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Brearley and Moore meet Apu!!!!

As Vivek rightly said, our blogs are becoming chronicles of our boredom and redundancy. Moving on, watched Satyajit Ray’s ‘Apur Sansar’ yesterday, courtesy the Satyajit Ray tribute that’s playing this entire month on Zee Studio. The movie is based on the novel ’Aparijito’ by Bibithibushan Bandhopadhyay. The protagonist Apur played in a docile manner by Soumitra Chatterjee is a typical jhola doting intellectual, who manages to eke out a living, doing odd jobs, such as writing in literary journals, taking tuition classes etc. He has an acquaintance Pulu, who satiates his desire for literature by gifting him Lawrence, Keats, Dostoevsky etc.

On a lark, he visits Pulu’s village as a welcome relief from the vagaries of city life and the incessant pressure from his land lord. Things take an abrupt turn while he is in Khulna. Pulu’s cousin Aparna (played by a demure debutant, Sharmila Tagore) is to get wedded. On the day of the wedding, it transpires that the groom is actually a lunatic and the alliance is abruptly broken. In order to salvage the pride of the family, Pulu propositions Apur with the prospect of marrying Aparna. Apur is initially disbelieving, but later gives in.

The travails of the newly married couple in Calcutta lend itself to some humorous moments in the film. However, the idyllic life is shattered, when Aparna dies at childbirth. This event completely transforms Apu. He is shell shocked, and becomes a loner giving up the quest of publishing his novel, and also disowning his son, Kajal. Subsequently, we see Kajal being mischievous and playing pranks on the village folk. Theses scenes are very reminiscent of Durga’s childhood (Apu’s sister), as portrayed in Pather Panchali.

The film ends on a note of reconciliation, with Kajal willing to befriend his father after the initial animosity shown towards him. As the title of this blog indicates, the evening after watching the movie, progressed into an extended reading session of Alan Moore’s seminal masterpiece ‘From Hell’. This book gives me an intellectual high and I prefer reading it in snatches, to savor the experience. I also commenced Mike Brearley’s ‘The Art of Captaincy’ which has an interesting foreword by Sam Mendes (of American Beauty fame). The initial bits are interesting, with the Ashes experiences of the 70’s and 80’s being the centre stage for Brearley to show his acumen. Will probably post a long review shortly.

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