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Nemai Ghosh pays a homage to “Satyajit Ray at 70”

Nemai Ghosh has kept tracking the most eminent Satyajit Ray for over the two decades. Nemai imbibed such great qualities like- discipline, sincerity & honesty- from Ray. Throughout his career, these are the qualities which helped him. During the early years, with Utpal Dutt in the Little Theatre Group, Nemai was laid down on the basis for these qualities. Human documentary has always been an area of interest for Nemai, whether it was the interplay of actors on Satyajit Ray's sets, or on stage. In the late 1990s, he embarked on another kind of documentary, a series of portraits of the tribals of Bastar and Kutch, setting them against walls, architecture and other human landscapes. He has enough photographs to put two books together but the project is waiting for a corporate sponsor. "I thought I should freeze-frame them because it won't be long before they are all 'civilised', and no longer look ethnic," says Nemai, who has published four books after “Satyajit Ray at 70”. The latest is Satyajit Ray: A Vision of Cinema, for publisher I B Tauris, with text and captions by Andrew Robinson.Before the book came out, Nemai compiled an album of his photographs in 1986 and wrote to Henri Cartier-Bresson, the famous French photographer, for his seal of approval. Cartier-Bresson invited him to Paris. A year later, he scraped together enough money to buy a ticket and presented himself at the photographer's home. "Here is Ray's photographer," was Cartier-Bresson's greeting. Seated in the huge drawing room at a low table piled with books, Nemai found himself, despite his protests, sipping his first glass of wine. Cartier-Bresson persuaded him to stay a few more days, putting him up at the guesthouse in his apartment building, and introduced his work to Serge Tubiana, editor of Cahiers du Cinema, an influential French film magazine. Tubiana agreed to publish some of his photographs and Nemai flew to London where he met Ray's son Sandip. Sandip telephoned his father with the news and Ray instantly rang up Nemai's wife Shibani. So intense was Nemai’s association with that maestro that one incident must touch you. On April 23, 1992, the filmmaker died, nine days before his 73rd birthday. Nemai was among the hordes of people who came to pay their last respects. Filmmaker Mrinal Sen says it was the first time he saw the photographer without his camera. "I went up to him, gently put my hand on his shoulder, and asked, 'How is it you are not with your camera?'," recalls Sen. "Is it of any use now, Mrinal Da?" replied Nemai. It’s truly a collector’s item with artistic value associated with it, and you have RightBooks.in to accompany you to avail that. Be here at www.rightbooks.in/product_details.asp?pid=9780002160100&Satyajit Ray at 70 to get the copy now.

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