I am not into reading sci-fi much. No idea why until I read this marvelous book Travails With The Alien by Satyajit Ray. I found the answer while reading this book. The author quoted the observation of Kingsley Aims in this regard. He says, “Addiction to the genre occurs either at adolescence or not at all.”
What I enjoyed reading most is crime thriller and I grew up reading Feluda and his adventures and was least interested in Professor Shonku and his adventure (another immortal character developed by Ray). But Satyajit Ray was the champion of this genre and his passion resulted in writing of a sci-fi screenplay The Aliens, an unrealized movie to be directed by Satyajit Ray.
What’s The Book About
This book is about Satyajit Ray’s love of science fiction and fantasy. It includes some fascinating science fiction stories written by Ray and the script of his pet project The Alien. Deets about the journey of The Alien, a baby who was conceived but never saw the light of day. If finished as planned, would have been first of its kind and benchmark movie for the upcoming sci-fi movies as E.T. The Extra Terrestrial is considered today.
The story of the screenplay is about the Alien who lands in a small village of West Bengal and befriends a poor boy Haba. The Alien brings many positive effects on nature like flower blooms, vegetations ripe etc. The villagers mistakes the spaceship as temple and then begins all the drama. The Alien flies away in the nick of time.
Satyajit Ray had written this script in 1967 and was in touch with Columbia for the movie production. But things fall out and the movie was never made.
What becomes of the script which got heavily circulated in Hollywood? Bollywood is always accused of lifting ideas from Hollywood, but the latter is also not as pure as the driven snow. I was left dumbfounded and aghast to find that ET the Extra Terrestrial was heavily inspired by The Aliens script and lifted many ideas from it.
There are enough evidences in the form of correspondence between Satyajit Ray and Hollywood complied in the book to proof the allegation.
The Alien might not see the daylight. At least the truth behind The Alien has been brought to general public attention through this book.
It is a beautifully edited book by Sandip Ray with some rare illustration which makes it a treasure for any book lover. Travails of the Alien is a must read book for every Satyajit Ray’s admirer and die hard fans of ET. Spielberg’s followers should know the source of idea of ET.