Bonku Babu’s Friend Summary, Theme by Satyajit Ray
Bonku Babu’s Friend Summary
‘Bonku Babu’s Friend’ is a short story written by Satyajit Ray. This story portrays Bonku Babu, a soft-spoken and timid person who teaches Geography and Bengali at Kankurgachi Village Primary School. Each year, whenever a new batch of students replaced the old one, the tradition of teasing Bonku Babu continued years after years. Some drew his cartoon on the blackboard; some put glue on his chair and others do some other mischievous activities to taunt him. Bonku Babu did not get upset.
Only sometimes, he cleared his throat and said, “Shame on you, boys!” Bonku Babu kept on tolerating these because he could not afford to do otherwise and also he loved the good students who were attentive in class and also respected him. Fie used to spend his weekdays with his students who loved him, but in weekends, whenever he used to go to Sripati Babu’s house, he felt like, he must not go there again because even his fellow-mates, Nidhu Babu, Chandi Babu and others used to poke fun at him.
Bonku Babu used to get sad and angry sometimes, but he never expressed himself to others. One day, the topic of conversation was space – as in, they were talking of spaceships and space-travel. After sunset, a moving point of light was seen in the northern sky. A similar kind of light was seen three months back, which had led to many assumptions.
But at the end, it had turned out to be a Russian satellite, called Khotka or might be Phoska. This satellite was supposed to be going round the earth at a height of 400 miles, providing a lot of valuable information to scientists. That evening, Bonku Babu was the first who spotted the light and told Nidhu Babu about it. But Nidhu Babu took full credit about it among their fellow-mates and Bonku Babu remained silent. But he kept on thinking about it. Everyone gave their different opinions but Bonku Babu was lost in his own thoughts.
When the meeting was over and Bonku Babu was on his way to home, he saw the light, coming from the bamboo grove. Suddenly, his ears began ringing. He felt as if someone was humming loudly — a long, steady noise and it was not stopping. Bonku Babu was scared, but curiously drove him further forward. As he went past a cluster of bamboo stems, he saw an object. It was like a giant glass bowl turned upside-down, covering the pond wholly. A gentle pink light was shining out from its strong, translucent shade, that turned the whole area bright.
Soon, he met with Ang, an alien who came out of the ship and greeted Bonku Babu. Though he was amazed, yet kept on talking with him. From him, he gathered knowledge and also got a chance to express himself to him. Ang helped him boost his self-confidence.
When Ang left, Bonku Babu found himself to be a completely different person who now did not fear to express himself to others. Bonku Babu became a happy and bright personality who now knew what he was and what he could do to stop ill-beahiour and bad-mouthing.
Bonku Babu’s Friend About the Author Satyajit Ray
Satyajit Ray was an Indian filmmaker, one of the greatest directors of the twentieth century. Born in the city of Calcutta (now Kolkata) on May 2, 1921-April 23, 1992, to a Bengali family prominent in the world of arts and letters, Ray studied at Presidency College and at the Visva- Bharati University, at the poet Rabindranath Tagore’s Santiniketan.
His grandfather was a writer and illustrator, and his father, Sukumar Ray, was a poet. Writer and illustrator of Bengali. Ray grew up in Calcutta (now Kolkata) and was looked after by his mother. He entered a government school, where he was taught chiefly in Bengali, and then studied at Presidency College, Calcutta’s leading college, where he studied in English. He graduated in 1940, he was fluent in both English and Bengali languages.
Ray Returned to Calcutta from Santinikatan, in 1943 got a job in a British-owned advertising agency, became its art director within a few years, and also worked for a publishing house as a commercial illustrator, becoming a leading Indian typographer and book-cover designer. In 1949 Ray was encouraged in his cinematic ambitions by the French director Jean Renoir, who was then in Bengal. The success of The Bicycle Thief (1948), convinced Ray that he should attempt a film Pather Panchali.
Pather Panchali was completed in 1955 and turned out to be both a commercial and a tremendous critical success, first in Bengal and then in the West following a major award at the 1956 Cannes International Film Festival. This assured Ray the financial backing he needed to make the other two films of the trilogy: Aparajito (1956; The Unvanquished) and Apur Sansar (1959; The World of Apu).
He consciously avoided repeating himself. As a result, his films contain an unusually wide gamut of mood, milieu, period, and genre, with comedies, tragedies, romances, musicals, and detective stories treating all classes of Bengali society from the mid-19th to the late 20th century.
Some of Ray’s finest films are Charulata (1964), Teen Kanya (1961), Ghare Baire (1984) were based on the novels or other works by Rabindranath Tagore. The rest of Ray’s major works include Ahsani Sanket (1973), Aranyer Din Ratri (1970), Mahanagar (1963) and a trilogy of films made in the 1970s, Pratidwandi, Seemabaddha (1971), and Jana Aranya (1975).
After a gap, Ray made Pikoo (1980) and then fell ill with heart disease. He revived the children’s magazine Sandesh (which his grandfather had started in 1913) and edited it until his death in 1992. Ray was the author of numerous short stories and novellas, and in fact writing, rather than filmmaking, became his main source of income. His stories were translated and published in Europe, the United States, and elsewhere.
