

The doodle showed a famous scene from the movie where Apu, the protagonist, runs along with his sister Durga across the Kash-reed fields to watch a train go by.

The setting is of rural Bengal. Fields are supposed to be plush with the snow white colored 'kassh' flowers (a typical vegetation in Bengal). A small girl along with her younger brother rushes across the fields to watch and wave at a passing train.

A scene etched in the minds of every Bengali and perhaps each and every movie lover across the globe.

This famous shot (with Durga, the girl and Apu, her brother) was from legendary film-maker and Oscar winner Satyajit Ray's first film, now considered a classic, 'Pather Panchali'.

And what better way to mark the birthday of this legendary Bengali than reproduce a part of this classic scene from the multiple award-winning movie?

Search engine major, Google, on Thursday, celebrated Ray's 92nd birth anniversary with a doodle depicting this classic scene of sibling love from Pather Panchali.

According to press release issued by Google, the doodle is a "humble tribute" and a "gesture to say thank you" to Ray.

“Our humble tribute captures a scene from his film Pather Pachali. Visitors on the Google India homepage will be greeted with a rich tapestry of information about Satyajit Ray’s life, popular movies, news, and his images. This is our gesture to say thank you to someone who put soul into his movies, and stirred the minds of many readers through his imminent fiction writings across the world,” Sandeep Menon, Director-Marketing Google India said in a release.

Satyajit Ray, born in 1921, was a director, writer, illustrator, graphic designer and music composer.

His grandfather, Upendrakishore Ray, was a writer, illustrator and publisher. Ray's father Sukumar was a pioneer of Bengali non-sense rhymes (called Abol Tabol) and children's literature.

Pather Panchali (1955) was Satyajit Ray's very first film and a part of the Apu trilogy. The film is followed by two sequels - Apur Sansar (1956) and Aparajito (1959).

Pather Panchali, a Bengali film, is said to have been made by Ray after pawning his wife's jewelry and later a Government grant.

The film, a story of life in rural Bengal as seen through the eyes of its young protagonist Apu and his sister Durga. The movie marked the beginning of not just Satyajit Ray but is said to have put Indian cinema on the world map.

Pather Panchali won 11 awards across different festivals including international ones like Cannes.

Apart from the Apu trilogy, Ray's other other classics include Charulata, Jalsaghar, Nayak, Devi, Mahanagar, Aranyer Din Ratri and Jana Aranya.

His forte extended not just to serious cinema, spanning between rural Bengal to the tryst of urban youth, but to children's films like Goopy Gyne Bagha Byene. The two movies in the 'Goopy-Bagha' series include the adventures of two good-hearted but foolish musicians having no knowledge of music. They are blessed by the king of ghosts to be the 'best musicians ever' and thus begins their journey across fantasy lands/ kingdoms.

His lone Hindi film, Shatranj Ke Khiladi (The Chess Players) is based on an eponymous short story by Munshi Prem Chand.

Ray is credited to have introduced legendary Bengali actors like Soumitra Chatterjee, Dhritmaan Chattopadhyay and Sharmila Tagore. Bengali superstar Uttam Kumar too has worked with the director in movies like Chiriakhana (a crime thriller) and Nayak (The Hero).

As Ray's health started deteriorating he is said to have opted for movies that required less travel and was shot mainly indoors. Some such classics include Ganashatru (Public Enemy) and Shakha Proshakha among others.

A multi-faceted man, Ray is also heralded for his literary work. Ray introduced the legendary Bengali detective Feluda through a series of books, aimed at young adults. He also filmed two of the books, Sonar Kella and Joy Baba Felunath.

Apart from the Feluda series, he even wrote a series of Bengali sci-fi thrillers by introducing the character of Professor Shonku. Shonku was an eccentric scientist who solved several mysteries with the help of science and a variety of futuristic inventions. The adventures of Professor Shonku has till date never been replicated on celluloid.

Ray is also credited with a host of short stories that include thrillers, adventures and ghost stories, all aimed at young adults and children. Most of Ray's writings have been heralded for its sharp narrative and simple writing skills.

Ray won a slew of awards in his illustrious career, including 32 National Awards and an Oscar for lifetime achievement. Many of his films were chosen as India's submission to the Oscars.

Ray breathed his last on April 23.

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Published on May 02, 2013
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