What is the life story of Satyajit Ray?

A gifted filmmaker and storyteller, an artist and editor of a children’s magazine, Satyajit Ray wore many hats. But one thing that stood out the most was his love for children and his ability to capture the simple joys of childhood in his works.

The young Apu and his sister Durga from “Pather Panchali” watching a train for the first time; relishing the making of a mango pickle, and attending folk theatre as they lead a simple, rustic life come to mind. The fantastic inventions of the mad scientist Professor Shonku and the Holmes-like Feluda with his trusted sidekicks Topshe and Jatayu never fail to resonate with children.

Who was Satyajit Ray?

Born on May 2, 1921 in an illustrious family in Kolkata, Ray’s great grandfather was Upendrakishore Ray Chowdhury and his father was Sukumar Ray, one of the stalwarts of Bengali literature. Unfortunately, Sukumar passed away when Ray was just two and a half years old. Once, a young Ray met Rabindranath Tagore in Santiniketan and asked for his autograph in his cherished violet coloured notebook. Much to Ray’s delight, not only did Tagore sign his initials, but also wrote a few lines and told him to read it once he grew up. This is what he wrote: “For many a year, I have travelled many a mile to lands far away, I have gone to see the mountains, the oceans. I have been to view. But I failed to see that lay not two steps from my home. On a sheaf of a paddy grain – a glistening drop of dew.” (translation taken from the book “Satyajit Ray in 100 Anecdotes by Arthi Muthanna Singh and Mamta Nainy.”)

Cinemascope

Before he became a filmmaker, Ray worked as a commercial artist. India’s first and only Oscar-winning director, Ray was inspired to become an independent filmmaker after meeting French filmmaker Jean Renoir and watching Vittorio De Sica’s Italian neorealist 1949 film “Bicycle Thieves” in London.

In his long career, Ray directed more than 36 films, including “Pather Panchali” (Song of the Road), which retold Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay’s iconic 1929 novel of the same name. the film won 11 international prizes, including Best Human Documentary at the Cannes Film Festival and an honorary Academy Award in 1992. In the same year, Ray was honoured with the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, by the Government of India.

Feluda

Ray’s unbridled imagination and sensitivity is reflected in his short stories and novels for children and adolescents. Ray’s popular “Feluda” series follows the private investigator as he solves complex mysteries using his sharp observational skills. The character made his debut in a crime thriller written by Ray for the Bengali children’s magazine Sandesh in 1965. Over the years, a total of 35 stories in the “Feluda” series were published. Ray even adapted the series to the silver screen, with noted actor Soumitra Chatterjee playing the young and charismatic sleuth.

Shonku and more

Ray also wrote science fiction for kids. His “Professor Shonku” series revolves around a scientist, who makes fantastic inventions in his laboratory. From El Dorado to the prehistoric caves of France to the Nilgiris and the Himalayas, Shonku goes on adventures to different countries and imaginary places.

Another of Ray’s cherished works is the “Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne” series based on his grandfather’s book of the same name. a socio-political satire, Ray weaves a magical tale of the village simpletons Goopy and Bagha. The series is packed with magic, rhyming dialogues, catchy songs, lively dances, and even ghosts (Bhooter Raja).

What’s in store?

  • “Another Dozen Stories”, a collection of 12 magical, bizarre and spooky stories for children written by Ry, has been translated from Bengali to English by Indrani Majumdar and will be out on May2. Sharmila Tagore has written the foreword.
  • Penguin India is also coming up with “3 Rays: Stories from Satyajit Ray”, a collection of previously unpublished autobiographical writings, stories, poems, illustrations, fiction and non-fiction. The book is expected to be out on May 10.

Oh really?

  • Besides filmmaking and writing, Ray had a deep love for typography. He designed the calligraphy in the opening titles for all his films and was credited with contributing several fonts to the Bengali and English language including Ray Roman, Ray Bizarre, Daphnis and Holiday Script.
  • After Ray, his son Sandip and other renowned filmmakers have kept the “Feluda” series alive. Even, Bollywood actor Shashi Kapoor played Feluda in a television series “Kissa Kathmandu Ka” in 1986 for Doordarshan.

