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Veteran Bollywood filmmaker Basu Chatterjee passes away at 93

Darpan News Desk Darpan, 04 Jun, 2020
  • Veteran Bollywood filmmaker Basu Chatterjee passes away at 93

Some sad news out of Bollywood 93 year old filmmaker Basu Chatterjee passed due to age related health issues. The last rites were conducted at a crematorium in Santacruz. 

Basuda, as his colleagues loved to address him, was a gifted director and writer, who helmed films like Chhoti Si Baat (1976), Rajnigandha (1974), Chitchor (1976), Khatta Meetha (1978), Baton Baton Mein (1979), Shaukeen (1982), and Chameli Ki Shaadi (1986) among others, along with shows like Rajani and Byomkesh Bakshi. People from the film industry, including Amitabh Bachchan and Anil Kapoor, posted heartfelt messages on social media remembering the veteran filmmaker.

Talking about his beloved Basuda, actor Amol Palekar share with the media that Palekar acted in six of his films, and did guest appearances in two. One of the biggest contributions that Chatterjee made was that he was the perfect bridge between commercial and parallel cinema. I had met him at his home five years ago. Sandhya (Gokhale, Palekar’s wife and actress) and my heroines Bindiya Goswami, Zarina Wahab and Vidya Sinha, and I had gone to his house. He was so happy to meet us. Knowing that he wouldn’t want to talk about his health, I would speak to his wife. The last time he was in the hospital, it was before the pandemic hit us. I heard he died in his sleep, quietly, something that goes with his personality.”

Rajit Kapur, who played Byomkesh Bakshi in the show by Chatterjee, said, “Basuda was not the pondering, dekhte hain sort of a person. I met him for the first time after my colleagues suggested my name for Byomkesh Bakshi. They had shown him some of my work. After a 10-minute chat, I was on board. He gave me the script for 33 episodes, with dialogues, which I don’t see happening even now. He was a fast worker and a taskmaster. Shifts would begin and end on time, and we had to go prepared.

He was an uncomplicated person.” Filmmaker-actor Rakesh Roshan shares, “In those days, he lived close to my home in Santacruz. We would meet often and I never missed a chance to tell him how much I wanted to work with him. We eventually did three films — Priyatama (1977), Khatta Meetha (1978) and Hamari Bahu Alka (1982). He was a great storyteller, had an amazing sense of humour and a beautiful smile. Working with him was like a picnic. Sadly, he has parted with us, leaving a void that can never be filled.” 

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