Saturday, January 07, 2006

Pather Panchali

I watch a movie where nothing much happens. It's just a family, doing family things. Children play and study and get into mischief. Neighbors gossip. Parents work and worry and argue about money and persevere. I watch, and steadily my astonishment grows.

I'm on the screen. I'm in this movie. My wife is in this movie. My family and my life are in this movie.

My wife watches next to me. Over and over, we glance at each other, smiling and laughing as we recognize ourselves on the screen. We laugh, we sigh, we weep together as the film gently unfolds.

In The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck had one of his characters say of the movies, "I was to a show oncet that was me, an' more'n me; an' my life, an' more'n my life." I watched a movie like that last night. It was made in India over 50 years ago. It's in Bengali. Its name is Pather Panchali. And it's about me.


  1. yes. I point that out to my day care children all the time. No matter how different we are from each other...we're still all the same.


  2. Hi,
    I totally understand the way you feel after watching "Pather Panchali" (Song of the Road). I'm a Bengali, and that's the language the movie was originally made in... by Satyajit Ray, i've therefore caught all the details and nuances. If you've liked this movie, and have access to more Indian Classics, maybe you should watch - "Aparajito" (The Unvanquished) and "Apur Sansar" (The World of Apu) by the same director. These movies have the same central character of 'Apu' in different phases of his life. In a way, they are sequels in a trilogy.

    Apart from all this, i like how you write.. so keep this thing going...

  3. I've been meaning to watch the other two movies as well, but time is always a problem.

    Anyway, thanks for the kind words about the blog. I appreciate it.


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