Saswata Chatterjee: I am part of Ray household

In a trip back memory lane, Meghe Dhaka Tara actor Saswata Chatterjee recalls having missed Manik jhethu (Satyajit Ray) when his career bloomed

Saswata, now turning up in Ray junior Sandip’s Chaar, a celluloid collage of four stories by two yesteryear popular writers Ray and Sharadindu Bandyopadhyay, reminiscences how he made the cut as small screen Topshe for the Feluda series on telly by the maestro and the tryst with the 1 Bishop Lefroy Road landmark began.

“I had embarked on my career journey with Babuda (Sandip Ray) when Bob Biswas and Ritwik Ghatak didn’t happen.

When Ajit in Byomkesh Bakshi didn’t happen. A lot of things didn’t happen. Our association with this family runs through decades,” Saswata, portraying dual role in Chaar, said.

Saswata regrets having missed the character of young boy in Joy Baba Felunath as his hair style did not match the look the director was looking for and avers despite being part of his father’s core team Sandip’s craft of film making is more in sync with the contemporary style when mobile texts have edged out postcards and calls from phone booths.

Having turned up in two different characters in Chaar, Saswata confirms he more identifies with the story of Kagtarua which had earlier been made by the Badshahi Angti maker for the small screen.

“I guess Babuda liked the comic vibes between me and Paranda (Bandyopadhyay) in his previous film Jekhane Bhooter Bhoy and wanted to repeat the magic casting us two again in one story.

He has this uncanny knack to build up a situation on-location based on the script,” Saswata, who project characters representing two time zones in the film, one dating back to the 70s and another a little more contemporary, said.

Sandip, who would rate Saswata as more than a family friend, says “We had been working together since 1995. And need I say anything on his timing, delivery and understanding of characters!.”

“You cannot dub Chaar as a retro-era film with only the story of Bateswar dating back to decades back. But yes in other stories I have not deviatd from my usual form of narrative thread,” Sandip says about Chaar which also casts Abir Chatterjee, Koel Mallick and Rajotabha Dutta.

Produced by Shri Venkatesh Films Chaar will be released this month preceding the Ray junior’s Lucknow-based Feluda flick Badshahi Angti.