Picture Credit : Google

What is the life story of Bard of Avon?

Can you imagine what it would be like if the mighty Iron Man starts spewing Shakespeare's sonnets? Or if Hulk and Captain America face each other in a Shakespearean duel with swords? Well, you won't have to wait too long to find out.

The superhero films are all set to be presented in a new avatar with a classical twist. Marvel Studios along with Quirk Books will be releasing The Avengers", "Avengers: Age of Ultron", "Avengers: Infinity War, and "Avengers: Endgame" in the form of Shakespearean plays. Titled "William Shakespeare's Avengers: The Complete Works, the plays will be released on September 28.

Immersing Marvel's favourite team of superheroes into a Shakespearean world isn't as far-fetched as it may sound. In fact, viewers got a taste of it in the very first "Avenger" film in 2012 when Tony Stark aka Iron Man encounters the God of Thunder for the first time. Looking at Thor's medieval clothes, Stark jests about indulging in some Shakespeare in the park. "Doth Mother know you weareath her drapes?" Stark famously asks Thor.

And it was actually this scene that inspired Marvel to come up with the unconventional collaboration. The studio wondered what would have happened if the most epic cinematic franchise of all time had been penned by the greatest playwright of all time?

What's in store

According to the Marvel website, "William Shakespeare's Avengers: The Complete Works" reimagines all four films as plays by the Bard of Avon, complete with authentic metre and verse, stage directions, and entertaining Easter eggs. Fans will also experience their favourite scenes, characters, and lines in a new way, through monologues and dialogue by everyone from Captain America to Groot (Tis !!).

Written by lan Doescher, the author of "William Shakespeare's Star Wars", the book will feature a two column layout and dozens of full-colour illustrations capturing the iconic moments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Who was William Shakespeare?

Born on April 23, 1564 Shakespeare was the son of a glove maker in Stratford upon-Avon. A small-town boy with only secondary school education, he grew up to become the greatest English-language playwright in the world. Love him or hate him, you just cannot ignore Shakespeare. His works have been admired by the world for hundreds of years and are part of the school curriculum.

And even though, the young minds might struggle to comprehend his Victorian English, Shakespeare's stories continue to move us and remain relevant even today.

His life and achievements

Shakespeare had a successful career in London as an actor. writer. He was also part-owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later known as the King's Men.

Shakespeare produced most of his known works between 1589 and 1613. His early plays were primarily comedies and histories. He devoted the latter half of his career to writing tragedies. Some of his notable works are "Hamlet" "Romeo and Juliet "Othello", "King Lear and "Macbeth". In the last phase of his life, he wrote tragicomedies.

A man of mystery

For a man who was so prolific with his pen.

Shakespeare did not leave much evidence of his life. No one knows for sure whether Shakespeare is one person or a group of writers using the name collectively. Nobody even knows if that's how Shakespeare spelled his name: the only surviving examples of his handwriting are six signatures spelled in different ways. He is believed to have died at the age of 52 on April 23 1616.

OH REALLY?

  • Shakespeare wrote around 37 plays for the theatre and over 150 poems! But the exact number is unknown.
  • In the latter part of the 16th Century, Shakespeare disappeared from records for a few years! Historians often refer to this part of the writers life as the lost years.
  • Plays in Shakespeare's time were different from the ones we have today. There were no female actors. If the audiences didn't like the performance, they would boo and even throw food at the actors.

Picture Credit : Google

What is the life story of Bard of Avon?



Can you imagine what it would be like if the mighty Iron Man starts spewing Shakespeare's sonnets? Or if Hulk and Captain America face each other in a Shakespearean duel with swords? Well, you won't have to wait too long to find out.



The superhero films are all set to be presented in a new avatar with a classical twist. Marvel Studios along with Quirk Books will be releasing The Avengers", "Avengers: Age of Ultron", "Avengers: Infinity War, and "Avengers: Endgame" in the form of Shakespearean plays. Titled "William Shakespeare's Avengers: The Complete Works, the plays will be released on September 28.



