Looking Back At The Journey





“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”

― Ursula K. Le Guin

And I’m fortunate that my journey has been a memorable one. When I look back, there are bruises, joy, laughter, pain and moments – moments that are treasured in my heart. Each film is like school I learnt from and through the characters, I lived lives. I’m honoured that some thought my journey is worthy enough to touch lives.

Two years back Mitali (Co-director of ‘For Cinema Only) approached me to make a documentary on me. I couldn’t give permission then. I was not really ready for it. But this time, they were adamant to make it and I especially liked the idea how they wanted to portray the journey. After thinking a lot, I gave the nod. Mitali also directed the documentary on Sourav Ganguly. It was amazing to see such detailed research they did for my documentary. The title is just apt for me. I live ‘For Cinema Only’. My struggle, sweat, blood were all for cinema. It kept me alive.

And finally, it happened. And on the Grand day of the trailer launch of ‘For Cinema Only’ when the guests shared their experience about me, I felt so touched. I’m blessed that the whole industry graced the trailer launch event. When they shared their encounter with me, some were hilarious, some were emotional, some were deeply honest. When Apu (Saswata), Abir, Param, Soham and Jisshu shared their experience and opinions about me, I was spellbound! I wonder why Apu had never seen me eating! Yes, I also love to eat. But fitness comes first! The respect they showered, the way they paid tribute by launching the trailer and the kind words melt my heart. I’m an emotional person and it is always the kind words, good gestures that encourage me to keep moving.

From my home to my gym, my office, my films, my family they covered it all in the documentary. Thank you Mitali and Samrat for portraying me this way. Thanks a ton to my friends and colleagues from the industry who are my well wishers too. I never thought I’ll make so many good friends in a life time. My heartiest gratitude to all of you for being there. And last but not the least, a big thanks to you my Janta Janadaan who made me Prosenjit Chatterjee.

Love to all..



People pass away, creations remain



“For me, the endless source of ingredients for writing is in these amazingly noble, suffering human beings. Why should I look for my raw material elsewhere, once I have started knowing them?” Mahasweta Devi once told when she was asked about her inspiration.

I was in the midst of shooting while heard the news about her death. Death is inevitable, we all know, but something somewhere cracked inside me after hearing the news. Mahasweta Devi, who has created such beautiful pieces like ‘Hajar Churashir Maa’, ‘Agnigarbha’, ‘Aranyer Adhikar’, her pen is stopped. Forever!

A writer lives many lives. Just like an actor. While writing a piece, I feel, the writer goes through the same trauma, same anguish or joy his or her characters go through. A writer giving birth to many characters leaves some traces of himself within the characters. I’m such kind of a reader who tries to know the author through their creations. And I can see a strong, opinionated, fiery, flaming woman in Mahasweta Devi who won my heart always.

“Nothing is lost” for a creative mind. It is complex, vague and full of inspirations from observations gathered from day to day life, like a collage, and nobody knows when a particular idea will pop up out of nowhere. I’m fortunate to live an author’s life as Nirbed Lahiri. He lives in his own world which cannot be justified by standard social norms. He belongs to the society but at first he belongs to himself; his own wishes, hopes, desires and dreams. In fact, in every sphere of performing arts, an artist needs to listen to the inner monologues. And guess what’s common in every artist? They are all loners in their own make-believe world. There they nourish a different soul with passion, pain, love, imagination, anguish, joy, laughter, hopes, dreams…

And it always happens. I sat to write something else and the strings of thoughts thrashed me to some other world. Actually, every artist nourishes a world within them. And through death, they take away the world with them. What we lost today, that world of revolt, passion, suffering and outrageous chapters conceived by this author. But as they say, time heals everything. And Mahasweta Devi will live through her creations another hundreds and thousand years in our hearts.

Saddened by heart, I’m sending you all good wishes. Take care and God bless!


CYBER KEEDA: The ‘Troller’



When I faced social media for the first time, I was a little bit surprised because it was touted as the most authentic platform to express one’s view, mostly the public figures who were initially skeptical to initiate any interaction with their fans or people in general.  Gradually I started enjoying.  All were going well and I was engrossed with the buzz created by the users.

Grapevine says, the more the crowd, the more the problems and with each increasing number of users the problem just exponentially grows. After few days, I spotted some people on the sites who are always found whining, using cuss words and ranting especially on celebrities. They are trolls. They troll about everything; from dressing sense to body shape and even they make harsh, very harsh personal attacks which can easily push someone to lose his cool.

At first I used to get really irritated to see all these filthy mouth and somehow wanted to give them a piece of my mind. I was stubborn to fight but later stopped myself from getting into this hullabaloo and ignored them tactfully unless I like some constructive criticisms from them. My point is, criticisms are always welcome, but not cheap personal attacks. Some people get sadistic pleasure by attacking someone and are desperate to seek attention and can go to any extent to get that!

