The Green Men
By: Satyajit Ray, Premendra Mitra, Adrish Bardhan, Dilip Roychowdhury
Translated by: Arunava Sinha
About the Book:
The story that vanished into thin air…
Many years ago, when the triumphant march of science fiction in Bengali literature had just begun, the Sahityabashor programme of All India Radio featured an extraordinary story read by Satyajit Ray, Premendra Mitra, Dilip Roychowdhury, and Adrish Bardhan.
A single story. None of them revealed the entire plot to the others. Premendra Mitra began it, and Satyajit Ray ended it. Dilip Roychowdhury and Adrish Bardhan took the story forward. None of the three had told one another, or Ray, how the story should end. He composed the final episode with a combination of marvellous imaginativeness and superb craft. And he created a sensation when telling his story. With his inimitable baritone he proved that writing and narrating are not the same thing, that the written word can create a deeply resounding work of art through speech. He had asked for a glass of water to take into the studio. When the recording was complete, everyone who listened to the playback was overwhelmed.
The title of The Green Men was given by Premendra Mitra. The idea for a story with different episodes contributed by various writers was his too. The story, however, had vanished into thin air after being read on air—though the tape survives. It was published twice, in All India Radio’s Betar Jagat magazine, and subsequently in Fantastic magazine. It does not appear in any collection of stories by Satyajit Ray, Premendra Mitra, Dilip Roychowdhury, or Adrish Bardhan.
This is the first-ever English translation of “The Green Men” being published as an independent story. We thank and acknowledge Kalpabiswa for publishing the story in Bengali as “Shobuj Manush.”
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