'...I feel more in the mood for work...'

  • October 25th, 1963
  • 315 Words

My dear Garga,

I left for Darjeeling the day after I received your film, and got back only yesterday. Although I did take a look at the footage before I left, I felt too lazy in Darjeeling to write and give you my comments. However now that I’m back I feel more in the mood for work and correspondence - and let me tell you that the film looks very good indeed. The cutting seems excellent, considering the bitty nature of the material- and I think a well thought out commentary should give it all the flow it needs and suitably link the snippets from the Trilogy at the end.

I don’t want to give you any more pointers- you really know how best to put it together.

But I’m a little curious to know what you plan to do with the film, exhibition-wise?

I start shooting Nastanirh on 2nd. Shooting dates (at the New Theatres No.1) are as follows
Nov 2-6, Nov -12- 26, Dec. 1-5, Dec 8-16, Dec 19-21, Dec 23-30

It was pointed out to us by critic Namrata Joshi, that our original rendition of the mentioned film in Ray's correspondence - Nashta-Mir - was actually Nastanirh, the name of the Tagore novel from which Charulata, Ray's 1964 film was adapted.

Mahanagar is doing quite well and I’m quite pleased with it. But 1964 seems likely to prove a peak year with 'Nastanirh' and Akashai Shanket - the story with a famine background, which I plan to start in June.

I hope you will be able to come here once during my shooting.

All the best

'...let me have a line.'

  • March 4th, 1963
  • 209 Words



Dear Garga,

Just received your second letter. Our shooting dates for March have only just been finalized and here they are:

7, 8, 9, 13, 14 Studio (Technicians ) sound
17 location interior (sound shooting)
19 stray exteriors (silent shooting)
Probable 22-23 studio (sound shooting)
24- exterior location (sound)
25/27/28/29 Studio (back projection-sound)
31 location Interior of bank- (sound)

The best from your point of view would be 24-31 when you’ll get most of the leading actors, some of the climactic scenes and a mixture of location and studio. But don’t you think you might have to make a preliminary trip for a survey of available technicians, etc.?

I don’t know how you are going to manage your shooting while we are shooting sound. What about c…. etc? But I suppose you’ve thought those things out already. Let me have a line to say what your plans are and when you could expect to be here.


'...you are facing some difficulties.'

  • February 19th, 1963
  • 131 Words


Dear Garga

Have you decided when you’re going to come?

The 24-31 st combining with indoor and outdoor seems the best from my point of view. We haven’t drawn up my definite plans for April yet. In any case there won’t be much interest after March. Since I hadn’t heard from you yet I presume you are facing some difficulties.

But do give me at least a couple of days. Write before you come.

All the best,

Hastily yours,

'...been good solid reasons.'

  • February 3rd, 1964
  • 74 Words

Dear Bhagwan,

It’s too late to apologize for my failure to comply with your request - but there have been good solid reasons. I am coming to Bombay on the 12th for 3 days. We could do something on that commentary on the 13th if you still need it!

Look forward to seeing you

Anandam knows about my plans.


'...glad the commentary sounds good.'

  • March 3rd, 1964
  • 190 Words


My dear Bhagwan,

Thanks for your letter. I am glad the commentary sounds good. I will find out at the lab. If there are any extra prints of the shots that you want from Mahanagar. I am almost certain there are of the last shot; am not so sure of the others.

Can you take out dupes from a print which might be available with the Bombay distributor of the film? Find out from Lotus.

I finished recording the B.G. music of Mahanagar last night. It sounds good. The film might be ready in three weeks’ time

All the best, 

Try to persuade Georges Sadoul to stop over for a day or two in Calcutta. Can’t think of a new director worthy of a French debut-

'...found your piece most interesting.'

  • September 12, 1974
  • 91 Words

My dear Bhagwan,

Many thanks for your letter and for the UNESCO Courier. I found your piece most interesting.

I was in Bombay for nearly a fortnight two months ago re-recording my new film at Rajkamal [Studios]. I rang up your number and was told that you were away in Delhi.
How are things with you, and what are you working on now?

Drop me a line and let me know.



'...not sure if my word carries enough weight.'

  • March 27, 1982
  • 141 Words

Dear Bhagwan,

My abject apologies for the delay. I’ve been extremely busy setting up a new film.

I don’t know Mr. Hallser personally. So instead of having a word with him, I shall drop him a note. I’m not sure if my word carries the kind of weight you seem to think it does. Experience tells me it doesn’t, and it is a bit humiliating to make a request on somebody’s behalf and find it being politely and deviously, turned down.

Can’t you think of any other possible source of sponsorship?

No chance of my coming to Bombay in the near future, but if and when I do, I shall try and get in touch with you.



'...good to hear from you...'

  • December 25th, 1991
  • 82 Words

Dear Bhagwan,

It was good to hear from you after such a long time.

I have just recovered from an illness which lasted 5 months which included a … operation, a bad virus infection and some problems with the heart. I have told my cardiologist to make sure that I have the strength to make at least one film a year.

All good wishes for the New Year,




The archive came to life through a useful initial contribution by Donnabelle herself, but its upkeep and maintenance over the next few years, which includes cycles of new additions, the gallery section, the eventual upload of B.D. Garga’s films and general maintenance, will require that the website generates its own revenue, or is supported by an archiving or a museum grant. While the latter may transpire over time, it is the former that can use your assistance.

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