It was on the 70s when Aranyer Din Ratri was released.During that
period we were restless young men -looking out for adventures like
all other young rascals of similar age.Sorry to use the word 'rascal'
but to some extent this is true for young men round the world ! We
were curious & inquisitive to know whatever was happening far and
near or to say- in a simple manner-under the sky.
We used to spend most of our time in Madan Cabin-a local tea shop
run by an ever smiling Madan Babu. This was the place where every
kind of gossips got their priority accordingly.
It was probably a Sunday morning adda that we were having at the
cabin when suddenly Bhoja (a local) came rushing towards us. He
seemed quite exited and within few minutes gave us the information
that he was dying to give ! The information- in short- was that police
raided a nearby Company and sealed it. The company was probably
dealing with illegal baby food and hence the raid. Bhoja gave us the
final news -that a room with a telephone attached -was however kept
open. During those days few had access to a telephone and Bhoja
requested -whoever was interested - to make free telephone call.
Since I had that access at my home , I showed less interest.The
Chemist of that company -however -became friendly with us and
expressed his wish to make a call to Satyajit Ray! In fact he was a
die hard fan of the renowned Director. He insisted me so much that
I finally agreed. There was the Telephone Directory and from that
very book I got the number-knowing the address to be somewhere
near Bishop Lefroy Road-where one of my friends previously visited.
When I finally told the chemist-his name was probably Choudhury-
that I was going to dial that famous number ,he got nervous.I didn't
pay enough attention to know his state of mind and dialed the number.
To my utter surprise it was Satyajit Ray himself who picked up the phone.
After hearing the baritone voice I kept my nerve steady and said that one
of his fans would like to speak . Surprisingly Mr.Ray seemed quiet curious
-probably knowing- that we were young men ! The baritone voice gave the
required permission. After turning towards choudhury I came to know that
he simply vanished. When I was furiously looking for him-Bhoja picked up
the phone and started an irrelevant conversation-that had nothing to do with
Mr Ray.Finally I brought a shaking choudhury and told him to be calm. In
the meanwhile Bhoja has talked a lot of rubbish. I quickly grabbed the phone
and said"Sorry Satyajit Babu for all the mess.Actually the guy willing to speak
got nervous and ran away.I went to bring him back and hence Bhoja-an unedu-
cated local-got the access to talk rubbish with a man of your stature." Mr. Roy
however took the matter in the right spirit and said," Thats ok..tell the guy to ring
me if he could control his nervousness!"
This entire episode happened at Beadon St. North Calcutta.