Sharmila Tagore Recalls the Cinema of Tapan Sinha and the Golden Era of Bengali Films

Shantanu Amitava Sharmila Tagore
(L to R) Shantanu Ray Chaudhuri, Amitava Nag and Sharmila Tagore at the Discussion on Tapan Sinha and the golden era of Bengali Cinema at Kunzum, GK-2, New Delhi

Legendary actor Sharmila Tagore recalled her experiences of working with filmmaker Tapan Sinha at a discussion with author and Silhouette editor Amitava Nag and editor Shantanu Ray Chaudhuri

Legendary actor Sharmila Tagore recalled her experiences of working with master filmmaker Tapan Sinha, whom she fondly addressed as ‘Tapan Kaku’ and her costars of Bengali cinema, at a discussion with author and Silhouette editor Amitava Nag and editor Shantanu Ray Chaudhuri today at an evening dedicated to celebrating the cinema of Tapan Sinha and the golden era of Bengali cinema.

The event was organised jointly by Om Books International, Kunzum Books, Blue Pencil and New Delhi Film Foundation at Kunzum, GK-2, New Delhi. A commemorative poster on Tapan Sinha was released on the occasion and Nirjan Saikate, the Tapan Sinha masterpiece starring Sharmila Tagore was screened.

Sharmila Tagore Tapan Sinha poster release
(L to R) Shantanu Ray Chaudhuri, Amitava Nag, Sharmila Tagore, Ashish K Singh (New Delhi Film Foundation) and Antara Nanda Mondal (Blue Pencil) releasing a commemorative poster of Tapan Sinha

Tapan Sinha was a very learned person, recalled Sharmila Tagore, “very soft spoken, you had to strain your ears to hear him.” Elaborating that Sinha was highly respected for his work across the film industry, Sharmila Tagore mentioned it is not easy to convince someone like Dilip Kumar to go and work in a Bengali-Hindi bilingual film (Sagina Mahato). “He never got angry or raised his voice,” she said.

Sharmila Tagore recalled how Tapan Sinha’s films celebrated humanism and relationships. Giving the example of Nirjan Saikate, Sharmila Tagore said that in this film Sinha shows how the 4 Bengali widows, who have been deprived from all joys of living, suddenly experience liberation when they meet the sea. Amitava Nag added that although it is said no two films of Tapan Sinha are same, the common thread that runs through all of them is the celebration of the human spirit – the refusal of the protagonist to die defeated such as Banchharam (Manoj Mitra) in Banchharamer Bagan and the teacher (Soumitra Chatterjee) in Aatanka.

tapan sinha poster
The poster, courtesy NDFF, released on the occasion

Sharmila Tagore also recalled her fond memories of working with Soumitra Chatterjee, Shubhendu Chatterjee and Rabi Ghosh among others. Films nowadays are not made the way they were made then, money is the benchmark now, she said.

Recalling Soumitra’s portrayal of Mayurbahan in Jhinder Bandi, Shantanu talked about how Soumitra could get under the skin of the character to leave an indelible mark. Sharmila Tagore added that Soumitra would slide into the character when he would start applying the makeup for the shoot. “He always supported me and stood up for me whenever there was any criticism against me,” she said.

Sharmila Tagore and Amitava emphasized that Tapan Sinha, like Ray, was a director who was structured and organized in the way he worked on his projects, keeping within budget and paying his crew in time.

Blue Pencil’s books on cinema and other genres were displayed at the event by Kunzum books.

Watch this space for more reports on the event.

