The first episode of an animated series on Abol Tabol-- rhymes recited by legendary Bengali actor Soumitra Chatterjee was released on YouTube on the occasion of Children's Day on Saturday. Chatterjee had recorded the rhymes before he got hospitalised on October 6.
The collection of 53 rhymes, a creation of filmmaker Satyajit Ray's father, Sukumar Ray, was first published in 1923. It still appeals to a wide spectrum of Bengali readers irrespective of their age.
"Soumitra Chatterjee had agreed to be part of the project once we approached him with our proposal during the nationwide lockdown. We had goosebumps during the recording session, which was completed in two consecutive days. Watching Soumitra babu recite the rhymes with great enthusiasm was an amazing experience," said Shiladitya Chaudhury, the director of the YouTube channel on which the first of the four episodes was streamed.
The first episode features rhymes like Gnof Churi, Kath Buro, Khichudi, Sawt-Patro and Ganer Gnuto, among others. The remaining three episodes will be released in subsequent weeks, Chaudhury said.
Satyajit Ray's son and filmmaker Sandip Ray while talking about the launch said, "It is an interesting project to bring the literary works of Sukumar Ray to the present generation through online media. I recall how much I loved the characters depicted by my late grandfather in Abol Tabol during my childhood." He also wished for Chatterjee's speedy recovery.
Soumitra Chatterjee’s health is in a critical condition. The 85-year-old has been undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Kolkata since testing positive for Covid-19 on October 6. Even though Chatterjee has tested negative for the infection, Covid-19 encephalopathy set in and various other complications surfaced.