Making fun of films, popular songs or celebrities is not a new thing. Parodies and mimicry have an old history. A genre to entertain people by mocking a dance step or some signature mannerisms are still in vogue. It’s a prolonged culture imbibed on and helped us to reach out to the bigger number of people. Recently, I was approached to allow a parody on me imitating my signature songs and dance steps. I had no problem with it as long as they were done in good humor. The ‘Bumba Dance’ concept was funny and quite entertaining. In fact, stars are often seen making guest appearances in their own parody.

But making racist comments, mocking about someone’s sexuality, mental health, body shape or dragging their personal lives in public to get some reaction is not acceptable at all. Hope these super frustrated troll will be vanished as the strong vigilance is happening and we would be able to express our ideas properly and interact with our fans which is our sole reason to be here at social networking site.

Keep the love coming. Take care and God bless!


The Journey Of ‘MAHANAYAK’


After completing more than 30 years in the Bengali film industry,  the only regret I have is not being surrounded by my JETHU whom I lost long ago. He is none other than MAHANAYAK Uttam Kumar.  To me, Mahanayak is always Uttam Jethu, the eternal and ever charismatic Mahanayak of all times!

Uttam jethu was like a family, like an elder brother to my father. The larger than life aura of the man we have never seen when he used to come in our home during those hour long adda sessions. During my teenage days, when the whole Bengal could die to get his one glimpse , I was lucky enough to get cuddled by the great personality!

As far as my film knowledge is concerned, Uttam jethu being a stalwart acted as my mentor. Despite my father’s command over the industry, I was always a Uttam jethu addicted. Very few may know that Uttam jethu wanted to direct a film for me which never took place because of his untimely death. The pain was so severe that it shunted me for quite a long and that motivated me to come out with an idea to pay a tribute hence, me and my production house hailed the great man with a small program, through his films and songs ‘Mahanayak ke Nayaker Somman’.

Coming to the show, when approached to me at first, I was very clear on the fact that I will not use the name of the great Uttam Kumar, but through the storyline people will get to know that it’s a humble ode to the greatest star, even actresses like Paoli, Tanusree or Priyanka are not playing the exact character of Suchitra Sen,  Supriya Devi or Sabitri Chatterjee but the characters (Sucharita, Priya and Gayetree respecti vely ) which are derived from their real life.

The portrayal of Uttam jethu’s struggle, his achievements and lifestyle was so tough that I was initially in a double mind but when I saw Amit ji, Anil kapoor and Priyanka too successfully own the television, my ever adventurous and risk taking soul forced me to move forward, that the only motto of living a life.

Love to all & this time bless me for this new venture!


And finally, the ‘Traffic’ gets cleared


I remember my visit to Kochi Film Festival last year. Rajesh ji was invited as the chief guest from Malayalam Film Industry but came to know he was admitted in hospital. I called him right there. His voice was breaking. He sounded very upset. Told me over the phone, his last wish would be to witness the release of ‘Traffic’ in Hindi. Who thought God had stored something that cruel for him! He was unwell for quite a long time. After fighting with ailment for months he passed away in February and the film got released in May.

‘Traffic’ was shot three years back in Mumbai. Rajesh Pillai is the director of original ‘Traffic’ movie that is in Malayalam. Later the Hindi version is adapted under his direction. While cherishing the memories of this film I remember the shooting days. How we used to have a gala time on set. Though language was a barrier for Rajesh and there was difficulty in communication but that could not stop him from extracting the best from the actors. Working with the powerhouse of talents like Manoj Bajpayee, Divya Dutt, Jimmy Shergill, Sachin Khedekar and Kitu Gidwani  was an enriching experience all together. The child actors too performed very well. So energetic and spontaneous they were on screen! Divya, Manoj and me bonded very well during the shooting of this film. I have in my mind to direct a film with Divya and Manoj in the lead. Divya used to ask me about the film whenever we met.

In ‘Traffic’, I played the role of a Superstar named Dev Kapoor who devotes himself whole heartedly into his work and has no time for family. Yes, somewhat like me. Though I try hard to spend time with my family but feel it’s not enough. I really liked the songs of the film, soothing and completely fit with the mood of the movie. You will all be surprised to know that I did no dubbing for the film. It was a complete sync sound. For this the contribution of the technical team must be appreciated. Superb job done by them!

Now when finally the film got released, and people are talking about the film we are breathing a sigh of relief. Amazing comments from the people who liked the film is pouring on us making us super happy! But in all these, I wish Rajesh was there with us witnessing the film finally got released and appreciated. We all missing you Rajesh…

Love to you all!


Shankhachil, the Human Saga winning hearts Nationwide




“Imagine there’s no countries

It isn’t hard to do

Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion too…”

– John Lenon

The master expressed a simple thought in simple lines.