The story ‘Bonku Babu’s Friend’ centres around Bonku Babu, a cool-head teacher who lived a simple life. Though he had been teaching for 22 years in a school yet he received the teasing of the students of new batches. But Bonku Babu did not leave his job because it was his necessity and also he felt really good when some good students used to respect him and study attentively in class. He spent his days while spending his time in class, with students who were fond of him.
Though he used to spend his weekends at Sripati Babu’s place, yet every time whenever he came back, he felt of not going there ever again because not even the children but also the adults used to make fun of him. Bonku Babu was basically lonely until he met Ang. an alien who was landed on earth from a spaceship. His conversation with Ang became interesting and thought-provoking.
They had a long chat and through this, Ang became the most friend person in Bonku Babu’s life. Ang’s influence, though short, made Bonku Babu self-confident. He made him think positively. Fie turned into a new leaf who knew that he was also important and valuable.
Bonku Babu’s Friend Theme
A. Bonku Babu, a Simple, knowledgeable yet timid person: Bonku Babu was a teacher of Geography and Bengali at a village primary school. He was a knowledgeable person but his simplicity, politeness and soft-hearted nature often made him a victim of ill-behaviour. Not only the students but also the adults did not spare a chance to tease him.
B. A Sudden Meeting: One day, while returning from Sripati Babu’s place, Bonku Babu saw a strange object. Soon he came to know that it was a spaceship from which a strange creature came down. He introduced himself as Ang. Ang knew 14000 languages and so he talked with Bonku Babu fluently. They had a long conversation which became a turning point in Bonku Babu’s life.
C. The Reawakening: When Ang left, Bonku Babu understood that he also was valuable no matter what people say about him. When he again went to Sripati Babu’s place to attend the gathering, he was a changed person with a new attitude, self-confidence and free mind. Ang unknowingly became his inspiration and a true friend.
Bonku Babu’s Friend Title of the Story
The story ‘Bonku Babu’s Friend’ is a short story written by Satyajit Ray. The story deals with Bonku Babu and his loneliness. He is a school teacher. He is calm and composed, knowledgeable and sincere to his work. Yet, he gets victimised by the people around him.
He gets teased, not only by his students, but also by his fellow-mates. He feels sad yet he does not have the courage to voice protest or give them suitable replies. Things go on like this until he meets Ang. Ang is an alien who comes to the earth in a spaceship.
Ang is very much knowleageable, smart and amicable. In the bamboo grove, they had a long and interesting conversation. In this conversation, Bonku Babu gets a chance to open up his mind. He understands that he too can speak up his mind.
Though Ang was on earth for a very short period of time, he becomes Bonku Babu’s one and only true friend, a friend who made him believe in himself and taught him to take a stand. The story ends on a good note. Thus, the title of the story ‘Bonku Babu’s Friend’ is apt.
Bonku Babu’s Friend Setting of the Story
A setting of a story generally means the time and the place in which a Story is told. Almost every story has a setting. The story, ‘Bonku Babu’s Friend’ too has a strong setting. The author Satyajit Ray knitted the story in a well-constructed plot and setting. The story talks about Bonku Babu, his loneliness and his one true friend Ang.
The story goes on in its usual flow until it takes a turn when Bonku Babu gets a chance to meet Ang, an alien. In a bamboo grove, at night, he sees a spaceship from which Ang comes out, meets him and they have a friendly conversation. In this place, he finally gets to know about himself. He gets a chance to know about true friendship and self-importance. Though Ang could not be able to stay with him forever, yet he taught him some life lessons, unknowingly. Therefore, after going through the story it can be said, that the setting of this story made if thought-provoking and the characters strong.
Bonku Babu’s Friend Main Points to Remember
- Bonku Babu was a calm-head and simple person who used to teach Geography and Bengali at a Primary school.
- His students used to tease him but he never behaved strictly with them.
- In spite of ill-behaviours, he maintained him calm because he could not afford to do otherwise and he also loved the good students who were attentive in his class and also respected him.
- He did not even wanted to visit Sripati Majumdar’s place because even adults used to tease him and made poked fun on him.
- One day, the topic of conversation was space in which Bonku Babu and others gave their different viewpoints.
- That particular evening, Bonku Babu saw a strange light and he told about it to NidhuBabu. But Nidhu Babu took the full credit of it among their group.
- Bonku Babu remained silent but he kept on thinking.
- Suddenly, he met with Ang, an alien who came to the earth in a spaceship and the long conversation with him changed Bonku Babu from inside.
- Bonku Babu who was soft-spoken, timid and afraid was now turned into a new leaf.
- Though Ang left, he left his impression on Bonku Babu and made himself his true friend.
Bonku Babu’s Friend Annotations and Vocabulary
Temper — composure
Tease — to make fun of
Spook — ghost
Enthralled — to hold spellbound
Prank — a mischievous act
Endurance — the ability to withstand hardship or adversity
Obscure — dark or dim
Humbug — nonsense
Feigned — not genuine or real
Amazement — a feeling of astonishment
Radiant — bright
Provocation — incitement
Impenetrable — incapable of being penetrated
Foliage — flora
Amiable — friendly
Occurrence — something that occurs
Striding out — to stand astride
Guffaw — a loud burst of laughter
splattering — to scatter or fall in.