Amitava Shantanu Partho
Amitava Nag with Shantanu Ray Chaudhuri and Partho Mondal posing for the camera with The Cinema of Mrinal Sen: A Quest for the Unresolved, the newly released Blue Pencil publication
Blue Pencil books on display at the event
Blue Pencil books on display at the event

 

Media Coverage of the Event

 

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More Must Read on Silhouette

Tapan Sinha and the Triumvirate of Bengali Cinema

Never Have I Made the Same Kind of Film: An Interview With Tapan Sinha (Part-I)

I’d Never Allow My Mind To Gather The Moss Of Stagnation: An Interview With Tapan Sinha (Part-II)

I Cherish A Thrill For Adventure: An Interview With Tapan Sinha (Part-III)

I Am A Worshipper Of All Things Beautiful: An Interview With Tapan Sinha (Part-IV)

Sharmila Tagore to Speak on Tapan Sinha and Bengali Films

Shamrila Tagore

It is the centenary year of renowned filmmaker Tapan Sinha, “an underrated and often-neglected auteur”, and it is time to revisit his films and their indelible impact. Om Books International, Blue Pencil, Kunzum Books , and New Delhi Film Foundation, have joined hands to host an enlightening evening with legendary actress Sharmila Tagore, who will be discussing the films of Tapan Sinha and the golden era of Bengali cinema with author and film critic Amitava Nag and noted editor Shantanu Ray Chaudhuri. The event will be held in Kunzum, M-Block Market, Greater Kailash-2, New Delhi on 13th March 2024 at 4 pm.

Amitava Nag’s The Cinema of Tapan Sinha, An Introduction book provides a succinct introduction to the cinema of Tapan Sinha and the significant place he holds in Bengali and, indeed, Indian cinema. With characteristic erudition, Nag explores Sinha’s deep roots in the Bengali cultural climate, mainly music and literature, and how they shaped his cinematic storytelling. Read an excerpt from a chapter in the book on Silhouette.

Sharmila Tagore worked with Tapan Sinha in the master’s award-winning film Nirjan Saikate, which will be screened on the occasion.

If one were to wonder what makes cine maestro Tapan Sinha’s films a cut above the rest, it is their sheer simplicity and innocuous manner of storytelling – a straight, uncomplicated narrative structure that slowly grows on you, excellent use of background score that create moods and an unobtrusive technique that stays carefully away from over-dramatisation, relying instead on subtle symbols and immaculate characterisation. His films not only received both critical and popular acclaim, they did well financially and went on to inspire other filmmakers.

Sinha largely drew his story ideas from celebrated literary works or real-life incidents, which is why his characters were so very identifiable. They reacted to situations as any of us would and yet went on to meet challenges in a way that set inspiring examples for others.

Amitava Nag’s books on cinema have chronicled, critiqued and curated various aspects of Bengali cinema. His trilogy on Soumitra Chatterjee comprising Beyond Apu – 20 Favourite Film Roles of Soumitra Chatterjee (HarperCollins India), Murmurs: Silent Steals with Soumitra Chatterjee (Blue Pencil) and Soumitra Chatterjee: His Life in Cinema and Beyond (Speaking Tiger) gives cine lovers rare and deep insights into the life, works and thought processes of the iconic actor. One of his latest books is The Cinema of Mrinal Sen: A Quest for the Unresolved (Blue Pencil).

Amitava Nag has authored several other books on cinema and poetry. Visit his author site here.

Sharmila Tagore on Tapan Sinha & Bengali Cinema Icons | With Amitava Nag & Shantanu Ray Chaudhuri

From the Archives: Sharmila Tagore Remembers Soumitra Chatterjee with Catherine Berge and Amitava Nag – A Blue Pencil Presentation

Read more about Tapan Sinha

Never Have I Made the Same Kind of Film: An Interview With Tapan Sinha (Part-I)

Saluting Indomitable Human Spirit: Tribute to Tapan Sinha

Modes of Storytelling: Tapan Sinha’s Kshudita Pashan (1961)

‘KABIR — An Inward Journey’ by Smita Tiwari — Blue Pencil’s NEW RELEASE!

Kabir an Inward Journey
The author Smita Tiwari showing her book at the Assi Ghat in Varanasi. The ancient city plays a key role in Kabir — An Inward Journey

Greetings, book enthusiasts and literature lovers!

We are thrilled to announce the latest addition to Blue Pencil’s growing library of captivating stories – KABIR — An Inward Journey a debut novel by UAE-based author, Smita Tiwari.

