It was on November 15, 2020 we lost talented stage actor and poet of repute at Kolkata’s prominent Belle Vue Clinic after a prolonged forty days battle with multifarious illness. I have already paid my tributes to this thespian from its macro point of view but in this column my aim is to pay my deep homage to him as both stage actor and poet.
Late Chatterjee began his career as a stage artist. Prior to donning this attire he was announcer at The All India Radio, Calcutta. The specialty of Chatterjee as both a stage actor and elocutionist pertained to his voice modulation. It was such at its highest peak which has deeply enthralled al his fans and foes. Plus his erudition in the field of literature, different subjects of humanities and writing poetry was added advantage in this regard. He achieved this prowess with ease and comfort. In this regard he was adept in widespread reading on all subjects which all his ardent admirers are well aware of as long as he was alive in this eternity and till date all of us will remember forever. Late Soumitra Chatterjee believed in the concept of transparency and sincerity in the endeavor he was involved into mid octogenarian phases of his life. In his filmy lives like that of his indelible performances in films like Apur Sansar and twelve more of such films directed by legendary Satyajit Ray. Apart from Ray Soumitra Chatterjee was also equally cordial with other directors like Tapan Sinha, Mrinal Sen, Tarun Majumdar and others of modern generations. Now in the subsequent paragraph it is my humble task to introspect Late Chatterjee as stage actor, poet and elocutionist of repute. It is incomparable with other stage and large screen cum medium screen artists that with his demise curtain has fallen upon cultural milieus of Bengal as well as that of India.
Soumitra Chatterjee as a stage actor:
It is indeed a difficult task for me to assess legendary as stage actor of repute. Though he was cordial and intimate with stage actors of Kolkata he never express snobbishness with others and even with his younger generations. It was from his facial expressiveness he was deeply committed to the tasks he was involved with. In different stages of Kolkata like Minerva, Tapan Theatre, Rabindra Sadan, Sisir Mancha etc he performed with equally gusto and determination. In stage he performed prominent dramas like that of Hamlet, King Lear, Namjiban, Mukhosh, Bidehi, Neelkantha, Atmakatha, Barnali, Tiktiki, Tritiyo Onko Otoeb etc various other dramas he acted. Through stage acting in Kolkata, Dhaka and other reputed cities of the globe he gave a new dimension to Bengali stage acting. He was motivated to stage acting by legendaries in the field like Sisir Kumar Bhaduri, Ahindra Chaudhuri etc various others. By dint of his prolific reading in both English and Bengali literatures Soumitra Babu adapted his stage acting style to masterly dimension which later on motivated him to become successful large, medium and small screen actor.
Soumitra Chatterjee as a poet:
Apart from being a prolific actor at large Late Soumitra Chatterjee developed himself as a prolific poet of repute. It was from his heydays Soumitra Babu was deeply fond of recitation. It was from his heydays young Soumitra Babu was drawn to writing poetry due to the motivation of his grandfather and father. His childhood was passed away at Krishnanagar a prominent cultural hub of West Bengal which falls under Nadia district which falls closely to Kusthia of Bangladesh. Somber influence of suburban West Bengal was deeply instrumental in him to write poetry. From his young days he became deeply attached to read vast literary expanse in Bengali and English languages. Even in his last days despite being in acting he never gave up reading habits in his vast storehouse of reading habits. Really this kind of personality will be dearly missed by cultural loving Bengalis based in both India and Bangladesh as well as in rest of the globe. Thus for the perusal of my online readers of both nations let me state the names of his popular poetries which are stated as follow:
Jalapropater Dhare Darabe Bole
Sabdara Amar Bagane
Janma ar Janma Jabe
Nati Natnir Chara
Dramas written by Soumitra Chatterjee:
Soumitra Chatterjee wrote various types of dramas through his creative bent of mind, among which some of the prominent ones are stated as follow:
Specialty of Soumitra Chatterjee:
Soumitra Chatterjee was a unique personality. He always felt for human welfare which was deeply reflected in all his creativities. He always tried for the career betterment for many stage actors of Kolkata. Through his creativities he always felt for the career development of entire humanities which was also quite striking through his deportment. The way the entire cultural loving citizens of Kolkata bade adieu tearful farewell to this Great Soul in the midst of Deepawali euphoria during the evening hours of November 15, 2020 which glaringly pointed out to other states of India that Kolkata despite having multiple negatives paid their rich tributes to this Thespian , actor, dramatist, poet and elocutionist of repute has brought about wide ranging accolades all over the country plus other parts of the globe which is also inclusive of our closer and cordial neighbor Peoples Republic of Bangladesh.
Now Soumitra Babu is in a state of utter sublimity. May this pious Soul be rest in peace. It is our firm belief that wherever he remains he will continue to bless the modern stage actor, dramatist and poet. Whatever creativities he has written for present generations that will also be an added asset to develop our writing skills along with his two volume essays published by a popular publisher of Kolkata city.
Man is born in this universe with bountiful of hopes and expectations but there are some exceptional elements among us with creative spirit they will always be remembered by us. Same way Soumitra Chatterjee will continue to remain immortal within us in the upcoming periods in our life through which their memories will remain irreplaceable among us.
The writer is a freelance contributor based in Kolkata