A Manzil of Memories: A tribute to Basu Chatterjee
legendary film-maker without whom the Hindi film industry would be as poor as a rich man with all the grandeur but without a soul. Yes, we are talking about Basu Chatterjee the genius filmmaker most known for films like Rajanigandha, Khatta Meetha, Manzil, Chhoti Si Baat, Baton Baton Mein.
Paying homage to this legendary personality by framing some priceless moments from his life, Sensorium and Weavers Studio Centre for the Arts presented A Manzil of Memories – an archival exhibition of film stills and film memorabilia of Basu Chatterjee, conceived and curated by Sounak Chacraverti.
“Initially, I decided against coming here; but my daughter convinced me at the end. I love coming to this city and I’m happy that I was eventually pulled into this as I feel so honoured now to be present amongst a gathering that is only talking about me,” said Basu Chatterjee, while silent tears rolled down his eyes.
Present alongside the living legend were veteran singer Sabita Chowdhury (wife of late Salil Chowdhury), the multiple awards winning literary genius Bani Basu, renowned artist Suvaprasanna, veteran actor Dolly Basu, Barun Chanda and suchlike. Also present was film-maker Rupali Guha (daughter of Basu Chatterjee) along with the other family members.
“The idea cropped up in a coffee shop at Bandra while I was sitting there with Rupali. Without her, it would never have been possible,” said curator Sounak Chacraverti, who generously thanked his friends for contributing to his initiative.
Standing in front of a still from Rajnigandha, where Amol Palekar is seen seeking musical tips from Salil Chowdhury, the emotional Sabita Chowdhury, who was one of the playback singers for the film said, “Basu da is superb and unparalleled. The way he picturized his films – it is so unique.”
A huge of credit goes to archivist S M M Ausaja from Mumbai, who majorly contributed to this timeline collection of Basu Chatterjee’s film stills and posters showcasing stills from Sara Akash, Khatta Meetha, Manzil, Chhoti Si Baat, Baton Baton Mein, and Ratnadeep to name a few.
“Although I feel that he should have received a National recognition by now, this exhibition proves that today’s generation still respects legends,” said Rupali, with a hint of pride in her voice as she expressed her will to publish her father’s screenplays and books as a mark of reference for the new generation in the forth-coming days.
Tollywood Dhamaka extends best wishes to this remarkable stalwart.
Pictures by: Dipanjan Ghosh