Embark on a Soulful Journey

KABIR – An Inward Journey invites you to delve into the heart of India through the eyes of Kabir, a young wanderer navigating the labyrinth of grief. In this sensitive and touching debut novel, Smita Tiwari intricately weaves a tapestry of emotions, spirituality, and self-discovery that will resonate with readers on a profound level.

kabir smita tiwari
KABIR – An Inward Journey by Smita Tiwari

Synopsis

Set against the backdrop of the mystical land of India, Kabir’s story unfolds like the verses of the renowned Sant Kabir Das. Wrestling with the weight of grief, Kabir is spurred into action, seeking solace and understanding on an introspective odyssey. His journey takes him through the vibrant tapestry of Indian villages, bustling towns, and bustling cities, each step a revelation leading to a deeper connection with the self.

As Kabir grapples with the complexities of life, his path ultimately converges with a celebration of renunciation, acceptance, enlightenment, and the enduring power of love. The pages of this novel are imbued with a profound sense of spirituality, encouraging readers to embark on their own inward journey of self-discovery.

Kabir — An Inward Journey
The author Smita Tiwari (first from left), her two children Ishan and Sanvee (standing behind L to R) with friends and family launching Kabir — An Inward Journey on the steps of the Assi Ghat in Varanasi

About the Author

Smita Tiwari holds a bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering. She worked as a Technical Evangelist in Infosys Limited.

Despite her background in science and a successful career, Smita had always been captivated by literature. She left her full-time job to embrace motherhood and found herself drawn back to writing in her leisure time.

When she lost her father to the pandemic, Smita’s writing found a new purpose — she sublimated her grief in lyrical prose. Her debut work beautifully weaves the universal themes of love and loss and celebrates the enduring connections that define our lives

Her writing is a harmonious blend of sensitivity and depth, crafting a narrative that transcends geographical boundaries and speaks to the universal human experience.

Kabir an Inward Journey
Smita and her husband Vikas Tripathi

Why You Should Dive Into Kabir — An Inward Journey

Unique Perspective: Explore the mystical and diverse landscapes of India through the eyes of Kabir, gaining a unique perspective on life’s profound journey.

Soulful Storytelling: Smita Tiwari’s evocative prose and storytelling prowess create an immersive experience, allowing readers to feel every emotion and revelation.

Spiritual Exploration: Inspired by the timeless verses of Sant Kabir Das, the novel invites readers on a spiritual exploration, encouraging introspection and self-discovery.

KABIR — An Inward Journey is more than just a novel; it’s an invitation to celebrate the intricacies of life, love, and the pursuit of understanding.

Available at Blue Pencil Bookstore | Amazon | Flipkart

Let the pages of KABIR — An Inward Journey unfold before you, as you embark on a journey of the soul, embracing the wisdom and beauty that lies within. Join us in welcoming Smita Tiwari’s debut into the literary world with open arms and an eager heart.

Happy Reading!

Visit the Blue Pencil Store – We help you build your dream book!

Grab Blue Pencil Books at CHAKDAHA BOI MELA, Nadia from Dec 12 to Dec 18!

Grab Blue Pencil Books at CHAKDAHA BOI MELA, Nadia
Grab Blue Pencil Books at CHAKDAHA BOI MELA, Nadia

Hello Book Lovers,

Give us a visit at the Virasat Art Publications stall at the ongoing CHAKDAHA BOI MELA at Lalpur Nabarun Samiti Ground, Chakdaha, Nadia, December 12-18 and grab these amazing Blue Pencil Books.

Running from Dec 12 to Dec 18, the fair promises a vibrant atmosphere for bibliophiles to explore.

Blue Pencil books at Chakdaha Boi Mela, Nadia
Blue Pencil books at Chakdaha Boi Mela, Nadia

Make your way through the bustling fair and seize the opportunity to own these remarkable titles:

Clayfaces by Shiladitya Sarkar

Reflections & Stray Thoughts by HQ Chowdhury

The Unforgettable Music of Hemant Kumar by Manek Premchand

Incomparable Sachin Dev Burman by HQ Chowdhury

Murmurs: Silent Steals with Soumitra Chatterjee by Amitava Nag

Guide, The Film: Perspectives by Lata Jagtiani & Other Writers

The IPL Quiz Book — Revised & Updated Till IPL 2023 by Arinjay Ghosh & Aniket Mishra

Don’t miss the chance to add these gems to your collection.

