Senior actor and Bengali cinema legend, Soumitra Chatterjee, passed away on November 15, 2020 due to Coronavirus complications. The 85-year-old actor also suffered from multiple co-morbidities that worsened his condition.
Chatterjee could be described as a man of many talents. An actor, a writer, a poet, a playwright, a director, and reciter and painter. He was as rare a talent in all of his endeavours as his primary career as an actor. In more than six decades of being in the film industry (Bengali), he made more than 50 films.
He has been awarded Padma Bhushan (2004), National Award (2006), and Dadasaheb Phalke Award (2012) in India, and Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and Legion of Honour in France.
But apart, from his on-screen talents and immense well of work with Satyajit Ray, he also had a rich-body of literary work to his credit. Here are some of his books that his fans must read:
Sreshṭha Kabita- The collection of poems was published in 1993 in Bengali and showcases his talents as a poet. The book is available in its original Bengali version on Amazon but sadly, there isn’t a translation available.
Manik Dar Songe: The very personal and heartfelt story of Chatterjee’s journey with his mentor, Satyajit Ray. It covers their lives from 1959 to 1992. In 2014, an English translation The Master and I: Soumitra on Satyajit was published. The book is a must-read for both fans of Ray and Chatterjee as well as fans of cinema.
Porichoy: This 2013 book is written in an autobiographical style and depicts his cinematic as well as a personal journey. This book is also available in Bengali.
Pratidin Tobo Gantha: Much like Manik Dar Songe, this book is his personal account of idols and mentors. In this book, Chatterjee showcased his admiration for Rabindranath Tagore as a person, leader, writer, and human.
Choritrer Sondhane: In this 2004 book, Chatterjee went on a journey of self-exploration. As a writer and an actor, it is his journey as a person as well.
Apart from these books, he had many other collections of poetry as well as stage-plays. As a reader and a writer, Chatterjee jad always been fond of books. His last appearance as a writer was earlier this year Kolkata International Book Fair in February.