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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rituda ... (1963 - 2013)

'Mathura nagarpati kaahe tum Gokul jaao?"
Just two days back, Rituda had tweeted: Wrapped up the shoot of Satyanewshi, a crime thriller in the molten glow of the pensive falling afternoon. And, now, all we are left with are his memories, his films, his voice on record, and reverberating in our souls. Can't believe that he is no more with us.
Right from the moment I started getting messages and calls on my mobile phone telling me about the sudden and untimely demise of Rituparno Ghosh,
It felt like a personal loss.
The fact remains that, though I had met him on two occasions, there was no personal connection to boast of.

I am sure there are many like me who bonded with him emotionally because of his films, because of his thoughts and philosophies, because of what he stood for and symbolized.

My friend Sid summed it best, saying that he was an inspiration, a mentor, a guide..... a revolutionary, not in the usual firebrand mode, but in an altogether sublime way. I agree with Aryan completely when he said that it feels surreal, absurd, to watch Rituda's lifeless body being taken out of his home...... he was dressed regally yet simply, and it seemed he was sleeping in peace.
For most of his working years, he worked at a hectic pace, his mind was at a creative overdrive most of the time, and I wondered how he managed to read so much and possess such expansive knowledge on a host of things that were close to his heart.
 Saurabh's spontaneous reaction was evocative. He said: Rituparno Ghosh not only meant cinema....... he stood for a lot more - more than can perhaps be comprehensively embodied by a single person! He was a consummate filmmaker and, more than anything, passionate about aesthetics. Bonnie calls him a contemporary legend. In his words: As a filmmaker, he was unlike many of the phonies who inhabit this world, he was a genuine person, warm and magnanimous, and as a creative thinker unparalleled.
Actually, Rituda's absence from this physical world is too hard to sink in for me. I had looked forward to be provoked and challenged by defiant and emotionally-charged offerings so keenly..... anyhow, life goes on, but I would like to end this write-up with a question that has been posed by Mehul (my best friend from the virtual world), and I ponder on the same all day long..... he asks if I noticed 'how Death had a luminous presence in almost all his films'. I did. So did many of the critics. Inadequacies and insecurities of all kinds were traced translucently and lucidly by Rituda, he understood the nuances of relationships and personal vulnerabilities like none else. We will miss you Rituda, all the more with every passing day.... but, at the same time, you will always be in our hearts. There would be millions who would be influenced and inspired by you in the days to come, and I am sure you would even be endeared by many who are yet to discover you. Love you Rituda..... always will.

16 comments:

Joy said...

Rest in peace Rituparno Ghosh

Anindo, I wish you had thrown more light on the kind of influence and inspiration that Rituda has been for you. Though I know how hard it must be to share such things with the world.
Wherever Rituda has gone to, may he find peace. May he have his much needed rest.

Imran said...

Barsha aasbe, aasbe basonto.....
Habe naboritur gaan-o.....
Sudhu thaakbe na se.....
Holo Ritu_ranger abosaan!

Hirer aangti haariye gelo,
Roye gelo bishaader resh....
Paarbe ki taake khnuje ene dite kono Raangapishima ba Byomkesh?

Neeraj said...

Felt numb yesterday after I came to know of the demise of Rituparno Ghosh, he had infused the film scene with a whole new energy, challenging the contemporary mores as well as celebrating the universal.

aarav said...

To millions of us who did not even know him personally, Rituparno Ghosh had become the darling Ritu-da..... that's really a proof of the kind of warmth he exuded as a person, a gem of a person that the eminent filmmaker was!

Arunima said...

Its really tragic that such a creative soul had to pass away so early! Though the world of cinema will miss him immensely, he will remain alive through his work, touching millions of hearts always..

saurabh said...

May Rituda's soul rest in peace. May his films, which were forerunners in more than one way, lead us to emancipation.

anindo sen said...

Had it not been for Rituda, many things would not have come up or surfaced....... and I am speaking this time with a personal edge.
I would not have bonded with many of my friends had it not been for Rituda's films which formed a common take-off point for us. Be it Anirban, Sayantan, Mehul, Aniruddh, Kaustav, Dibyendu, Atanu, Vicky, Deep, Sumit, Sharmee or Iman, it was always a charged up conversation that ensued after watching a Rituparno Ghosh film that we were led to an understanding of cinema as well as an understanding of each other. And, it was just a natural extension of Rituda's reflections on relationships. No one in our times portrayed them on screen better than him.
Also, not at all strangely, Rituda helped us understand Rabindranath better. This I am saying completely bereft of any kind of pretension. He made Tagore accessible to us in his own way. Rituda was an authority on so many things - from Rabindranath to Mahabharat! Would miss being enriched, such a mammoth loss for all of us!

Recently, there has been many kinds of responses to the setback that Rituda's passing away has had...... even some that were completely uncalled for. Just last night Anirban has brought to my notice the bizarre baseline for Pratidin's forthcoming Robbar issue titled 'Ritu Shesher Robbar'..... a case of bad pun, according to him, as not only for an undignified reference but also suggesting that Ritu is finished! Well, Anirban, be prepared for more such indignities, we lack Rituda's sense of balance and etiquette, and a few aspire for that these days.

Piyush said...

