Satyajit Ray's Secret Romance

Satyajit Ray

Respected Indian director-writer Satyajit Ray is often considered to be the country's one of the most influential filmmakers. Even after his death, almost three decades ago, he continues to inspire Indian filmmakers not only in India but around the world with his filmmaking techniques, thoughts, and provocative approaches. Films such as Pather Panchali (1955) and Aparajito (1956) are among Satyajit Ray's best-known works. An honorary Academy Award for contributions to world cinema was bestowed on Satyajit Ray in 1992, making him the first Indian to receive such a distinction.



Although everyone knows about Satyajit Ray's amazing career as a filmmaker but unfortunately, even after his death, his personal life remains a mystery. His adoration and love for his wife, Bijoya Ray, is rarely mentioned by the public. The pair had always been there for each other in good times and bad, but they kept their romance intensely private, tucked away from the paparazzi's flashes. That begets a lot of questions: How did it? Why did they keep it a secret? When did they finally become public? To answer all of that, let's get right into this love story!


To all those who were wondering if they have heard of Bijoya Das, Satyajit's beloved wife, there's a slim possibility of that. This is because Bijoya was an actress who had appeared in only three films, Shesh Raksha (1944), Mashaal (1950) and Rajani (1952). However, in addition to being an actor, she was also a talented playback singer as well as a freedom fighter. However, instead of focussing on her career, she chose to devote her time and effort in helping Satyajit Ray.


Also Read: "Satyajit Ray's Calcutta Trilogy: Sketching the City as a Character"




Her father Charu Chandra, a barrister by profession, died in 1931 when she was 14. As a result of this, her entire family was devastated financially. She and her mother, Madhuri Devi, and three siblings relocated to Prasanta Das's house. Suprabha Ray, Satyajit Ray's mother, also lived in the same house. That was where the first time the future husband and wife met. According to their ancestry and bloodlines, Bijoya Das and Satyajit Ray were first cousins. They had become excellent friends after spending so much time together, and their shared love of classical music and classic Hollywood musicals had aided in their bonding.


Since they were children, Satyajit Ray and Bijoya Das shared a home. Because of this, they were able to get a better sense of what each other liked and didn't like more clearly. Satyajit Ray and Bijoya Das fell in love again and over again while spending time together, whether it was playing or pursuing their shared interests. Satyajit and Bijoya began dating in 1940, after being friends for about nine years since they first met in 1931. However, both of them realized that convincing their families to support their marriage would be a monumental task. Satyajit and Bijoya were first cousins, and Satyajit was the younger of the two. This was the catalyst for their feud.

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They were deeply in love, and Satyajit Ray would make pilgrimages to Kolkata simply to see Bijoya Das. He used to write poems for Bijoya when he worked in an advertising agency. The couple made the difficult decision to wed secretly, fearing their families' disapproval of their relationship. They tied the knot in a Mumbai registered marriage. On October 20, 1948, they married at Bijoya's sister's house in a wedding ceremony. People, who knew and cared about Satyajit and Bijoya's relationship, were in attendance at the wedding.




Satyajit hosted a small reception for his colleagues on this occasion. Iconic actor Prithviraj Kapoor and his wife, Ramsarni Mehra Kapoor, were in attendance at the event to bless the newlyweds.

They were legally married after their secret wedding and modest reception. But they couldn't live together because their families didn't know they were married. An interview with the newspaper, in which Bijoya Ray talked about her secret marriage to Satyajit Ray, had shown that it was a mixture of joy and sorrow. Even though they were married, Bijoya and Satyajit couldn't live together, which was becoming more difficult as they missed each other more and more.

They were having a difficult time living separated  from one another. Suprabha Ray's mother, Satyajit Ray's close friend and physician Nosho Babu, had devised a brilliant plot to persuade the highly renowned director. When Satyajit's mother and other members of the family objected to his desire to marry Bijoya, the physician advised him to tell her that he would remain single for the rest of his life if she and others in the family did not support his choice.

Satyajit's mother, Suprabha Ray, approved of his request to Bijoya Das after the filmmaker put in some deliberate effort into cajoling his mother.

However, despite the fact that the law recognized their marriage, no one was aware of it publicly. Thus, Satyajit and Bijoya decided to remarry. As was customary in Bengali weddings, Satyajit and Bijoya's family members attended their second wedding on March 3, 1949.

On September 8, 1953, Satyajit Ray and his wife, Bijoya Ray, welcomed their first child into the world. They named him Sandip Ray. Later on, Sandip Ray would follow in his father's footsteps and become a filmmaker, working primarily in Bengali movies.

Satyajit Ray died on April 23, 1992, due to lung and heart issues. He passed away in a Calcutta hospital, surrounded by his loved ones. 23 years after Satyajit Ray's death, on June 2, 2015, Bijoya Ray died of severe pneumonia at the age of 97.

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