The regular film screenings by the Bimal Roy Memorial & Film Society during the period of 2011-12, were accompanied by other programs. We had a special evening, “Towards Holistic Health for Women”, about their physical and mental wellness, organised at Kumar Clinic, Khar on 23 rd April, 2011. Speakers for the evening were eminent gynaecologist, Dr. Janki Ramakrishna and senior yoga instructor, Vijaya Magar, veterans in their respective fields. The session was followed by a Q & A about the many vital health issues that women, especially older women, face and are reluctant to ask. Before the talk, there was a free bone density test done by lab technicians who gave out the readings immediately. An optional Pap Smear test at actual lab cost was also on offer.
A houseful screening of “The Other Song”, a documentary on renowned Thumri singer, Rasoolan Bai, was held in collaboration with, the VACHA Trust, on June 6, 2011 at National College. VACHA is a women’s group that was formed in 1987. They organize gender training for teachers, social activists, youth groups and others. [www.vacha.org] The documentary, by Saba Dewan, narrates the story of a lost song recorded in the 30’s of the last century, exploring in the process the tradition of the Tawaifs, the only professional women musicians of India, some of whom were highly educated and adept at the arts, literature and poetry, yet considered unfit for respectable households by the purists of Indian classical music. In this difficult environment, Rasoolan Bai emerged as a celebrated singer and a great favourite in the courts of the princely states. Rasoolan Bai was honoured by the prestigious Sangeet Natak Academy Award. Introducing the documentary-film, well known Gujarati light music singer, Kaumudiniben Munshi, herself a disciple of Siddheshwari Devi, a contemporary of Rasoolan Bai shared her eloquent insights on that era.
On Bimal Roy’s birth centenary on 12th July, 2011, a seminar titled “Enduring Image 2011” was held at the Hall of Harmony, Nehru Centre, Worli on 7 th July, 2011. The programme hosted by acclaimed documentary film maker, Brahmanand Singh, focussed on the use of music in the Indian cinema of the 50s and 60s, with special reference to Bimal Roy films. Noted theatre personality, dramatist and musician, Shekhar Sen graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. He enchanted the audience with his erudition. Renowned music director, Anu Malik shared his nostalgic memories of the film music of that era.
The 15th Bimal Roy Annual Awards were held on the 5th November, 2011 at the Veer Sawarkar Hall, Shivaji Park, during which veterans and promising artistes and technicians were honoured. The 2011 recipients were yesteryears arch villain Pran Saheb, PK Nair, the pioneering archivist, Vikramaditya Motwane, the gifted young director of the film UDAAN and AM Padmanabhan, the well known sound engineer. The winners were selected by an eminent Jury headed by Ramesh Talwar. The awards were presented by Ashutosh Gowarikar and Naseeruddin Shah.
The Awards Function was followed by BRMC’s flagship concert, Smriti Sandhya 2011 entitled, Dharti Kahe Pukar Ke, celebrating shades of Indian folk music in film compositions. The concert was conceived and presented by renowned composer and musicologist, Tushar Bhatia. Singers included Shrikant Narayan, Bina Desai, Vrushali, Surojit, Nandi, Amit and Swati and the music was conducted by Chirag Panchal. This event was made possible by the help and support of our Sponsors- ONGC, Bank of India and other advertiser. BRMC is especially grateful to Mr. Apurba Saha of ONGC for his generous support and Mr. Arvind Kumar Sahu of Bank of India
A Director’s Special screening of “Stanley Ka Dabba” was held in association with the Mumbai Cricket Association-Recreation Centre, Bandra-Kurla Complex on 18th November, 2011. The screening was followed by a Q & session with Amole Gupte, the director of the film.
On the 26th January, 2012, a day-long picnic was organised to the farmhouse of Bimal Roy Memorial Committee Chairperson, Rinki Roy Bhattacharya at Navghar Farms near Khopoli. Lunch, tea and snacks were served. More than forty members, along with family and friends, enjoyed the excursion with great enthusiasm. This will be an ongoing annual event for BRMC.
On the 5th February, 2012, a Nature Walk was organised at the Maharashtra Nature Park, Sion which has magnificent plant/trees of medicinal value, which attract many varieties of birds. Renee Vyas, with her sound knowledge of plants and their medicinal value, gave an illuminating chat that was entertaining as well as educative.
The Memorial started a new initiative for reading programmes with Bhisham Sahani’s renowned short story, Chief Ki Dawat, on 17th March, 2012. The mono act by Nivedita Baumthiyal, noted theatre personality and IPTA General Secretary, was followed by a discussion on the helpless vulnerability of the aged amongst issues such as gender and class. The lively discussion was moderated by senior critic, Maithili Rao. Book reading will be another frequent feature of BRMC’s future programs.
Bimal Roy Memorial Committee