Aparna Sen: Suchitra Sen's demise is an end of an era
Many prominent members of the Bengali film industry paid tribute to iconic actress Suchitra Sen, who passed away on Friday, January 17.
Aparna Sen says, "I met her (Suchitra Sen) only once during the shooting of Uttar Falguni. She was a legendary actress. I feel so empty inside.
"Her demise is an end of an era. I feel sorry for (daughter) Moon Moon, (granddaughters) Raima and Ria. I wanted to make a documentary on her but she did not agree.
"She is one of the few people, who can mesmerise you both on and off screen."
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Image: Aparna Sen
Photographs: Courtesy Vistaas PR
'She was magic and enigma personified'
Image: Mithun Chakraborty
'She can't die'
Actress Madhavi Mukherjee, who played the title role in Satyajit Ray's Charulata, says, "She was the most sincere and dedicated person I have ever come across in my life. She can't die. She, like Uttam Kumar, will ever be alive in our hearts.
"Unlike most of the actors, she knew when to retire and how. Salute her on this day, salute her mental strength."
Image: Madhavi Mukherjee in Charulata
'It's a great loss'
Veteran actor Biswajit Chatterjee says, "It's a great loss. It's an end of an era. Just when we thought she was getting better, she bid adieu.
"I was lucky to have shared screen space with her. She was a perfect blend of beauty and the brains."
Image: Biswajit Chatterjee
'Suchitra Sen was the most mysterious actress in our industry'
Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who remade one of Suchitra Sen's most famous Bengali films, Devdas, in Hindi, says, "Suchitra Sen was a star in true sense. She acted in few films but every performance left a big impact in people's minds. She's the most mysterious actress the industry has ever seen. No one knew much about her.
"Director Bimal Roy had found the right person in Suchitra Sen to portray the role of Parvati (Paro) in Devdas. Her performance was so sensitive, pure and fragile. There was some kind of mystique in her performance. She had one of the most beautiful faces and a unique voice. I will never forget her voice.
"Some of her scenes from the film are etched in my mind, like the one where she runs towards the gate when Devdas (played by Dilip Kumar) is dying. Her eyes were so expressive in that scene.
"I made Devdas in 2002, and Aishwarya Rai played the role of Paro. We never tried to emulate Suchitra Sen. It would have been a big crime if I had done that.
"I loved Suchitra Sen's performance in Mamta and Aandhi as well.
"She acted very naturally and would light up the screen with her performance. She mesmerized everyone in all her films. There were many other actresses during her time but for me, she was one of the most beautiful actresses we ever had.
"She has left behind a huge legacy."
Image: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Photographs: Abhijit Mhamunkar
'Suchitra Sen looked as irresistible in a sari as in a western outfit'
Noted Bengali poet and writer Subodh Sarkar says, "To me, the name Suchitra Sen stands for a dream personified, the zenith of womanhood. Compared to her, the modern actresses seem so frivolous and unimportant.
"My favourite Suchitra Sen film is Saptapadi.
"Her beauty used to be so delicate, her appeal so ageless. She looked as irresistible in a sari as in a western outfit.
"An actress of her calibre and intelligence shouldn’t suffer the way she has been. Why did she, who made many hearts skip a beat, have breathing problems? I wish I could feel her pain in my heart.
"I salute the spirit that inspired her to retire from public and media glare. It takes a heart of steel to take such a step. Sen is a superwoman, who could master the art of restraint. No one, but West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, could meet her in the last 35 years.
"Thank God, I did not have a chance to see her after her exit from the film industry.
"I would like to remember her as a pleasing enigma -- a mystery that I could never unravel.
Image: Subodh Sarkar
Photographs: Subodh Sarkar/ Facebook