Patol Babu, Film star – Satyajit Ray – CBSE Class 10 English Literature Reader – Fiction

Chapter Sketch
‘Patol Babu, Film star’ is a story about Patol Babu who once had been in great demand for stage shows. There was a time when people bought tickets just to see him. But now after losing his job he had a very hard time to settle, when finally his friend offered him a role in a film. He gets very excited about it and wonders anxiously what his role would be.
When he comes to know that he has just one word say in the film, he gets very disappointed in the beginning. Then he handles his emotions and remembers What he had been taught by his mentor and his role with great ease and He finally moves away from the shooting place without accepting his payment because he finds it very devaluing in comparison to his calibre and experience.
The Story Retold
About Patol Babu
Patol Babu was a 52 year old man, who lived with his wife. At one time he had a real passion for the stage. He was always in demand. His name had appeared in handbills on countless occasions. Indeed there was a time when people bought tickets especially to see him. That was when he used to live in Kanchrapara. He had a job in the railway factory there. In 1934, he was offered higher pay in a clerical post with Hudson and Kimberley in Calcutta. He gave up his factory job and came to Calcutta. It was running quite smoothly by for time till a sudden retrenchment in his office due to the war cost him his nine year old job. Ever since then, Patol Babu had struggled to make a living. He tried every means of earning a livelihood without ever succeeding in improving his lot, and acting had become something the remote past.
Nishikanto Ghosh Makes an Offer
Nishikanto Ghosh lived three houses away from Pato Babu. He was a genial person. He visited Patol Babu early one morning and told him that his youngest brother-in-law, Naresh Dutt, was looking for an actor for a scene in a film they were shooting. The character should be in his fifties, short and bald-headed, for which would be suitable. They would pay him for his part. Patol Babu did not expect such an Offer would Come to him at the beginning of the day. He readily accepted the offer. Naresh Dutt came to meet Patol Babu the next day and explained to him that he had a part to play Of an absent minded, short tempered pedestrian. He told him the venue for the shoot and about his attire and then left.
Patol Babu Waits for His Turn
After Naresh Dutt left, Patol Babu broke the news his wife. He remembers his past days when he worked on the stage. He wishes this Offer would be his first Step to rise to fame and fortune. His wife alerts him not to count on the chickens before they are hatched. The next day Patol gabu was quite punctual to reach at the shooting venue, where he saw a big crowd had gathered. He Waited there for Naresh Dutt because he was the only one whom he knew. He stood in the shade Of a paan shop and waited till he was called for his turn.
Patol Babu and His Dialogue
Patol Babu was working in a film which the main lead was played by Chanchal Kumar and the film was directed by Baren Mullick. After waiting for long Patol Babu thought about his dialogue. What was he supposed to say? It didn’t matter if the part was small, but he had to make the most of it, he had to learn his lines
beforehand. After inquiring here and there, finally his dialogue was written on a piece of paper. He was shocked when he read his one word dialogue of ‘Oh’. He
felt these people were pulling his leg and the whole thing was a gigantic hoax. He felt they had made a laughing stock Of him in the middle Of the city. But, he is explained by Baying that there are hundreds Who don’t have even a word to gay in the film. ‘They just have walk past the cameras and some didn’t even walk; they just stood in a spot. Patol Babu could not stand in one place any more as his legs felt heavy and moved ahead to the office beyond the paan shop and got down on the stairs.
Patol Babu Remembers His Mentor
Initially Patol Babu is much stressed to get his part. later on he settles down because it has become a routine for him to accept things and as they come. Then he recalled the words Of his mentor Mr Gogon Pakrashi who was a wonderful actor with no trace of vanity in him. He was a saintly person and an actor in a million. He used to say that ‘Each word spoken in a play is like a fruit on a tree. Not everyone in the audience has to it. But the actor must know how to pluck it, get at its essence and serve it up to the audience for their edification.’ The memory of his guru made him bow his head in Obedience. Now he started practising his one word dialogue and made an amazing discovery that this one word when spoken in different ways carried different shades Of meaning. He suddenly felt that he could write a whole thesis on that one monosyllabic exclamation. A true actor could make a mark With this one single syllable.
Patol Babu Disappears Without Being Paid
At last Patol Babu’s turn came. NOW he had settled well With his role. The real artist had taken over him. In the scene he had to collide with Chanchal Kumar who was in a hurry to move ahead. On being hurt due to the collision he had to remark ‘Oh’. He was made to count his steps before the collision place.
He told the director that if he had a newspaper in his hand while colliding, that would look more real. The director agreed immediately and he was given a moustache for the scene which suited him a lot. He mixed the emotion Of irritation and surprise in his dialogue and the collision took place at the most appropriate time. After the shoot Patol Babu went back to the paan shop and felt immensely satisfied. He had done his job really well. All these years of struggle had not reduced his acting talent. It is true that he needed money very badly, but what was twenty Rupees when measured against the intense satisfaction a small job Done with and dedication? Naresh Dutt went looking for him but he had left without taking his payment.