Rituparno's passing away is not not only too tragic because it is so very untimely, it does feel like a bolt from the blue, but it is also too disheartening because he was a filmmaker way ahead of his time and leagues ahead of many of his contemporaries. I also feel that he was underrated as a filmmaker, despite having been honored with awards aplenty. Most viewers were increasingly biased in their evaluation of his work, because of his overt celebration of his sexuality, rather his androgyny.
I sincerely hope that his ideas be propagated and nurtured all the more in the days to come.

Rachit said...

Rituparno Ghosh's films had his unique and distinct handling. His empathetic and sensitive treatment of subjects portrayed a resistance of sorts on a humane ground. He was also effective in bridging the so called gap between commercial (mainstream) and parallel (art-house) films. The resurgence of Bangla cinema owes a lot to him, and his films. People queuing up to watch the latest Rituparno film was like a given, a certainty. Will miss him dearly. He could have contributed a lot more to the world of cinema had he not left the mortal world so soon.

dibyendu said...

Your write up is simple and eloquent.This is indeed a loss for the magnum opus syndrome of him being the quintessential icon of gender fluidity.ICONIC MUTED RAW SILKS. 'Missing him' would be an understatement.

--Ayan

pallavi said...

No one showed the female psyche, the emotional vulnerability, better than Rituparno Ghosh as far as Bangla cinema is concerned.
Forgive me, if you think I am biased to say so.

starry-eyed said...

Tributes may be flowing aplenty, many lamenting the loss of a legend, yet the fact remains that the filmmaker was grossly misunderstood by most of the so-called intellectuals. Even the same LGBT community that he tried to give dignity to, by speaking openly about sexuality and issues pertaining to sexual preferences, had often accused him of being politically incorrect.
Not having have any overt agenda, but being only concerned about projection of the multiple truths that life is all about, he was often cornered, hurt, and exploited. Good, if all that is left behind in the past; good, if people try to genuinely show empathy to humanity and his humane concerns as an immensely talented, creative individual. Minor but some respite it'll still be.

Raghav said...

His song (penned by him for 'Memories in March' says it all beautifully):
"Bahu Manorathe
Saaju Abhisaare
Pehenu Sunil Bes
Kajara Nayaane
Salaja Bayane
Kusume Saajaanu Kes
Sakhi Hum
Mohan Abhisaare Jaaoon
Bolo Hum
Etak Sukh Kahaan Paaoon
Jamunaar Paar Gahana Aandhaar Ghanane Pavana Maajhe
Piya Setha Mor
Bedana Kaatar
Mohe Laage Baythe Aache
Sakhi Hum
Mohana Abhisaare Jaoon
Bolo Hum Etak Sukh Kahaan Paaoon.....
"

Victor said...

Rituparno’s demise has created a void in his genre in Bengali film. His collection of work with 11 among them with National award speaks volume. His demise will certainly be missed immensely by film lovers.

anindo sen said...

I am glad that so many of you have joined in not just lamenting the death of a genius, but also in sharing your own thoughts on the master.
Yes, I have to admit that a couple of vulgar comments were also received on this very post but I reported spam and had them deleted ASAP. That speaks of the crooked bias of our people, even now that he has left the planet. Such animosity, such crudity, often endorsed by the so-called intellectuals irk me, astound me.
Yet, perhaps, the last word on all this was spoken by Rituda himself, in one of his last interviews (a rare one at that you'd know if you have read it on my friend Kaustav's blog, published in part by Hindustan Times as well), Rituparno Ghosh had asserted, "I know, my city can neither handle me nor ignore me."

I had first come across Rituparno at the Kolkata Film Festival, he had already made 'Hirer Angti' and 'Unishe April' by then. Dressed in a black t-shirt and jeans, he seemed to be in an introspective mood, and I resisted the obvious temptation of speaking to him.
Years later, I remember going to meet Aamir Khan at a book signing event (the book was on the making of 'Lagaan' chronicled by Satyajit Bhatkal, Aamir's friend) organised by Landmark (now Starmark), and being an Aamir Khan devotee I made sure not to miss the opportunity of gazing at him, up-close, and Rituparno Ghosh had come to the same event, and was seated next to Aamir! Rituparno was considering working with Aamir, toying with the idea of casting him in 'Chokher Bali', though the latter couldn't convince Rituda to have it made in Hindi, not Bangla.
I never met Rituda in person ever again, never had a chance to interact with him in person, although on e-space we had exchanged words, just once, it was post 'Chitrangada'. Found him to be as polite as a perfect gentleman.
I wish I had more to share, I wish I had exploited the opportunity of interacting personally, had so much to ask him..... nothing personal though. [This very elaborate lament of a comment would not have been shared here had it not been for a request by yet another dear friend. Hope it suffices.]

Saahil said...

Rituparno Ghosh was an embodiment of contradictions, he was elusive at times, and, from what I have observed closely, he was nothing short of a perfect genius. He could be childlike in simplicity and yet could be a stern taskmaster on the sets. He loved to keep things which were intensely personal embedded in his heart, and yet he wouldn't hesitate to be flamboyant and talk about his crushes and more. He was much maligned and misunderstood as a result of which he nursed a hurt ego, and again he himself would crib about being over-rated as a director at times. He would remain in our hearts forever, and people will continue to be enchanted by his persona the scent of which would keep wafting time and again as we shall be revisiting his works.