The Fame Tree
It was one of the most precious gifts I have ever received till date....My initial reaction was a mix of surprise, shock and confusion which slowly gave way to childlike joy and a hidden sense of pride. And instantly I thought that a gift so unusual and precious must be shared with all around me. Some things are priceless which even money can't buy (To shamelessly borrow the line from the famous Master Card campaign) and it is just one such prized possession of mine.

At this juncture, I would like to give you all a little backdrop, which is strongly linked to my prized possession. Most of us remember Mr. Satyajit Ray as one of the finest film directors; the Indian Sub-continent has ever produced. The maestro is arguably the last titan of Bengal renaissance if I may say so and he had been a multifaceted personality. Apart from directing masterpieces like "Pother Panchali","Opur shanshar","Shatranj ke Khilari", he has written a series of popular suspense thrillers which are fondly read by all age-groups in Bengal and many of them had been made into successful hit films and popular mini series, a music composer, a cinematographer per excellence and last but not the least an artist who had created hundreds of beautiful sketches.

So when I received a scanned copy of the maestro's last sketch which he had sketched when he was hospitalized just shortly before his demise as a gift, it was like a dream come true for me. Many of you must be wondering what is so great about a scanned sketch and what is this hue and cry all about, but I am sure that you will be equally thrilled once you see and understand the importance of this sketch. I don't know what title the maestro had given to his last creation but I have fondly christened it "The Fame Tree".... (Hope there is no copyright violations because of the name) and the last couple of stanzas will actually justify my title for the sketch.

Guess what, it was actually a TREE!!!!A tree with strong roots, branches. I was actually amused when I laid my first glance onto it ...And I told to myself silently....What the big deal!!!!...even my nine year old kid can draw a tree equally well if not better than the one created by the maestro.

But there I was, taking things at face-value the way most of us generally do in certain situations. I took a closer look at the sketch and I was in for a shock, it was just not any ordinary tree. The tree was very special because there were faces of 11 famous personalities hidden within it. These faces have been so cleverly hidden and disguised in form of branches of the tree that initially one gets the impression that why create a ruckus on such an ordinary sketch.

However after a time, it struck me that perhaps it was Ray's way of projecting that all extra-ordinary things are hidden within ordinary things. Or perhaps it was his way of paying tribute to some of the greatest sons of the soil. It may also be his unique way of spreading the message that no one is ordinary and everyone is unique and special in his or her own way. I could not help being a little biased but what impressed me most about the sketch was the face of Tagore which, on the first glance looks like the "Root" of the tree.

Was the maestro indicating through his sketch that the poet laureate is the root of our cultural prosperity and heritage?

Now that is for you all to conclude.

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About Author / Additional Info:
The author resides in Kolkata, India and loves writing on all contemporary topics. While she is not working or looking after her 11 year old daughter she loves, reading, writing, travelling and listening to Indian classical and contemporary music