Apu

Written for Friday Fictioneers. Friday Fictioneers is a Flash fiction community curated by the wonderful Rochelle Wisoff. You can read and add yours by clicking here. In response to the photo prompt by Jellico’s Stationhouse here’s…

Apu

“They were showing Apur Sangshar on the TV. What a movie! They don’t make them like that anymore.”

Subir Banerjee nods absent-mindedly. Talking about cinema makes him uncomfortable.

“Look kid you just run towards the train track, halt and look back and run again. OK?”

After office he buys groceries for dinner (Fish curry for one) and uncharacteristically a magazine. It has his photo on its cover.

“Today, no one knows your son or me. But one day all of Bengal will know both of us.”

Subir remembers the young Director telling his father and he starts to laugh uncontrollably.

*

During the pre-production of Pather Panchali, Satyajit Ray advertised in newspapers seeking boys between five and seven years of age for the role of Apu. Several boys arrived for audition, but none of them met the expectation of the director. Finally, Ray’s wife Bijoya Ray spotted a boy playing on the pp10roof of a neighbouring building of their
apartment. This boy, Subir Banerjee,

was eventually cast for the role of Apu. Banerjee did not appear in any film after Pather Panchali.  He disappeared from the public eye. According to a report in NDTV, Banerjee became a clerk at a central government office, and later took voluntary retirement ( source WikipediA). Pather Panchali is considered one of the greatest films ever made and is the first of Satayjit Ray’s Apu Trilogy. The prompt reminded me of Vittorio Di Sica’s Bicycle Thieves which was one of the movies that influenced Ray.

*

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19 thoughts on “Apu

  1. Thank you, Tamal. I really enjoyed your story, and the history lesson. The little boy reminds me so much of the little boy who played Mowgli in the old b/w movie “Jungle book”… the one before Disney destroyed it.

    Liked by 1 person

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