Holding a Filmfare Award in my hand

Posted: July 3, 2011 in For a thought....
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Tumi amake chhere jabena kothhao……

(You’ll not leave me and go anywhere else… You cannot! )

Tumi amake chhere jabena kothhao (You will not leave me and go anywhere)

Tumi amake chhere jabena kothhao (You will not leave me and go anywhere)

My translation of the above Bengali line is quite terrible!

Actually Madam Sen excelled in one very naughty tone of talking, which cannot be told in English. The tone is called ‘obhimaan’ in Bengali. And ‘obhimaan’ doesn’t have any English term.

It’s a thoroughly emotional mix of hurt, laced with bit of anger, only towards someone you love deeply, and its expression is mostly non-verbal.  ‘Obhimaan’ can create hermits, loners, break relationships, make one take decisions, walk away from relationships, endanger lives.

It’s a powerful word!

In Bengali, it becomes a heavier and more emotional connotation. Much more internalized. Puts up walls, and prevents outward expression.

Only those who’ve heard this tone sometimes during their lives, will know what I am talking about. I am pretty sure every religion, language, every woman of the world has used this tone at least once with her loved ones, but  they don’t know the exact term. Here it is. Say it after me. It is called “O-BHI-MAAN” . Use it just before you decide to become sarcastic with your man. .. It works wonders. Just 3 syllables. Shouldn’t be tough.

Bengali actress Suchitra Sen excelled in this emotion. On screen I mean. She infused a few drops of extra honey to her voice when she asked her man not to leave her, and said almost inaudibly, with a finality . “Tumi jabena… amake chhere kono-o din jabena…” (Don’t go… never ever leave me).

This final concoction (which sounds quite a mess when translated in English) reverberated and appeared to resonate right out of her soul, and no man, not even the all powerful Uttam Kumar had the courage to say “No” to her face after that.

I too would have melted if I had not been sitting on a chair in a movie hall, and had I been a man.

I’m not qualified enough to talk about her achievements. There are a lot of people who can write about that. I can just give you one small anecdote.

I once held a Filmfare Award in my hand (The Oscars of Bollywood).

The pretty black lady, the most coveted prize in Indian Film Industry. No. Don’t mistake me. I didn’t receive it. I am in no way connected to Bollywood film industry (yet :P). Yet I held the award for a full minute. I’ll tell you how.

I was a freelance reporter those days. Probably in the early 90s. She had retreated into her self-reclusive days already and we were of the tad impression that she was doing this for publicity stunt. (We were proved hopelessly wrong today. )

Anyway, it was one of my umpteen visits to a renowned newspaper office in Kolkata and I was talking to the assistant editor about an assignment when I noticed a Filmfare Award on a rack behind him.

I asked: How is that here? Did you win it? In reply, he said: Go, go, go ahead. Hold it, hold it.

Curious, I went up and got it. It was quite heavy, lead, I supposed. I kept it on my lap and listened to the story as he related.

“This award was won by Ms Suchitra Sen (The Greta Garbo of Indian Cinema for being the best actress at Filmfare for ‘Aandhi‘ in 1975.

“When she was nominated and was invited to visit Mumbai… she said: Tsk!

“When she won the award and was called to collect it, she said: Tsk!

“Then Filmfare committee send the award to Calcutta office. Calcutta office contacted her and she said: Tsk!

“This award then went from being a coveted trophy to lying neglected in the godown in the newspaper office. I had gone there for a personal work one day when I spotted it. I brought it up and later heard this story. Since then, it has adorned my office.”

Some more facts I learned!

FAQS:1) Suchitra Sen refused the Dada Saheb Phalke Award (Highest Award given to a film artiste) because she didn’t want to step out of the house, and for this she had to go to Delhi.

2) Sen refused Raj Kapoor film under RK Banner (a banner today’s heroes and heroines would give an arm and a leg to be a part in )

3) Sen refused to work with Oscar-Winner director Satyajit Ray, because she had date problems!!?! Ray never got down to make this film (Devi Chowdhurani) in which he wanted her to star in — ever again in the future.

PS: The caption is my imagination. I wasn’t there when this snap was clicked. But I felt she was in her ‘obhimaan’ mood. What do u think?

With Satyajit Ray

With Satyajit Ray

With Satyajit Ray

With Satyajit Ray

with daughterPicture courtesy: Ananda Plus and Facebook

Pictures: Dhiren Dev

With Dharmendra

With Dharmendra

glamorer pithosthan

glamorer pithosthan


With Dev Aand

With Dev Aand

With Dilip Kumar

With Dilip Kumar

With Uttam Kumar, the doyen of Bengal Superhero

With Uttam Kumar, the doyen of Bengal Superhero

  1. Heather Walker says:

    I enjoyed this posting as I would have asked a similiar question and been intrigued by the answer. Thanks for sharing.


  2. Reader says:

    The filmfare award for best actress (1975) was won Jaya Bachchan in “Kora Kagaz”; the same award went to Lakshmi for “Julie” in 1976. Suchitra Sen was nominated for “Aandhi” in 1976 but she NEVER won it. Maybe, you should get your facts right.


  3. Reader says:

    The filmfare award for best actress (1975) was won by Jaya Bachchan for “Kora Kagaz”; the same award went to Lakshmi for “Julie” in 1976. Suchitra Sen was nominated for “Aandhi” in 1976 but she NEVER won it. Maybe, you should get your facts right.


    • apu28 says:

      Hi, Thank you for the information. After you pointed out, I went onto Wikipedia and found out that what you said IS true!
      However, as I said, this ENTIRE story was related to me by a very senior journalist, who HAD a Filmfare Award in his office, which I HELD for a couple of minutes. So MY facts aren’t incorrect. I do not know now whose award that was, or why that person had to fabricate the story, which as you see I had told in quotes.
      Thanks for pointing it out, anyway.


  4. Reader says:

    thanks for the clarification. although, as far as i know, awards generally have the name of the winner engraved/embossed on the statuette. so, if you saw sen’s name on the statuette, we could totally question the ‘facts’ supplied by wikipedia.
    also, is there any reason why this journalist you’re quoting cannot be named?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s