By Priyanka Dey
Edited by Liz Maria Kuriakose, Associate Editor, The Indian Economist
A year ago on this very day marked a scar on Bengali film industry. The precipitous and dejected demise of an actor, director and creator Rituparno Ghosh. The day remains clear in my memory as would any important event of the past linger in the thoughts. It was a bright sunny morning unlike today when it pours in Kolkata, as if Ritu Da’s heart is aching in heaven for the untold stories and unfinished creations. A friend of mine asked me once ‘Why Rituparno Ghosh is much celebrated?’ I told him not one human can justify the answer.He always believed in teamwork as he fetched every award. In his autobiographical work, Smriti Charan talks about the shooting of Khela as a picnic ride and cricket was an inevitable part of film making between the shoot. Once when asked by a friend, ‘why do we have mornings?’, he replied “for shooting …” such was his love for film making as if it was a part and parcel of his life.
Despite the highest goggled search of Rituparno Ghosh regarding his gender, his achievements and contribution remain less celebrated and untold. In all those surgeries and experiments he went on doing on himself, the purity of emotions and appetite for change retains its sanity. Might be that very dialects within himself made him above all and gave him the leverage to possess both the feminine and masculine dispositions. The commendable ability to provide unquestionable story requires in depth clarities which is only provided by intensive knowledge. His each creation is dripping in applause for the volume of knowledge and passion he had for Cinema.
The winner of ten national awards for his exceptional movies never gave him pride but the courage to dwell into the black list of society. From the family themed film Utsab and socially driven film Dahan into personal and taboo concept of gender. His own gender at stake he dwelled into the problems of this society to tear open the veil of who we are and who we show us to be. Three consecutive films on gender perplexity shows the pain and suffering for those whose DNA’s have played an interesting game.The leading characters have been female oriented and how they have been depicted beautifully in each and every shot. The simple movement of eyes or hands well detailed that each women can identify a similarity to them as if it was her story. Art as a medium of communication and a tool of social change has witnessed numerous uprisings. This humble existentiality of art as a medium of change narrates its power and prominence.
But the exclusive factor in Ritu Da’s films were the aura of period and importance of culture. Bengali girls reinvented the art of Saree and traditional styling; those beaded jewellery, tip (bindi, a small design in midst eyebrows), cotton sarees and bold eyes. Traditional Bengali beauty found its way back into the closet of youth and teens. The cool neon, high street fashion or some other trends find their way back and forth into Bengali women’s lifestyle but after Ritu Da’s leading heroin daunted sarees and bindi’s it has become a status quo to dress like them .
The charisma of period films is a rare art. The majestic director tweets “People ask me why I make period films when it’s so difficult to find authentic props, but there is a different pleasure to this.” (16th March 2013) The detailing that goes into making each frame is huge. In every scene he has created the perfect chemistry of timing, emotions and surrounding. He gave us the opportunity to revisit those eras which are just locked in books now. It created a trend eventually of artistic movies. But the loss of Ritu Da remains as if a loss of fortune to Indian Cinema garlanded by loss of knowledge, pleasure and amusements.
Passionate for love , economics , dance, fashion and living life . Hope to keep getting inspired in life. I believe bringing a change is the cause of our existence and every step that one takes change options in superstructure . Keen in deconstructing anything and everything . I believe we all know what we actually want and eventually achieve that and the rest that comes in the path is just knowledge creation .