KOLKATA: Since his debut film Pather Panchali' hit the screens in 1955, Satyajit Ray has been in the spotlight. Cine buffs have not only viewed and analyzed his works, his personal life has also been meticulously scanned to understand his enigmatic personality.
Eighteen years after Ray died, one would believe that there is hardly anything left to unravel about the genius. But the assumption proved wrong on Saturday when members of the maestro's cast and crew, Ray aficionados, students and Ray fans were stumped time and again at a quiz on the multi-faceted personality.
Conceived and organized by Ekhon Satyajit editor Somnath Ray in association with Eisenstein Cine Club, the 8th Ray Quiz threw up many a surprise. Some questions had even Sandip Ray, thespian Bibhas Chakraborty, cinematographer Soumendu Ray and actors Barun Chandra and Pradip Mukhopadhyay groping for answers. Barun Chandra, who played the lead role in Seemabaddha', was felicitated at the event.
"Which Ray film had the maximum number of stars?" was one of the questions in the final round that had the audience including Ray's inner circle dubbed the grand jury' at the show engage in a passionate debate. "Paras Pathar," answered the Jadavpur University mass communication team comprising Shankhamala Ray and Nilorona Chakraborty. The answer was adjudged correct though Ray experts wondered if Shakha Prasakha' or Kanchenjungha' should have been the answer.
Another question that triggered heated discussions was: "Which is the first Ray film that did not have a conventional heroine?" The answer adjudged correct was Aparajito' though many wondered why it wasn't Pather Panchali'.
A clip from Agantuk' showing Mamata Shankar singing Bajilo Kaharo Bina' was followed by the question: "Who sang the song?" There was complete silence in the auditorium. "That is a tough one," Bibhas Chakraborty was heard whispering to Sandip Ray. The latter nodded in agreement. "That is too tough a question for college kids," muttered Pradip Mukhopadhyay who had acted in Jana Aranya'.
"Ruma Guhathakurta's daughter Sromona," answered the JU mass comm team. "Absolutely right!" said the quiz master as the audience clapped and cheered. The duo finally won the quiz, edging out the JU economics team by 10 points. The CU mass comm team finishes third.
Though the organizers had received confirmation from at least 18 teams from CU, JU, Vidyasagar University, Burdwan University, Gurudas College and Asutosh College, less than 100 had turned up. With the city still simmering over Thursday's campus violence, many gave the event the miss.