'The Sound of Old Rooms' is nostalgia: Sandeep
In 'Kokkho-Poth' (The Sound of Old Rooms), shot over a span of 20 years, director Sandeep Ray delves deep into the cultural consciousness of Kolkata through the life of teacher-poet Sarthak Roychowdhury.
The film is already making its presence felt in the festival circuit after screening at Busan and Dubai film festival recently to packed audiences. While there is lot of nostalgia as the country celebrates the 150th birth anniversary of Rabindranath Tagore, Ray feels the greatest legacy of the poet laureate was how he transformed the society, influencing poets like Sarthak, who persist with their pursuit of poetry while balancing the ordinary.
"This is Tagore's 150 birth anniversary. Lot of films are being made around this issue. Tagore is being treated very nostalgically by all. For me, the legacy of Tagore is not in our fond remembrance of him but in how he transformed society.
So my film is about young poet Sarthak, now not so young, who lives a life in Kolkata that celebrates literature," Ray told PTI. "It's not a film about Tagore. There is a reference to him. But this is how he changed the society and this is how poetry and literature are treated in Bengal."
Ray is interested in documenting personal journeys and through Sarthak he captures the changing faces of Kolkata, the cultural city of India. He first enters into Sarthak's life when he is a teenager and the story ends when Sarthak is a 40-year-old man and the father of a child.
Ray, who has already made another documentary on Sarthak's family, says he wanted to record the present as it was happening.
"I don't operate out of nostalgia but out of immediacy of things. If anything the film is nostalgia for the present. I do feel that this is slipping away in my life and in his life because we are getting older. Will the younger generation sit around and read poems to their wives? Sarthak does that in the film," Ray said.PTI