Recalling his association with Satyajit Ray, actor-director Tinnu Anand has said he still preserves the seven-page synopsis of the 1968 classic 'Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne' (GGBB), which had been personally typed by the film maestro for him as an assistant director of the film.
Anand was speaking on the 50th year of the making of the timeless children's fantasy at a session of the Kolkata Literature Festival.
"Nowadays when I feel lonely, down I touch these papers and can feel his presence. The papers were carefully typed by Manik-da (as Ray was called by friends) himself to help me have an idea about the story of 'Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne'. Ray handed over the papers to me when I first met him on an early winter morning in the film's pre-production days," Anand told the audience here Friday.
He said he was a young, aspiring director at that time but Ray had woke up at 4:30 AM on that day to personally type those seven pages for him.
Anand remembered that when he reached the 'Pather Panchali' director's Lake Temple Road residence, the legendary director himself opened the door and led him to the drawing room.
Recalling the shooting experience of the GGBB, Anand said, "I was tasked with directing camel owners in Rajasthan to take the animals in a procession in their dialect during an outdoor shoot. I had a fair idea of the dialect since I spent years there during my student days."
He said he gained Ray's trust on that day and he assisted him in the next five films.
"It was the best time, the most wonderful phase of my career," said Anand, who had also assisted Ray in 'Aranayer Din Ratri', 'Seemabaddha' and three other films.
Ray's director son Sandip, also present at the session, said the GGBB would have been shelved as the first producer backed out after hunting for location was over and Poornima Dutta of Piyali Films came forward to support the project.
"The rest is history as the film ran for 33 weeks in Bengali cinema chain Minar-Bijali-Chhabighar and for four weeks in Globe with English subtitles. The film was loved by the audience so much with word of mouth publicity despite some negative campaigning by some quarters," Sandip said.
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