30 May 2013

Megh Peon-er Bag-er Bhetor Mon Kharap-er Dishta


I woke up today with the sudden and shocking news of Rituparno Ghosh's death. Went to his Indrani Park residence named 'Taasher Ghor'. Walked all the way with his lifeless body from his home to Nandan. He seemed as if he was sleeping peacefully, with even a hint of a smile on his lips.   

I first saw Rituparno Ghosh's "Hirer Angti", part by part, at 'Chhuti-Chhuti' on Doordarshan. I was very young then, but still realized that the film was very different from the other films of that time. Loved the few elements of magic-realism in that film. 

When "Dahan" released, I really wanted to go and watch it at a cinema-hall, but was not allowed from home, because I was only 15 years old then. When I later saw it on cable, I was simply spellbound. Over the years I've watched this film over and over again and each time I've loved it even more. Loved Suchitra Mitra as 'Jhinuk's Thammi'. Still today I believe that this is Ritu da's best film.   

In the 90's, there was a serial titled "Bahanno Episode" directed by Ritu da. I loved it tremendously. Loved the characters played by Shankar Chakraborty and Gargi Roychoudhury. Each episode was very interesting. Loved the title track too sung by Indranil Sen. Shankar Chakraborty's character used to speak in colloquial bengali with everyone else, but used to talk in 'Bangal-bhasha' (Bangladeshi dialect) only while talking with his mother, played by Supriya Devi. I still remember distinctly that Sudeshna Roy's character was kleptomaniac. This serial was very different in look, feel and treatment from the other serials of that time. In those days, bengali serials generally used to consist of 52 episodes.  

Ritu da's film which I first saw in a cinema-hall was "Chokher Bali". I saw it at Priya Cinema. Since then I have seen all his films in a theater. When I first heard the song 'Mathura Nagarpati' from his "Raincoat", I loved that song so much that I had to listen to it day in and day out.  

More than a decade back, I used to regularly watch "Ebong Rituparno" on ETV Bangla. This talk-show was intellectually very stimulating. (Once my First-Love had called me when I was watching a repeat telecast of this show. I was more interested in watching it rather than talking to her. She got very offended. Most probably the singer Nachiketa was the guest on that episode). His recent "Ghosh and Company" on Star Jalsa was also my favourite. Loved the episode which featured Mir and the subsequent controversy. Enjoyed all his telefilms too. I clearly remember two telefilms which featured Roopa Ganguly. Loved his interview at 'Amar Rabindranath' hosted by Ranjan Bandopadhyay at Tara. Only a few days back I was again watching it. 

At the premiere of "The Last Lear" at South City Fame, I was lucky enough to be present there. Before the film began, Ritu Da, Amitabh Bachchan, Arjun Rampal, Jishu Sengupta, Divya Dutta, and others addressed the audience and talked about the film. That was the first time I saw Big B from such a close distance.   

I first went to Ritu da's house in 2009 when I was in Bratya Basu's theatre group. During that time I was working at Sangbad Pratidin. Ritu da's room inside our office was really very well decorated and it reflected his unique taste and style. I was an avid reader of his 'First Person' column at "Robbar" magazine. 

On 1st January 2011, I went to see "Aar Ekti Premer Golpo" at Metro Cinema. A very beautiful film. Loved the song 'Bonomali Tumi, Poro Jonomey Hoiyo Radha'. Though the film was officially directed by Kaushik Ganguly, I felt that it had Ritu da's directorial signature on most of the scenes. Loved the film very much. Want to watch it again very badly. Even a few days back I went to rent some dvds from my favourite shop at Golf-Green and asked for this film. But sadly till today there is no official dvd available in the market. Also while watching Sanjoy Nag's "Memories in March", I again felt Ritu da's brush-strokes in several places and especially in the last scene.  

Have been waiting for the release of his satirical comedy "Sunglass". Eager to see his documentary on Tagore. Haven't seen the Oriya film "Katha Deithilli Ma Ku", which was Ritu da's acting debut film, but now have to search for it and watch it as soon as possible. Only yesterday, I read Arghyakamal Mitra's interview on T2 and was wondering whether Sujoy Ghosh would do justice to the character of Byomkesh Bakshi in the upcoming "Satyanweshi". 

On 31st March this year, I went to watch "Himmatwala" at Navina Cinema with a female friend. After the film we went to Indrani Park, which is just opposite to Navina. I asked her whether she knew where Rituparno Ghosh stays. She said no. Then I took her in front of Ritu da's house. 

Didn't even think then that I would again have to come here within two months on Ritu da's death day. This is a great loss to international cinema. Below is a picture taken by me today at the 'Mukta-Mancha' near Nandan where the LGBT community of Calcutta paid their last tributes to Ritu Da. 

Rituparno Ghosh understood women better than women themselves. He had internalized Rabindranath Tagore and it reflected consciously as well as sub-consciously in all his films. And he knew his Calcutta and Calcuttans inside out. 

In his last released film "Chitrangada", my most favourite scene is where the hospital room changes into the sea-shore and where reality and hallucinations merge together. This is the magic of Cinema. Also waiting for the commercial release of the film "Mumbai Cutting" which comprises of eleven short films by eleven directors. Ritu da's short film was named "Urge". 

Last year there were a series of Anandabazar Patrika ads which featured past and present legends together. Loved the one where Salil Choudhury and Kabir Suman were together. However another one showed Satyajit Ray and Srijit Mukherjee on the same page. I have tremendous love and respect for Srijit da, but I felt then that Rituparno Ghosh deserved more to be in that ad and should have been there in place of Srijit da. 


Megh Peoner Bager Bhetor Mon Kharaper Dishta 
Mon Kharap Holey Kuasha Hoi Byakul Holey Tishta 

Mon Kharaper Khobor Ashey Bon Paharer Deshey 
Choukono Shob Bakshey Jethai Je Mon Thak Shey  
Mon Kharaper Khobor Porey Daroon Bhalobeshey  

Megher Bager Bhetor Map Royeche Megh Peoner Paari
Pakdondi Poth Beye Tar Bagan Ghera Baari 

Bagan Sheshey Sodor Duaar  
Baranda Tey Aaraam Chair

Galchey Pata Bichana Tey Chhotto Roder Phaali 
Shethai Eshey Megh Peoner Somosto Bag Khaali  

Dewal Jurey Chhotto Roder Chhaya Bishalkaay 
Nishpolokey Byakul Chokhey Takiye Achhe Thaay 
Kisher Opekhaay

Roder Choori Chhayar Shorir Katchhey Obiroto 
Roder Buker Bhetor Khoto  

Sei Buker Theke Toop Toop Toop Neel Kuasha Jhorey 
Aar Mon Kharaper Khobor Ashey Akashey Megh Korey 
Sara Akash Jurey 

Megher Deshey Roder Baari Pahar Kinaraai 
Jodi Megh Peoner Daakey Sei Chhayar Hodish Thakey 
Roder Phaali Takiye Thakey Akool Akangkhaai 
Kobey Megher Pithey Ashbey Khobor Baarir Barandai 
Chhotto Bagaan Taai  

Megh Peoner Bager Bhetor Mon Kharaper Dishta 
Mon Kharap Holey Kuasha Hoi Byakul Holey Tishta...

Updated on 2nd July 2013 : Today evening I finally watched Rituparno Ghosh's documentary on Rabindranath Tagore titled "Jibon Smriti" at Weaver's Studio at a special screening... 


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