Immersing Marvel's favourite team of superheroes into a Shakespearean world isn't as far-fetched as it may sound. In fact, viewers got a taste of it in the very first "Avenger" film in 2012 when Tony Stark aka Iron Man encounters the God of Thunder for the first time. Looking at Thor's medieval clothes, Stark jests about indulging in some Shakespeare in the park. "Doth Mother know you weareath her drapes?" Stark famously asks Thor.



And it was actually this scene that inspired Marvel to come up with the unconventional collaboration. The studio wondered what would have happened if the most epic cinematic franchise of all time had been penned by the greatest playwright of all time?



What's in store



According to the Marvel website, "William Shakespeare's Avengers: The Complete Works" reimagines all four films as plays by the Bard of Avon, complete with authentic metre and verse, stage directions, and entertaining Easter eggs. Fans will also experience their favourite scenes, characters, and lines in a new way, through monologues and dialogue by everyone from Captain America to Groot (Tis !!).



Written by lan Doescher, the author of "William Shakespeare's Star Wars", the book will feature a two column layout and dozens of full-colour illustrations capturing the iconic moments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.



Who was William Shakespeare?



Born on April 23, 1564 Shakespeare was the son of a glove maker in Stratford upon-Avon. A small-town boy with only secondary school education, he grew up to become the greatest English-language playwright in the world. Love him or hate him, you just cannot ignore Shakespeare. His works have been admired by the world for hundreds of years and are part of the school curriculum.



And even though, the young minds might struggle to comprehend his Victorian English, Shakespeare's stories continue to move us and remain relevant even today.



His life and achievements



Shakespeare had a successful career in London as an actor. writer. He was also part-owner of a playing company called the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later known as the King's Men.



Shakespeare produced most of his known works between 1589 and 1613. His early plays were primarily comedies and histories. He devoted the latter half of his career to writing tragedies. Some of his notable works are "Hamlet" "Romeo and Juliet "Othello", "King Lear and "Macbeth". In the last phase of his life, he wrote tragicomedies.



A man of mystery



For a man who was so prolific with his pen.



Shakespeare did not leave much evidence of his life. No one knows for sure whether Shakespeare is one person or a group of writers using the name collectively. Nobody even knows if that's how Shakespeare spelled his name: the only surviving examples of his handwriting are six signatures spelled in different ways. He is believed to have died at the age of 52 on April 23 1616.



OH REALLY?




  • Shakespeare wrote around 37 plays for the theatre and over 150 poems! But the exact number is unknown.

  • In the latter part of the 16th Century, Shakespeare disappeared from records for a few years! Historians often refer to this part of the writers life as the lost years.

  • Plays in Shakespeare's time were different from the ones we have today. There were no female actors. If the audiences didn't like the performance, they would boo and even throw food at the actors.



 



Picture Credit : Google


What is the life story of Charles Addams?



Who was Charles Addams?



Growing up in the shadow of World War I. Addams found humour in the darkest of places-death. Born in New Jersey on January 7, 1917, his parents encouraged him to channel his creativity into doodles. One of his first jobs involved retouching photos of corpses that appeared in a detective magazine. It helped him come to terms with death and inspired, his macabre cartoons, which were later published in The New Yorker magazine under the pseudonym Chas Addams.



In over a five-decade-long career, Addams contributed over 1,300 cartoons, with at least 80 of them featuring reccurring gothic mysterious and spooky characters, Gomez Morticia, Wednesday, Pugsley, and Fester, who came to be known as "The Addams Family".



Getting started



At the age of 12, Addams faced his first rejection. He was told that he was not talented by a New York Herald newspaper cartoonist. Instead of feeling disappointed, Addams spurred into action and enrolled at a prestigious art school. In just one year, Addams sold his first drawing, a sketch of a window washer, to The New Yorker. It was published on February 6, 1932. Within a few years, he became a regular contributor to the magazine. And from 1938 till his death on September 29, 1988, the magazine published 'The Addams Family" series regularly.



The franchise and adaptations



What began as a humble monochromatic cartoon strip in The New Yorker turned into a giant franchise after the series was adapted for television by producer David Levy. However, Addams kept his distance from "The Addams Family" television series. He only decided on the characters' names and descriptions. The series ran on ABC for two seasons, from 1964 to 1966, and gained global attention.



