Sundeep Bhutoria

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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Rituparno's final adieu

Thursday morning got a text that Ritu da is no more! Rituparno Ghosh's sudden demise has left a deep void in Bengal's film industry. A director par excellence, Rituparno's films were instrumental in getting the Bengali intelligentsia back to the cinemas.
Rituparno's passing away is shocking. After the news of his loss seeped in, I heard that Ritu da had sent an SMS around 3 am to Mahendra Soni saying that he was not feeling well. It is obvious that he passed away soon after.
In fact, we were supposed to meet up later this week at the farewell party of Dean R Thompson, American Consul General in Kolkata. When I had called up three weeks earlier requesting him to attend the farewell party at The Taj Bengal, he had said that his shooting was on which he was hoping to wrap up soon. He said if he could manage it he would definitely be there at the farewell party.
Earlier this week he confirmed that he would attend my party as he missed the lunch at my residence when Tony’s Aparajita Tumi DVD was released recently.
Last week, when Debadrita Chatterjee aka Maddy requested me to felicitate Naseerudin Shah after his performance at the Kalamandir on June 2, I inquired who all were coming. Maddy told me that she had invited Rituparno da for her show. Rituparno had said to her, “If my shooting is over and I am alive, I shall surely come.”
Maddy also told me that she and Mahesh Bhatt were planning to produce a film on safe citizen based on Rituparno’s story and to be directed by Sanjoy Nag. Ritu da was to be the creative producer for the project.
Maddy was the first person that came to my mind when I got the text of his passing away. I wonder if Rituparno da, like many others, had some inkling of the inevitable.
I was also hoping to meet Rituparno on June 2 at The Art Gallery in ITC Sonar where he was the Chief Guest for the Mango Haat event, jointly organised by ITC and Murshidabad Heritage Development Society.
Rituparno's films, with its share of controversies, were of a very high calibre and full of cinematic value. Something the entire Indian film fraternity unanimously agreed on as evident by the rich tributes paid to him. He had an unconventional take on subjects that were pressing and thought provoking. In some recent films, Rituparno's histrionic talents came to the fore.
Rituparno made his debut with Hirer Angti in 1992 and the other classic works included Abohomon, Antarmahal, Titli, Chokher Bali, Noukadubi, Subho Mahurat, Shob Choritro Kalponik, Khela, Raincoat, The Last Lear, Utsab, Bariwali, Chitrangada and Satyanewshi based on popular Bengali detective character Byomkesh. He acted in three films Arekti Premer Galpo, Memories of March and Chitrangada.
When I had met Ritu da at Kaushik Ganguly's party on Shabdo (picture) sometime back it so happened that we were the first ones to arrive and had quite some time for an adda session with Kaushik as the event started late.
I told him that Raincoat was my favourite among his films and also alluded to the fact that we were the only guests to be there on time or rather a little before time.
ess bee

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