Widely regarded as one of the greatest filmmakers of India, Satyajit Ray’s influence on cinema has earned him several accolades over the years. And on the occasion of his 92nd birth anniversary, Google has decided to do its bit in honouring the film legend.
Today’s Google Doodle features a black-and-white scene from what is arguably Ray’s most famous work, Pather Panchali. The first film of the Apu Trilogy, it depicts life in the 1920s in the Bengal countryside.
Google's doodle for Satyajit Ray's birth anniversary
The doodle depicts a scene of the film's two main characters, the children Apu and Durga, running through a field of kash flowers in full bloom. Kash is typically found at the advent of fall in Bengal and its white flowers and stalk are a particularly powerful motif in Ray’s homeland, and indeed his cinema. In the film, the two children run through the field to catch a closer glimpse of the train. In Google’s take of the scene, the train can be seen in the background, with the search engine’s name scrawled between the children and the train.
Pather Panchali was released in 1955 and won eleven international awards, including Best Human Documentary at the Cannes Film Festival. Ray also won 32 National Awards for film, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded him an honorary Oscar in 1992 for Lifetime Achievement in Cinema.
Ray, regarded as one of the great auteurs of cinema, directed 36 films, including documentaries. He also wrote several short stories and novels, mainly for children and young adults. Feluda, the witty detective, and the scientist Professor Shonku are two of the more popular characters written by Ray.