Subir Banerjee (Apu) in ‘Pather Panchali’ – Wikimedia
You never know how and when a piece of art, a film here, is going to touch the soft grounds of delight and beauty. And how it will come to be loved by people for opening that hidden, special place in their heart. ‘Pather Panchali’, or ‘The Song of the Little Road’ is one such heart opener. It was the first film made by the Indian director Satyajit Ray. It describes the life of a poor family in a village of rural Bengal, with its many struggles. You feel the occasional pinches of hunger, the cruelty, the thwarted expectations, the jealousies, the losses, intertwined with moments of peace, quietness, and insouciance. Days spent between the simple joys of life and the tragedy of death.
What is it that makes a movie conducive to feeling in ourself that flavour of beauty? Often, such movies are slow, meditative, and as a result can bring a feeling of boredom in ourself. The craving in ourself for experiences that either fulfils our inner sense of lack, or covers it up, is not being quenched. And the mind quickly jumps in and understands it as the film being not good, not interesting. But this judgment may have nothing to do with the film, and everything with our own self’s tendencies and structure.