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F. 5 Patol Babu, Film Star. 1. With your partner answer the following questions: What are your strengths? What is your dream career? I want to become a. Patol Babu was a middle aged man of about fifty years with a film producer, was looking around for an actor for a scene in a film, with looks. BDeBooks offer everybody to download Patol Babu Film Star books for download free and read this book online anytime. Patol Babu Film Star by Satyajit Ray is another short story of Satyajit Ray. Thanks for reading Patol Babu Film Star by Satyajit Ray book’s review.
The clouds had covered the sun, and it was no longer as hot; but still Patol-babu took his coat off. There was no resemblance with the theatre. All right. It was seven minutes past eight on the clock on the Metropolitan Building when Patol-babu reached Esplanade the next morning. The handful of people who did live here had gone off to Faraday House to watch the shooting. I must confess something—I was initially disappointed with my role and dialogue.
Get there by eight — eight-thirty, latest. A passer-by, you see. An absent-minded, bad-tempered pedestrian… by the way, do you have a coat that buttons up all the way to the neck? Why should I come to you if I just needed someone to walk past the camera? I could have just picked someone from the pavement. A dead soldier. I had to lie there with my mouth open and eyes closed. And the rest, as they say, is history. You remember Mr Watts shaking my hand?
And the medal from our municipality chairman Charu Biswas? The fifty-two-year-old Patol-babu suddenly sprang in the air. You remember how Sisir Bhaduri used to leap about while playing Chanakya at seventy? It was seven minutes past eight on the clock on the Metropolitan Building when Patol-babu reached Esplanade the next morning.
Elaborate arrangements were underway in front of the office gate. Three or four cars, one of them quite large — almost the size of a bus — with equipment piled on the roof.
A three-legged black machine stood on the kerb; several people were bustling about.
At the entrance a steel rod had been lain diagonally on a three-legged stand, with something resembling a beehive dangling from it. It was the month of May; the khaki coat buttoned up to the neck felt quite heavy. Patol-babu sensed beads of perspiration on his neck. Patol-babu turned around to find Naresh-babu calling out to him from his position next to a pillar in the portico of the office.
He had confused his name. Not surprising. They had only met once. Sitalakanta Roy.
Though everyone knows me as Patol-babu. Patol-babu took up a position beneath the awning of a paan-shop next to the office. He had never watched a bioscope being shot. It was all new to him. There was no resemblance with the theatre. And how hard these people worked. A young man of twenty-one or twenty-two was carrying the heavy machine around from one spot to another.
It must be at least twenty or twenty-five kilos. But where was his dialogue? He suddenly felt a little nervous. Should he go up to them? Whether the role was minor or major, he would have to prepare if he wanted to play it well. What if he made a fool of himself in the presence of so many people by muffing his lines?
Please be quiet, everyone. Do not talk, do not move, do not approach the camera. A plump man of average appearance standing next to the three-legged machine; something like a pair of binoculars hung from a chain around his neck. Was this the director?
Patol-babu heard a few more cries in succession. Acting in four films at the same time.
Patol-babu rarely went to the bioscope, but he thought he had heard of this Chanchalkumar a couple of times. It was this young man that Koti-babu had been praising the other day. His make-up was rather good. Monotosh aka Chinu from Kanchrapara had similar looks; Chinu used to be terrific in female roles. Thank goodness. He had gathered all the necessary information. He would have been in trouble otherwise if his wife were to ask whom he had acted with and in whose film.
A young man in half sleeves approached. Write it out on a piece of paper, will you? I have to write the dialogue for dadu. The young man named Jyoti handed the red pen in his pocket to Shashanka, who ripped a sheet out of the notebook in his hand, wrote something in it, and gave it to Patol-babu. Patol-babu felt his head reel suddenly. He wished he could take his coat off. The heat was unbearable. Were they mocking him? Was the whole thing a massive joke?
A farce enacted around a harmless, uncomplaining man on the busy streets of a busy city? Could people possibly be so cruel? You think this is nothing?
