Birth Anniversary: Last night Satyajit Ray came in my dream

These days, I don't know whether I'm more afraid of being among living people during the day or of the people and life that attack me in my dreams. Most of my dreams are sometimes so dangerous and strange that... - Ali Peter John

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Last night Satyajit Ray came in my dream
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These days, I don't know whether I'm more afraid of being among living people during the day or of the people and life that attack me in my dreams. Most of my dreams are sometimes so dangerous and strange that I don't talk about them because I don't want to ruin the life and beautiful dreams there. But there are some dreams which are very sweet and pleasant and there are some which are a way out of this world.

I have just woken up after having a very long dream about Satyajit Ray (my dreams are rarely short, they just go on and on and I have to wake up sometimes in the middle of the night to 'kill' my dreams and when I try to go back to sleep, the dream continues exactly where I left it off)

Now, what was the need for Satyajit Ray to come in a long dream, which I dreamed of last night?


I saw an old and tall man sitting on the steps of my school, whom I had left 55 years ago. He was wearing a silk dhoti and a flowing kurta, covering himself with a shawl.
The boys and girls of the school had surrounded him and were treating him like a madman. I passed by and saw him and found a very close resemblance to the great Satyajit Ray. I saw Ray only once at Rajkamal Studio, where he and other well-known filmmakers like Raj Kapoor, Tapan Sinha, Mrinal Sen, and Manoj Kumar had come to record the background music along with Mangesh Desai, the sound recording talent. I never had the opportunity to talk to him, but I did hear him speak at an event at FTII and I can still feel and remember the sound of his voice and even the words of advice he gave to students.
I tried to talk to him and he turned out to be Satyajit Ray himself. I couldn't believe it, but in my dreams, it was Satyajit Ray who had just grown up and had gray hair.

I asked him why he was sitting there and he said in the same voice he had when he was alive, he said he was very upset with the quality of films being made in India, and said I don't feel like I was standing on Indian film land. it feels like any other film land. He wanted to warn today's filmmakers that if Indian cinema is to be saved then they should change their ways. 'But who will listen to an old man like me now when my generation never tried to understand me?' And he said, 'I was only showing the reality of my country so that people would know where the country stood and how it was high time they did something to change the conditions of the country in the country that was once known as that country, where all the great arts and sciences had their origin', he said as his rich voice now began to tremble.
He said that he is very happy to see how Indian cinema is progressing in technology, but he said that it was very important to find content to progress somehow and he continued to say that then the body of work would be more the soul in our films was revealed today.


He was heavily suspected to have a cough and when he was better, he said that he had great respect for Hindi film stars, especially Sanjeev Kumar, Amjad Khan, Shabana Azmi, and Amitabh Bachchan.

He told me how he had waited for several months for Amjad Khan to recover after the accident because he could not even think of making his first Hindi film 'Shatranj Khiladi' without Amjad Khan, about whom He believed he was one of the most neglected talents of India.
He talked about his meeting with the young Amitabh Bachchan and was very impressed not only by his voice but by his entire personality he told Amitabh to be very careful while choosing his role and that he would become a great actor one day. 

I remember Amitabh talking to me about his meeting with Ray and how he was considered to have the richest voice, he was very fond of Ray's voice and his lifestyle especially his penchant for Indian classical music and Western music. He had done the voiceover for Shatranj Khiladi and dreamed of working with him as an actor one day and how that dream never came true.


My dream continued and I could see that old Ray was now looking like a sage or a monk or like Moss's Ten Commandments and looked troubled as he talked about most directors who have hearts and minds. A place to make good films. 'They have to change, this is the message I have come to give today to all the artists working in films. I will come back again and again until I am satisfied with the quality of my cinema. What I am seeing today is nothing like what I and the filmmakers of my generation dreamed of or Indian cinema.

He got up the stairs from where he was sitting with the children around him and started working with his white gown flowing down the road that led to the village where I used to write with my pencils and sometimes- Sometimes I used to buy mint. He asked me to buy him a book where he could sketch as he went. I bought him the best sketchbook and he walked over to me waving and saying, 'I'll be back, I'll be back again and again. I am a restless soul and I will have no peace until my cinema, to which I have dedicated my life, is transformed into a market where art is not sold for a pittance and Indian cinema is made the laughingstock of the world.

Do you still think this is a dream or just a figment of my imagination? You should have dreamed of my meeting with Ray while I was dreaming of mine.

कल रात सत्यजीत रे मेरे सपने में आए थे-अली पीटर जॉन

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