Posts Tagged ‘Uttam Kumar’

No. This UK does not mean anything you know about. Not United Kingdom…. United insanity, you could say… restricted to a tiny section of the world’s population.

You missed it! I must say to the rest of the world.

Now let me introduce to you ignorant people the UK phenomenon… the phenomenon called UTTAM KUMAR! Today is his 31st death anniversary. If he had been alive, he would have been 85 years old. However, this 85-year-old grandfather has bequeathed a legacy for over two decades in the Bengali Film Industry of an image of a man, a hero, a larger-than-life portrayal of a lover, that a woman can only romanticize in her dreams.

He couldn’t be called handsome in traditional standards really… With rather plump facial structures — too fair for my liking — he did not have much of a pronouncing appeal that I can say out aloud. Yet, this phenomenon ruled the hearts of women and men alike for decades when he was alive, and now 31 years even after his death. What is the magic then? Let’s analyze the magic.

The sex-appeal of this grandfather of heroes laid in his gait… how he slithered into the frame like a king and broke blockbuster records. His jaws: the way he subtly released his left jaw for a tiny lopsided pout with a hint of a smirk when he teased his woman, or with a hint of sadness when his lady love is with some other man. His eyes: the soulful looks in his eyes, after his lady love stormed out of the room…. so poignant that millions of other women would love to hug him at that moment just to be his second, third, fourth, zillionth lady love.

His sex-appeal lay in his restrain: his determined self-control to turn down his love for other sacrificing pursuits. When he looked at his woman, you could feel he was looking at you, you could feel that look screaming out from the screens, paralyzing your entire body into submission, making frenzied love to you with his eyes. Oh how you wished you had one hypnotic moment like that in your real lifetime!

I have had the opportunity and inclination to explore cinemas of the world. I have felt romanticism in eyes of Gregory Peck, Tom Cruise, Clark Gable and a few others in Hollywood. (None in Bollywood, I’m afraid). I did feel close to them when our eyes met (in movies, unfortunately). But I never felt the kind of endearment I felt for Uttam Kumar and I’m sure every single woman around me, who experienced this magic, felt the same way.

It’s an RDX-deadly mixture of love, romance, adoration, endearment and sexual attraction. WOW! After experiencing the Uttam Kumar marvel, one can never find real happiness in any man, since every man falls short of this expectation.

Thus, I refrain from going into this UK world every now and then, since I keep thinking a human form like this actually exists and I might just bump into him at the next corner of the road. Nah! No such luck. There is just one Uttam Kumar. Confined into the hearts of evergreen Bengal — unique, sui generic, irreplaceable.

Him

Him

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1oJaLdUOtR8

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

Its a powerful word!

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

Only those who’ve heard this tone sometimes in their lives, will know what I am talking about. I am pretty sure every religion, language, every woman of the world used this tone at least once with her loved ones, but  they don’t know the word. 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.

Suchitra Sen excelled in this emotion. On screen I mean. She poured 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… Aaj jeona… “ This final concoction 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 was not sitting on a chair in a movie hall, and I had been a man.

I am not qualified enough to talk about her achievements and goals. 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

ballerina

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