Talking to ETimes an hour ago, Raima said that she and Soumitrada go back a long way. “I learnt humility from him right from the film ‘Nishijapon’ (directed by Satyajit Ray’s son, Sandip Ray) which was the first time I got an opportunity to work with him. I also realised very quickly working with him that it is so beautiful if an actor is effortless, Soumitrada was an extremely spontaneous actor. It is so sad that we have lost him.”
Soimitrada passed away due to COVID-19. He had stopped responding to treatment since last evening. Raima says that in fact she and Soumitrada spoke about the Coronavirus when she met him last. “I shot with him in August for his biopic. I have a special appearance in it. We also spoke about Corona and he used to tell me that if he was out, he was very particular about having a bath as soon as he stepped inside his house.”
The biopic on Soumitrada is one of Parambrata Chattopadhyay’s most ambitious projects. Titled ‘Abhijaan’ (produced by Navratan Jhawar in association with Roadshow Films), the film has Soumitrada playing himself at his present age and Jisshu Sengupta playing the role of the younger Soumitra.
Raima’s mother, senior actress Moon Mon Sen said, “What an auspicious day of Kaali puja for a noble soul to depart. I have just spoken to Soumitrada’s daughter. The body is being taken to the Technician Studio and from there, they will proceed for the final rites.”
Moon Moon Sen added, “My mother (Suchitra Sen) worked with him. I worked with him in four to five films and played his wife as well as daughter.
Soumitrada was a very simple man. Once I asked him what would be the first thing he wanted to do after reaching home from the set and he said that he was only looking forward to hold his grandson’s hand and have a small walk.
Soumitrada was extremely focused. I have seen only two people in Bengali cinema who kept to only themselves and their work- Utpal Dutt and Soumitra Chatterjee.”
“I never called Soumitrada anything but ‘Senior’. I didn’t want to address him as ‘Uncle’ or anything else. ‘Senior’ is gone. We will miss him,” Moon Moon Sen concluded.