Intrigued by the popularity of the series, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera introduced an animated version of the Addams Family characters as guests in an episode of the "Scooby Doo" series. The episode titled, "Scooby-Doo Meets the Addams Family", first aired on television on September 23, 1972. The characters were drawn to the exact specifications of the original Addams cartoons. And the fans loved them so much that Hanna-Barbera created their own animated show featuring the beloved characters.



Considering the enduring appeal of the Addams Family, Netflix has announced a live-action TV series adaptation to be based around the character of Wednesday Addams. With the legendary director Tim Burton at its helm, the series will follow Wednesday as she solves mysteries using her psychic ability.



DID YOU KNOW?




  • In 1961, Charles Addams received a Special Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America.

  • Addams loved collecting armour and arms, as well as tinkering with cars.

  • Keeping with his dark sense of humour, Addams married his third and final wife, Marilyn Matthews Miller in a pet cemetery. And their home in Sagaponack, New York was called "The Swamp".



OH REALLY?




  • Addams was friends with author Ray Bradbury. In fact, the duo were planning to collaborate on a project. But Addams died before it could materialize.

  • Filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock too was a friend of Addams, and owned two pieces of original Addams art.

  • The University of Pennsylvania has a Charles Addams Fine Arts Hall on its campus at 36th and Walnut Streets in Philadelphia. There is a small sculpture of the Addams Family in front of the building.



 



Picture Credit : Google


What is the life story of Beverly Cleary?



Have you met the residents of the Klickitat Street? Henry Huggins and his neighbours Ellen Tebbits, Otis Spofford, Beatrice "Beezus" Quimby and her younger sister. Ramona made their way into the hearts of children across the world through the writings of the beloved children's author Beverly Cleary. But did you know that there is a real Klickitat Street in Portland, Oregon, in the U.S.? Or that Cleary spent most of her childhood there? Read on to find out...



Who was Beverly Cleary?



Born in 1916 on a farm in Yamhill, Cleary moved to Portland as a child. She lived on the 37th Street, also known as the Klickitat Street. Both the street and the people in her neighbourhood left a strong impression on Cleary's mind. A school assignment in Class VII kindled her love for writing.



Unlike most women then, Cleary was determined to attend college and stand on her feet. She even moved to South California with her aunt and uncle because California's colleges were free to its residents. Cleary earned a degree in English from the prestigious UC Berkeley and librarianship from the University of Washington.



Half a century of children's books



Working as a librarian, Cleary started writing in her 30s. Her first, "Henry Huggins" was published in 1950. Cleary received $500 for the book and there was no looking back after that. In a career spanning over 50 years, Cleary came up with many children's classics including the “The Mouse and the Motorcycle" trilogy, which is centred around rodents and motorbikes. Among the "Henry" titles were "Henry and Ribs," "Henry and the Paper Route" and "Henry and Beezus." Her last book, "Ramona's World", released in 1999.



Beverly and Ramona



Of all her creations, Ramona is perhaps the best-known. Ramona made her debut in "Henry Huggins", but became so popular that she inspired her own spin-offs. In all there were eight Ramona books, including "Beezus and Ramona", "Ramona the Pest and "Ramona and Her Father." In 1981, "Ramona and Her Mother” won the National Book Award.



Twilight years



Although Cleary took a break from writing towards the end of her career, three of her books were re-released on popular demand. And to make them even more special, they contain forewords by three of her famous fans-Judy Blume, Kate DiCamillo and actress Amy Poehler.



Cleary breathed her last on March 25, 2021, at the age of 104.



OH REALLY?




  • The Beverly Cleary Sculpture Garden in her hometown is dedicated to the beloved children's author. Artist Lee Hunt has created sculpted figures of some of Cleary's characters, while quotes from her famous books are engraved on the granite slabs in the garden.

  • Out of all the magical books she wrote, only her "Ralph Mouse" series has been adapted to the silver screen.

  • Cleary has written two memoirs "A Girl From Yamhill" and "My Own Two Feet” in which she discusses her life candidly.



 



Picture Credit : Google