A biography of Soumitra Chatterjee by Amitava Nag sheds light on professional and personal aspects of the late actor’s life
The year was 2010. The news magazine I worked for was doing a cover story on celebrated actors, who, accustomed to always being in front of the camera, would go behind it for a change and click a photo that would symbolise for them the idea of life. I asked Soumitra Da who, ever gracious, obliged. This time, he was also gleeful. The idea had really appealed to him. “For me, it is a stretch of the Hooghly River,” he said, smiling his signature, almost-shy smile, “particularly that part of it which flows below the Howrah Bridge, undeterred by the congestion above”. In the car, as we drove towards the riverbank for the photo shoot, he explained, “I think flowing rivers represent life, sometimes turbulent, sometimes triumphant, as they overcome the trials and tribulations along the way. But they never stop until they reach their destinations and then finally disappear into the vast (unknown).” Ten years later, we lost Soumitra Da to the vast unknown.