This is a regular speaking role. Do you know that at least a hundred and fifty people have acted in this film of ours without a speaking role?
They merely walked past the camera. Even today — look at those people standing next to the lamp-post. Even our hero Chanchalkumar has no dialogue today. Now the young man named Jyoti came up to Patol-babu, putting a hand on his shoulder. Chanchalkumar is a senior manager in this office.
In this scene we show him rushing into the office after hearing of a theft. You collide with him — all right? Ignoring you brings out the state of his mind — all right? Do you see how important the whole thing is? Shashanka came up to him again. Can you wait over there now? Patol-babu drifted towards the paan-shop again. Stopping beneath the awning, he threw a sidelong glance at the piece of paper in his hand and then, checking to see whether anyone was watching, crumpled it into a ball and threw it into the drain.
The heat was becoming unbearable. The coat felt like it weighed a tonne. Patol-babu went up to the flight of steps on the other side of the paan-shop and sat on them. Karali-babu played devotional songs at home on Sunday mornings — Patol-babu went regularly. He enjoyed himself there. Should he go? What harm would it do? What use was it wasting Sunday morning in the company of these rotten, shallow people? He would have to bear the burden of the humiliation too if he stayed.
Invaluable advice given to him in a deep, controlled and yet melodious voice: There is no humiliation in playing a minor role. Your achievement as an artist will be in extracting the last possible ounce of feeling from that insignificant role to make it a successful performance.
The theatre is a group activity. The success of the play is built only on the success of each individual. It was Pakrashi-moshai who had given this advice to Patol-babu.
Gagan Pakrashi. An extraordinary actor, Gagan Pakrashi was not in the least bit arrogant. A saintly man, and the finest artiste among artistes. There was one more thing that Pakrashi-moshai used to say. Even those who can pluck it may not know how to peel it. You must know how to pluck the fruit, peel it, squeeze its juice out and serve it to people. Was his role today really meaningless?
He would have to utter just the one word — aah. But could the dialogue be dismissed simply because it was just a single word? Aah, aah, aah, aah — Patol-babu began to recite the word in different ways, with different intonations. As he did, he made a remarkable discovery. That one word, expressed in different ways, could bring out different states of mind.
Patol-babu felt he could write an entire dictionary of that one particular word. Why had he felt so disheartened? This word was an absolute gold mine. A worthy actor could hit the jackpot with this single word.
The director emitted a roar again. Patol-babu discovered Jyoti pushing the crowds away near him. He had something to tell the fellow. Patol-babu strode up to him. Wait another half an hour or so. Without a sound, Patol-babu stole away into a quiet, secluded lane across the road. He was pleased to have some time before the shot. The lane was deserted. Moreover, it was Sunday. The handful of people who did live here had gone off to Faraday House to watch the shooting.
Using his reflection in a glass window, he perfected various aspects of his performance — how much his face would be contorted after the collision, how far his arms would be knocked back and what angle they would assume, how widely the fingers would be splayed, and what the position of his feet would be.
Patol-babu was summoned exactly half an hour later; he was no longer dispirited. In the meantime, shooting of the film started and one scene was shot. Patol Babu could not wait any longer. He went to Naresh Dutt and asked for his dialogues. He was then instructed to go and wait on one side. Patol Babu felt humiliated and let down. He felt the entire Sunday was lost in false anticipation of a good role. A faint memory stirred his mind. Finally, Patol Babu was called after an hour.
Patol Babu suggested to the director that the scene would look more realistic, if the collision took place while he had his eyes on the newspaper. A newspaper was immediately arranged. Patol Babu was extremely happy and felt proud of himself that his acting skills had not faded with time. He knew he would be paid, it would be a very small amount. He needed the money badly. But could twenty rupees measure against the intense satisfaction of doing a job perfectly.
Ten minutes later, Naresh Dutt was surprised to find Patol babu missing, without collecting his remuneration.
Next minute all that was forgotten and camera started rolling for another shot.
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