Grab Blue Pencil Books at Stall No.17 – Viraasat Art, South Kolkata Dhakuria Book Fair 2023!

Hello Book Lovers,

Give us a visit us at Stall No.17, Viraasat Art at the South Kolkata Dhakuria Book Fair 2023.

Located in the Tanupukur Children’s Park, Kolkata, this literary extravaganza is a must-visit for book enthusiasts.

Running from Dec 2 to Dec 9, the fair promises a vibrant atmosphere for bibliophiles to explore.

Make your way through the bustling fair and seize the opportunity to own these remarkable titles:

Clayfaces by Shiladitya Sarkar

Reflections & Stray Thoughts by HQ Chowdhury

The Unforgettable Music of Hemant Kumar by Manek Premchand

Murmurs: Silent Steals with Soumitra Chatterjee by Amitava Nag

Guide, The Film: Perspectives by Lata Jagtiani & Other Writers

The IPL Quiz Book — Revised & Updated Till IPL 2023 by Arinjay Ghosh & Aniket Mishra

Blue Pencil Books at South Kolkata Dhakuria Book Fair 2023
Grab Blue Pencil Books at South Kolkata Dhakuria Book Fair 2023

With just 3 days left, don’t miss the chance to add these gems to your collection. Hurry and join the celebration of literature and culture at Stall No.17.

Dasgupta & Company: India’s Oldest Bookshop

Dasgupta and company

Way back in the late 19th century, while coming on a steamer from Khulna (now in Bangladesh), Girish Chandra Dasgupta, who hailed from the Kalia village in Jessore had shared his dream with his bosom pal, Dr Mahesh Chandra Bhattacharya. ‘College Street is home to Calcutta Medical College, Calcutta University, Presidency College…I have a keen desire to start a bookshop here.’

Dr Mahesh Bhattacharya, who later became the renowned homeopath, said, ‘Go ahead, I will start my practice in the city.’

In 1886, Girish Chandra Dasgupta started Dasgupta & Company with only 34 books in his collection in this very shop situated in what is known famously as College Square – the haven of books.

That humble start became an institution as his son Kshitish Chandra and later Amulya Chandra turned the bookstore into a massive collection frequented by top scholars, educationists, authors, intellectuals and of course, students. The popular belief was that if an Indian or international publication is not available in this bookstore, then it is unlikely to be available anywhere else in India! From the National Library to the top university and college libraries are Dagupta’s customers apart from regular book lovers.

In the picture: the genial, helpful Arabinda Dasgupta, son of Amulya Chandra, at the counter of this 137-year-old 3-storey bookstore which stores some 70,000 odd books!

(Info courtesy: Dasgupta & Co. Private Ltd. College Street, College Square (Phone: 033-22414609 ), Kolkata.
(Pic courtesy: Blue Pencil team)

Blue Pencil’s publications available at Dasgupta and Company include

* Murmurs: Silent Steals with Soumitra Chatterjee
* Incomparable Sachin Dev Burman
* The Unforgettable Music of Hemant Kumar
* Majrooh Sultanpuri: The Poet For All Reasons
* Reflections & Stray Thoughts

Have you got your copy yet? 😊🙏

Shoreless Infinite – An Autobiography

Shoreless Infinite
Ms. Subhashini Kamesh (DIL), Sriraghav Shankar (Son), Dr K.R Venugopal, Ex Vice Chancellor, Bangalore University, M.B.Jayaram, Chairman Emeritus, Public Relations Council of India, Dr Mahantesh G.K., Founder-Managing Director, Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled, Geetha Shankar, Ramendra Kumar and Dr Rajdeep Manwani emcee

Shoreless Infinite, authored by Ms Geetha Shankar, a Communication and L&D professional, was released on December 28, 2022 in Bengaluru, in the presence of distinguished guests like Dr Mahantesh G. Kivadasannavar, Founder Trustee, Samarthanam Trust for the Disabled, Mr M. B. Jayaram, Chairman Emeritus Public Relations Council of India, Dr K.R. Venugopal Former Vice Chancellor of Bangalore University, Mr Ramendra Kumar Award-winning writer and storyteller, Sriraghav Shankar, Founder, Sports Movement, Austin, U.S.A, Ms Subhashini Kamesh, Americas System Quality Manager Apple and Dr Rajdeep Manwani, Ted Ex Speaker.

