Personal life of Arundhati Devi
Arundhati was born in Barisal, East Bengal which then had been a part and parcel of British Rule in India (now in modern Bangladesh). Her father Bibhucharan Guha Thakurta was a scion of the eminent Guha Thakurta family of Barisal a family famous and popular for its awareness in and patronage of cultural conduct and performances. Her education budded in and witnessed its full growth at the Visva-Bharati University; Santiniketan founded by Rabindranath Tagore and from a very early age received training in dance, theatre and singing. Cultural lineage was in her roots and she even reflected the similar glory. In 1955 she had a short-lived marriage with the director Prabhat Mukherjee. May be it was fate's brutal play to unite her with the film director Tapan Sinha, an artist of the parallel stature whom she met at the Berlin Film Festival and they eventually got married. Their son is scientist Anindya Sinha. She died in 1990 after a long illness.
Career of Arundhati Devi
It was the city of Kolkata the cultural hub, which transformed and graphed her cinematic and personal career at large. Arundhati commenced her postgraduate studies at the University of Calcutta and wanted to become a journalist. As luck would have it she came in contact with the scriptwriter Binoy Chatterjee, who was a family friend, and it was under his influence, she was selected to join the payroll of the New Theatre Studios, which retained its position as the premier film production unit operating out of Kolkata. Arundhati made her cinematic debut in the seminal film Mahaprasthaner Pathey (1952) which also had a Hindi version named Yatrik. The film directed by Kartik Chatterjee, depicted a group of pilgrims on an arduous trek in the high Himalayas, and was a smash hit. In Mahaprasthaner Pathey, Arundhati Devi essayed the role of Rani, a determined and strong willed young widow who develops a soft corner for the young Brahmachari of the team played by Abhi Bhattacharya. Basant Choudhury, another notable actor of the Bengali screen, also made his debut in this film which also boasted of actors of the calibre of Tulsi Chakraborty, Sisir Batabyal and Molina Devi.
Arundhati Devi also acted in a number of important films in the late 1950s and early 1960s which clearly were her heyday as an actor. Films like Shashi Babur Sansar and Pushpadhanu, (all released in 1959), Indradhanu (1960) were modest hits but her histrionic abilities received kudos from all. She turned producer for the first time with Bicharak(1959) directed by Prabhat Mukherjee and the film which had her and Uttam Kumar in the lead roles was awarded a Certificate of Merit as the 3rd Best Feature film at the National Awards in 1960. In Bijoy Bose's Bhagini Nivedita (1962), she played the definitive role of her career and portrayed the role of Swami Vivekananda's Irish disciple who dedicated her life for the cause of India with great ‚lan. Admittedly the film the film was a simplistic study of this complex and fascinating woman, but the role suited Arundhati Devi just right and the film was a box office success.
After Bhagini Nivedita, Arundhati Devi cut down her screen appearances drastically and began to explore other facets of filmmaking. She had already turned producer with Bicharak, in 1962 she used her musical training and abilities to the hilt and composed the music of Shiulibari a film by Piyush Bose which again had Uttam Kumar and Arundhati Devi in the lead roles.
Her first film as a director was Chhuti (1967) which won a Certificate of Merit at the 1967 National Awards. However her most popular film as a director is Padi Pishir Barmi Baksho (1972) based on the popular children's novel by Leela Majumdar.
She worked in number Bangla movies in different characters. Her roles were not confined in typical romantic heroine. Some of her memorable films are Dashyumohan (1955), Nabajanma (1956) , Panchatapa (1957) , Kalamati (1958), ,Bicharak(1959), Kshudita Pashan (1960) ,Bhagini Nivedita (1962), Jotugriha (1964), Harmonium (1975), During 1955 she had a short -lived marriage with the director Prabhat Mukherjee. However 1957 was the most important year of Arundhuti Devi's life. She met Director Tapan Sinha and they felt in love which ended in marriage. This is one of the most successful marriages of the educated, cultured persons in Tollywood film industry.
Her first film as director was Chhuti (1967) which won a Certificate of Merit at the 1967 National Awards. Her most popular film is Padi Pishir Barmi Baksho (1972) - based on the popular children's novel by Leela Majumdar.
During her acting career she had acted with so many great actors of Bangla film like Chhabi Biswas, Bikash Roy, Uttam Kumar, Great director Tapan Sinha and Arundhuti Devi combination has presented many famous Bangla cinemas.
Arundhati Devi died in 1990 after a long illness.
(Last Updated on : 08-01-2016)
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