Soumitra Chatterjee Was One Of My Oldest Pals, The Loss Is Big: Sharmila Tagore

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Soumitra Chatterjee Was One Of My Oldest Pals, The Loss Is Big: Sharmila Tagore

A file photograph of Soumitra Chatterjee with Sharmila Tagore (courtesy sakpataudi)


  • “He has been such a loyal and enjoyable good friend,” mentioned Sharmila Tagore
  • I actually revered, admired him,” she added
  • “Soumitra knew I might by no means communicate sick of him,” she additionally mentioned


Veteran actor Sharmila Tagore finds it troublesome to come back to phrases with iconic Bengali star Soumitra Chatterjee’s demise, as with him, she has misplaced one among her oldest friendships, which started when she was an adolescent.

Chatterjee, 85, died on Sunday after an over-a-month-long battle with submit COVID illnesses.

The legendary actor was admitted to the hospital on October 6 after he examined constructive for the infection. He was later shifted to ICU as COVID encephalopathy set in, affecting his central nervous system and inflicting renal dysfunction.

He recovered from the infection subsequently, however his situation didn’t enhance.

Tagore and Chatterjee started their profession with filmmaker Satyajit Ray’s last installment of the Apu trilogy, Apur Sansar in 1959.

They later featured in acclaimed movies, together with Ray’s 1960 directorial Devi, filmmaker Ajoy Kar’s drama Barnali (1963), and Aranyer Din Ratri in 1970.

In an interview with PTI, Tagore, 75, mentioned she nonetheless hasn’t processed the lack of Chatterjee, with whom she shared a connection past movies. which was natural, non-judgmental, and existed superbly without the necessity to show a degree.

I used to be 13 years previous and he was 10 years elder to me after we began working in Apur SansarWithin the movie, these lovely dialogues that we spoke to one another additionally endeared us to one another. That was the start. I actually revered, admired him, and for what he stood for.”

“He was one among my oldest mates, after my husband Tiger (cricket legend Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi) and actor Shashi Kapoor. He has been such a loyal and enjoyable good friend,” she added.

Tagore mentioned Chatterjee’s non-judgmental nature solely strengthened their relationship.

Their bond, as she described, wasn’t transactional.

“We may lead our parallel lives and but have a connection, someplace as a result of our ideas, depth and loyalty was identical. Soumitra knew I might by no means communicate sick of him. There was no questioning of what we shared, we did not should show it.

“If I did not discuss to him or if he did not discuss to me, I would not really feel ‘Oh God he hasn’t wished me, he would not keep in mind my birthday.’ It was simply so natural. I can not give it any title.”

The number of Nationwide award-profitable stars mentioned they grew keen on one another over the similarity in the way in which they considered the world.

One in every of her most cherished recollections with the star has been their wide-ranging discussions on every little thing underneath the solar.

Chatterjee was a beautiful companion, Tagore mentioned, which ensured that their banter can be infinite. Typically he would perceive her perspective, different occasions she would agree along with his perception, she recounted.

We’d discuss for hours on sports activities, historical past, our imaginative and prescient of India. I discover him irreplaceable that manner as a result of there’s no person else I can share a lot with. If I expressed a sure perspective, he’d agree and broaden or shoot it down and provides his causes. That sort of friendship is so uncommon. To lose that’s enormous.”

Tagore’s famous persona was so well-rounded, it mirrored in all elements of his life.

She recalled capturing for Ray’s Aranyer Din Ratri, the place she shared a bungalow with Chatterjee and her different co-star, Subhendu Chatterjee.

One in every of Tagore’s strongest recollections of their time collectively is of her sipping her morning espresso and listening to the actor sing outdoors whereas doing yoga.

“Soumitra’s pursuits went past appearing,” she mentioned.

“He would paint, sing, was properly learn, had immense information about theatre, he would write poetries and brief tales for his grandchildren. His pursuits have been huge and that is what made him who he was – a person of all pursuits, powerhouse expertise.

I do know he’ll reside without end in our recollections as a result of his legacy is so immense. It encompasses a lot,” she added.

Chatterjee is survived by spouse Deepa Chatterjee, daughter Poulomi Basu, and son Sougata Chatterjee.


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