“That is the charisma of simplicity. Simple stories, simple characters, simple lives…they touch hearts very easily. ‘Shankhachil’ is one such kind of a film.” Overheard one of my team members from an elderly woman coming out from the theatre after watching the film, sobbing. I wished I could get the feedback from each one of you… good or bad it does matter. According to the general response, what I’m getting, one cannot forget the film just after leaving the auditorium. It will be there in the mind for some time.

From the shooting days, we knew there will be sky high expectation for this film. The subject and the story have a deep rooted connection with our past. A past which is painful, a past we cannot get over, a past that is still affecting humanity. And the love we received is immense.

The first screening happened in Bangladesh. People coming out from the hall, sobbing. Some couldn’t say anything just hugged me tight. You know, these are the reactions we work so hard for. A special screening for our Honorable Governor had been arranged. He was supposed to stay for half an hour but he ended up watching the full film. Being a non Bengali, he watched the film till the end and noticed smallest details which touched his heart. He even didn’t delay to share his feelings after watching the film with us. In fact, he assured us to provide all the support to release it nationally. He shared, he seen a full movie after many many years. There lies the achievement of ‘Shankhachil.’

In Delhi and Mumbai screenings too, received such love that I can’t express in words. After the show, the sound of clap was so loud that my heart was actually jumping with excitement. The standing ovation proved that it actually touched hearts. Most of the shows are going houseful there. Here also, last 3days went really good for ‘Shankhachil’. Glad to see the people standing in queue to get the tickets for a Bengali film again.

Flooded with sms, comments, and appreciations I feel ‘Shankhachil’ will go a long way. It’s just the beginning. ‘Shankhachil’, a film that made it possible to shake the conscience and touch the soul. A chapter from history book came alive and mingled with the lives of common people. People could relate themselves with the story very easily. Hope, the dream run of ‘Shankhachil’ will continue…

Love to you all. And do share with me how you liked the film…God bless!


Feather added to Shankhachil with National Award


The word “partition” is one that most Indians have grown up with as a part of their consciousness. It’s not that we know of “people” who had seen it – it’s that those people were our parents, grandparents, or our best friends. We know of people who had to leave everything behind to come and start a new life in a new place. We know of the struggle and hardship that took place. We know of changing hierarchies and loyalties.

Badal is one such character who has seen as well as experienced the hardship that one goes through during Partition. Goutam Ghose is immensely influenced by the political and cultural milieu of post independent India. Having the opportunity of visiting alien lands, he comments on the present scenario, the world is passing through, in his films. Shankhachil reflects the theme of borders and boundaries. The ablest hand of Gautam Ghose treated the idea of constant crossing, recrossing or with the rejection of borders and boundaries.

Shankhachil discusses both the political impact and the methodological dimension of borders and boundaries by exposing the systematic correlations. Borders drawn out of some political interest affects the harmonious environments. This kind of division brings out nothing but wars, massacres, riots and unhappiness among the people. This division can only be blurred through the amalgamation of industry, cinema and culture. Shankhachil has been able to eliminate the difference between the the two cultures to a great extent. The film has been appreciated by audiences from both sides of Padma/Ganga. Winning the National Award just before the release of the film has helped in reaching out to more people. It is a great honour for the entire team of Shankhachil. People always expects this kind of honour for a Goutam Ghose film and Shankhachil too has lived up to it’s expectation. I’ve been flooded with phone calls and messages on social media. The response is really overwhelming.

Goutam Ghose has incarnated in himself the stature of a great film maker among the world’s famous directors through his sharp eye and sense of perceiving the human being and their societies in the right earnest. It would be an honour to represent the Bengali film industry in other parts of the world. Looking forward to more such joint ventures in the future which will enhance the film industry in both the countries. I thank the jury of the 63rd National Film Awards for bestowing upon us this honour.
Now, excited about the release of Shankhachil. Hope the people of both the Bengals & beyond  like it. Love to all & stay blessed