In her autobiography Shoreless Infinite, Geetha Shankar talks about the four dimensions of an individual and how she journeys taking care of self and inculcating it to the family. The book amplifies the importance of parenting, professional triumphs, balance, life with meaningful relationships and the spiritual discovery leading to bliss. The author cautions not to forget the importance of balance when life becomes busy. She asks us to connect with the Universe and develop a let-go attitude which can usher the Universe to bring infinite abundance to all and evolved consciousness.

Published by : Print and Read – an Imprint of Blue Pencil
Genre : Non-fiction (Autobiography)
Binding : Paperback (5″ x 8″)
Pages : 97 pages
Published : 2022
ISBN: 978-81-956660-2-7

The Canine Chronicles | Excerpt in Telekids

TELEKIDS, The Telegraph’s supplement carried an awesome excerpt of THE CANINE CHRONICLES, written by Ramendra Kumar.🤩  Telekids created some fabulous artwork for the excerpt.

The Canine Chronicles: Love and Laughter in the Times of Corona is the tale of a six-year-old Labrador set in Covid times, told in first person.

Pick up your copy on Blue Pencil or Flipkart or Amazon:
India | USA | UK | Canada | Australia | France | Germany | Spain | Italy | Japan

 

The Canine Chronicles Telekids excerpt 1

The Canine Chronicles Telekids excerpt 1

Murmurs: An Abstract Tapestry That Succeeds in Keeping the Reader Hooked

Noted scholar, film-critic and film-maker Subha Das Mollick previews Amitava Nag’s Murmurs: Silent Steals with Soumitra Chatterjee and finds the book impressionistic which is a must read not only for the admirers of the thespian, but also for admirers of experimental literary work.

MURMURS Soumitra Chatterjee
MURMURS Silent Steals with Soumitra Chatterjee

It is not an easy task to hook the reader with stream of consciousness words, phrases, sentences through 90 pages and 19 chapters. Amitava Nag’s book Murmurs: Moments with Soumitra Chatterjee succeeds in keeping his reader hooked as he weaves an abstract tapestry with fragments of memory around the author’s numerous engagements with Soumitra Chatterjee.

He succeeds in capturing unspoken thoughts, suppressed sighs, internalized monologues of the ageing actor, thespian, poet and painter as he sits in his ‘garage turned into a study – low roof and basic’. Shifting lights and changing season outside blend with the swirling coffee in slow motion as unspoken words hang heavy in the still air inside the room.  As Soumitra copes with his failing health and aching body, he articulates his unfulfilled aspiration, ‘But Amitava, I still would have loved to be a Sir Garfield Sobers’.

Amitava Nag’s impressionistic recounts in Murmurs are intimate and bereft of eulogy. He is neither overwhelmed, nor judgmental. His observant eye catches every fleeting shadow on the actor’s countenance and reads into every turn of his head and torso. Through the nineteen chapters, each of which is a well crafted work of art, Soumitra Chatterjee’s soul is revealed to the readers. A must read not only for the admirers of the thespian, but also for admirers of experimental literary work.

—————

Subha Das Mollick
Subha Das Mollick

Subha Das Mollick is a media teacher and a documentary filmmaker. She has made more than 50 documentary films on a variety of subjects, most of which have been aired on the national television. She had been the head of the Film Studies and Mass Communication Deptt. at the St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata.

MURMURS SILENT STEALS WITH SOUMITRA CHATTERJEE

Click here to read the preview collection of interactions that is set to release as the book Murmurs: Moments with Soumitra Chatterjee by Amitava Nag, on 19th January 2021 to celebrate the legend’s 87th birthday.

Blue Pencil Poetry Chapbook Contest

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