In 1990 Ray sent a letter to Akira Kurosawa “I’m hopelessly disorganized in everything except filmmaking,’.

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Film historian Peter Cowie recalls his encounters with Satyajit Ray, including part of a letter from the director and a wonderful photo of Ray, Akira Kurosawa, and Michelangelo Antonioni touring The Taj Mahal.

“A day or two later, Ray arose with the rest of us in the small hours so that we could reach Agra in time to see the Taj Mahal in the roseate light of dawn. An image I shall never forget is that of Antonioni and Kurosawa accompanying him around the shrine — three of the cinema’s great masters laughing and chatting informally. Ray gave off an intense self-confidence without seeming in the slightest degree arrogant or complacent. Never sentimental, he probably agreed with the king in Shatranj Ke Khiladi who says that “nothing but poetry and music should bring tears to a man’s eyes.” While in Agra, he told Kurosawa about a huge tree in India that measured almost one mile in girth. Much later, Kurosawa wrote to him, reminding him of that incident and saying, “I have always felt from the first time I met you that you are the kind of man who is like a huge tree. A great tree in the woods in India.”

“In July 1990, Ray sent me an elegantly handwritten letter (in response to one from me about having recently rewatched Apur Sansar), in which he apologized for not sending a snapshot he had taken of me with Kurosawa and Antonioni at the Taj Mahal. “I’m hopelessly disorganized in everything except filmmaking,” he confessed. “Until recently, I had no opportunity to take a look at my early films — although I occasionally felt the urge to do so. Over the last couple of years my son has built up a collection of videotapes of most of my films, and at last I’ve had a chance to review my efforts of 25/30 years ago. I must say I was most agreeably surprised to see how little they show their age.” Less than two years later, he died, at the same age — seventy — as Orson Welles.”

Courtesy- Cinephilia and Beyond. FollowBollywoodirect

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