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Moner Manik: Kushal Chakraborty reveals how he was discovered by Satyajit Ray for Sonar Kella

Srimoyee Bhattacharya

May 4, 2021

4 min


Satyajit Ray witnessed a four-year-old Kushal Chakraborty’s acting talent after discovering his drawings in 1972; did you know?

Popular Bengali actor Kushal Chakrabarty made his debut in the world of cinema with Satyajit Ray’s Sonar Kella. A six-year-old Kushal starred in the 1974 film, and later, won a National Award for Best Child Artist for his performance as well. Recently, on the occasion of Ray’s birth centenary, Kushal spoke about how he was discovered by the legendary filmmaker in a fun, candid conversation.

Watch Satyajit Ray’s film Heerak Rajar Deshe here:

Kushal Chakraborty gets candid!

In an interesting conversation with the host of Cine Adda on Zee Bangla Cinema’s Facebook page, Kushal Chakraborty got candid about his relationship with Satyajit Ray. From Ray’s mature approach towards child actors to how Kushal was cast as Mukul Dhar in Sonar Kella, Kushal revealed it all. The actor took us back in time as he spoke about the fun and nostalgic nuances of him knowing Ray since childhood.

Also read: 100 years of Satyajit Ray: 7 films of the late legendary filmmaker that never get old!

How did Satyajit Ray find Kushal?

Speaking about how Satyajit Ray found out about Kushal, the actor revealed that it was through the publishing process of a book. When Ray was told that there was a four-year-old kid (Kushal Chakraborty) whose drawings were to be used in a book that would be published with Ray’s rhymes, the filmmaker was surprised. After Ray insisted on meeting Kushal, the latter’s parents took him to meet the legend in December of 1972.

Also read: 100 Years of Satyajit Ray: Revisiting Mahanagar, and its ahead-of-the-time take on gender ego and insecurity

Kushal’s confident enactment of a play for Ray

Interestingly enough, Kushal loved watching plays and his father told Ray about it. When Ray asked a young Kushal to enact a section of one such play, the latter did so without any hesitation. An impressed, happy, and pleasantly surprised Ray promised to make Kushal a portrait in exchange for it and did so. Approximately 6 months after this incident, Satyajit Ray wrote to Kushal’s father conveying his desire to cast him as Mukul Dhar in his upcoming film Sonar Kella, added the actor.

Also read: 100 Years of Satyajit Ray: Looking back at Sa Re Ga Ma Pa – 2020 Bangla’s musical tribute to the legend!

Ray’s success as a children’s filmmaker

Kushal Chakraborty also revealed that Ray spoke to him like he would, to any other adult. According to Kushal, the brilliant performances by child actors in Ray’s films were partly a result of how Ray treated them with just as much maturity and consideration as anybody else in his cast or crew. The trust factor between Ray and the child’s actors in his films played a significant role in the filmmaker’s success as a children’s film director, Kushal stated.

Watch popular Satyajit Ray films like Mahanagar only on ZEE5!

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