Hun­dreds take part in Mri­nal Sen’s last jour­ney

Post - - BOLLY/KOLLY -

HUN­DREDS of mourn­ers from all walks of life, in­clud­ing show­biz, took part in the fi­nal jour­ney of leg­endary film-maker Mri­nal Sen last week.

His mor­tal re­mains were con­signed to the flames and shorn of flow­ers to hon­our his last wish.

Sen’s fol­low­ers, friends and other per­son­al­i­ties paid their re­spects by get­ting a glimpse of the mas­ter for one last time as they matched steps for over a kilo­me­tre with the fu­neral cortege be­fore it wound its way into the Ke­o­ratala cre­ma­to­rium in South Kolkata.

His son Ku­nal Sen said no gar­land­ing and other rit­u­als were to be ob­served.

“I vis­ited him of­ten. Ow­ing to his age, I knew that this day would come. But even if we think we are pre­pared, it is never enough. I used to call my fa­ther bandhu (friend). My fa­ther asked us not to make a spectacle of his death and he did not like it. We hon­our his wish,” said Ku­nal, who had flown from the US.

“He never wanted his body to be cov­ered in gar­lands,” said the be­reaved son.

Mri­nal Sen, 95, a re­cip­i­ent of In­dia’s high­est cine­matic hon­our, the Dadasa­heb Phalke Award, breathed his last at his res­i­dence in South Kolkata’s Bhawa­ni­pore area on De­cem­ber 30 due to old age com­pli­ca­tions.

His demise sig­nalled the end of an im­por­tant era in In­dian film-mak­ing as Sen was the last sur­viv­ing mem­ber of Ben­gal’s Trin­ity of direc­tors – that also in­cluded Satya­jit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak – who ush­ered in the New Wave move­ment in In­dian cinema.

“He was a happy-go-lucky man with an in­ter­est­ing and colour­ful per­son­al­ity. He was a mas­ter film-maker,” said Sandip Ray, son of Satya­jit Ray and him­self a noted di­rec­tor.

Talk­ing about pay­ing true homage to Sen, Ray said: “I think his films should be re­stored and re­vived all over again. It should be shown on big screens so that more peo­ple can see it.”

He said the restora­tion of films was a ne­glected area in In­dia. His films should be broad­cast through­out the year.

“No one was able to copy his unique film mak­ing style,” he said.

Ben­gali su­per­star Prosen­jit Chat­ter­jee said Sen had taken “In­dian cinema to an­other level”.

Poet Shankha Ghosh, ac­tor Ran­jit Mul­lick, film­mak­ers like An­jan Dutt, Aparna Sen, Ben­gali ac­tress Mad­habi Mukher­jee, Ma­mata Shankar, Nan­dita Das, Left po­lit­i­cal lead­ers and many oth­ers also walked in Sen’s last jour­ney.

Con­dol­ing Sen’s death, Left Front chair­man Bi­man Bose said: “He was a very good hu­man be­ing which is re­flected in his films. We need peo­ple like him in to­day’s so­ci­ety.”

Shar­ing how “brave” Sen was, ac­tress Mad­habi Mukher­jee said: “He never had greed, and he never both­ered about hits and flops. He had a vi­sion and worked for it.”

She said that Sen al­ways shared the mes­sage that he wanted to.

Re­call­ing his friendly na­ture, she said he had a great sense of hu­mour and “there is no other com­mu­nist like him”.

Vir­tu­ally echo­ing Mukher­jee, Nan­dita Das said his films were not just for en­ter­tain­ment and de­liv­ered im­por­tant mes­sages.

She pointed out that the Padma Bhu­san awardee made films which spoke about the “dis­turb­ing” re­al­i­ties of so­ci­ety.

Di­rec­tor Sri­jit Mukher­jee said that for those who haven’t been to a film school, it was like los­ing the Guru (teacher).

A me­mo­rial meet­ing or­gan­ised by Sen’s fam­ily was held on Satur­day at Gorky Sadan.

Born on May 14, 1923, at Farid­pur (now in Bangladesh), Sen made his first Ben­gali film, Rat Bhore (The Dawn), in 1953 starring Ut­tam Ku­mar. But it was his sec­ond di­rec­to­rial ef­fort Neel Akasher Niche (Un­der the Blue Sky) that re­ceived ac­claim in the coun­try for its lyri­cism and hu­mane qual­i­ties.

He made 27 fea­ture films, most of which bagged prizes in In­dia and abroad. | IANS


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