Aabir, pichkari, balloon and handful of nostalgia


The celebration of colours in Nature, the celebration of a new beginning, the celebration of vibrancy…Holi is a festival much more than riots of colours and smearing colour on your near and dear ones. In our country, where there are 33 crore Gods 7 Goddesses coexist; Holi is a meaningful amalgamation of tradition and devotion.
In Vrindavan, the birthplace of Shree Krishna, people celebrate Holi with the dramatization of Raas-leela, smearing dry colour and throwing buckets full of flowers one another. The sight is unbelievably beautiful with the continuous chanting of Radhe Radhe. Laathimar Holi in Mathure, Elephant Festival in Jaipur, tribal celebration in Banswara, Rajasthan, and who can forget the traditional ‘Boshontotshob’ in our very own Shantiniketan…culture, literature, religious traditions mingled up for a single occasion called Holi! Such variety in a single festival you can only find in our country…
Colours are the reflections of human emotions. Each and every colour symbolizes something…be it love, togetherness, peace, sacrifice, anger and many more! I remember in my childhood days I used to stay away from colours. The loud music, forceful scrubbing of bright abir on face, and the pink face of mine in the mirror…I did not like at all! But Maa made me understood that Holi is not only about playing with colours but it also adds value to our life. When I started to know the cultural significance of this great festival, I participated with others. Holi has never been very loud to me. The day would start by taking blessings from the elders with abir. It was very rare that I would go out and play with others.
With the growing age, playing safely with colours seemed to be fun. While residing at Dumdum, I used to go out with very few friends to play Holi. The evening before Holi, we used to lit the bonfire symbolic to the destruction of the demoness Holika by Vishnu. The myths and stories attract me more than anything else in a festival! I never get bored listening to them! But after playing, we, the monkey faced youngsters used to scare people in many innovative ways! How beautiful those days were!
Now, Holi has become just another festival for me. I stay at home this day. Mishuk stays at hostel mostly during holi. So, I hardly get a chance to celebrate with him. But this year he is here. So this year Holi is special for us! I don’t mind how he wants to celebrate the festival, but I make sure he must learn the tradition of taking blessing from elders at the beginning of this particular day. This is all what we could pass on to our next generations…the importance of traditions, the understanding of significance of festivals.
Make the most of this colourful festival! Happy Holi once again! Love to all & stay blessed!


For the love of food


“There is no love sincerer than the love of food.” ― George Bernard Shaw

Gone are those days when my Sundays used to begin with fluffy, white, deep fried, round shaped happiness! Or, sometimes getting bored I didn’t think twice to gulp the sweet delicacy made of milk, sugar and paneer decorated with pistachios, almonds and saffron strands that melts in mouth and you suddenly feel the world has become a better place…

Yes, yes I’m talking about Luchi & Sandesh! I haven’t met a single Bengali who doesn’t like these signature Bengali dishes. And yes, being a Bengali, I’m a proud food lover! From Shukto to Bhapa Ilish to Khichudi to Malpua…I love them all! But why am I suddenly talking about food?

Well, I’m often told I don’t look like my age. Who doesn’t like compliments like that! But honestly, I pay high price for it! How I let those delicious temptations pass by I only know. Now fitness comes first for me than the luxuries of tongue. And this has become a life style. I take food as medicine. What I eat, it’s difficult to swallow for others. I eat to live but there was a time when I used to live to eat! Haha!

I love to experiment with looks in my films. To become Kushal Hazra in Jaatishwar I lost kilos in a very limited span of time. For Shankhachil too, I shaded weight. Badal is a simple village teacher who is going through some tremendous crisis, so I needed to look sickly. The best part was, while shooting in Saatkhira, I overheard people saying, probably I got sugar that’s why I looked so pale! I felt, yeah, I achieved the look! I survived only on curd and cucumbers too to get that look. Now my all time favourite Luchi & Mutton Kosha replaced by green veggies, juice and fruits.

But there must be times when I’ll let lose my rules. Sunday is my ‘Sin-day’ actually! No restrictions, no rules are applicable on Sundays! And during Durga Puja too, I make it a point not to miss the ‘Mohabhog’. The divinely delicious khichudi, pulao, alurdom I can’t resist! They taste so different, so good! But most of the time, I enjoy watching others eat. I arrange small get together at my home and arrange good food. I love it when people enjoy their food. I love to see others eating with utter love and satisfaction.

Someone said it right! No matter how you slice or dice it, the gateway of one’s heart is through good food. May be you are cooking it, feeding it or eating it! Cheers to food!

Love to you all!


Panthers’ Reunion




Work hard and party harder, they say!

In the midst of my busy hectic schedule, finally took out some time to refresh and rejuvenate myself! Last night, we, the whole team of Purulia Panthers reunited followed by the grand birthday bash of the captain of Purulia Panthers, Jisshu Sengupta. And it was a nice, cozy, homely party that we enjoyed and had some great time interacting, laughing and eating together!

It’s been 2months since we parted! I mean, the whole team of Purulia Panthers! During practice sessions, matches we bonded so well that even after winning the final match all were a bit upset that they would not be able to meet each other every day.

As T20 World Cup is going on, cricket became automatically the topic of discussion. It was nice to see them taking the game seriously and really trying to learn it by heart. And then the ‘Shankhachil’ team joined in. The topics of the adda diversified… films to music to cricket to politics everything under the sky were talked about.

The supporters of Purulia Panthers also joined in. Ankush dropped in late at night. Nice dinner, lovely adda sessions and warm informal environment! What more do you need for a feel good time! I feel rejuvenated! Looking forward to the next season of BCL!

Love to you all…