14 : Stories That Inspired Satyajit Ray
Author: Bhaskar Chattopadhyay
9789351361930 | PB | pp. 304 | 2015 | HarperCollins
Fourteen is a collection of short stories which inspired Satyajit Ray. Read about rich zamindars and sages, nobles and other interesting characters which formed food for thought for this renowned film-maker.
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A rich zamindar dreams that his daughter-in-law is an incarnation of goddess Kali; a housewife steps out of her lower middle-class household into the big city to work as a Salesgirl; Goopy and Bagha fight the evil plans of the king of Shundi to rescue the kingdom of Halla; a group of friends run into a self-proclaimed sage who claims to have been friends with Plato, Jesus and Buddha. Nobles at the court of Awadh, the chess addicts Mir and Mirza, move to an undisclosed location to play undisturbed as their kingdom falls around them.
Short stories were the inspiration for fourteen of master film-maker Satyajit Ray’s movies, every one of them a classic —Devi, Jalsaghar and Shatranj Ke Khiladi, among them. Fourteen brings together all of those stories in one volume. These tales, by the likes of Rabindranath Tagore, Tarasankar Bandyopadhyay, Prabhat Kumar Mukhopadhyay, Rajshekhar Basu and Premchand, are milestones in Indian literature–quite apart from their cinematic glory. The anthology also contains two stories by Ray himself–‘Atithi’ and ‘Pikoor Diary’– that illustrate his own craft as a writer. From the dramatic to the starkly real, the humorous to the dark, the lyrical to the prosaic, Fourteen sparkles with narrative brilliance. Read together, these stories also provide us with the context for a new insight into the mind of one of India’s most loved and revered film-makers.
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