Soumitra Chattopadhyay has been a blessing to Bengali cinema. His aura as actor and his endowment as an artiste have made him an admired and respected personality in global cinema.
But there is more to this legend than just an actor. Much more.
With his every step, his every move – he has inspired us. His gentlemanly air has been a role model for many men and an object of high regard for many women. In this world where values are almost zero in celebrities, Soumitra Chattopadhyay stands tall as a colossus.
See how Soumitra Chattopadhyay has been inspiring millions of people around the globe –
#1 He is 83 and more active than a 38 year old!
At an age most people would never think of, Soumitra Chattopadhyay is acting in films, reciting and doing plays on stage. Can you name anyone else who does that?
#2 He declined Bollywood
Declining Bollywood means declining ‘more money’ and ‘more fame’. Instead he chose to give more time to pursue his literary passions and things that give peace to his spirit.
Soumitra Chattopadhyay is the greatest example that shows going after our own dreams can be the most rewarding thing ever.
#3 He is extremely humble
Winner of too many awards of national and international importance and being among the foremost actors of the world – and yet absolutely humble. Listen to his interviews; he is a down to earth personality who speaks his mind. His innocent aura and legendary status are perfectly balanced. Not many actually recognize what a mastery that is!
Related: Soumitra interviews Soumitra
#4 He keeps on learning
An attitude to keep learning all our life is what sets apart a genius from the rest. Take Tagore, Da Vinci or Einstein – they all knew learning will never end.
Soumitra Chattopadhyay does not stop learning. He has not only enhanced his artistic skills, he has also written plays, directed plays and gained mastery on poetry. His poems and his recitations, especially on Tagore’s poetry is unparalleled.
#5 He has survived cancer
A few years ago Soumitra Chattopadhyay was affected by cancer and was treated in a hospital in London. Normally a man at this age, even after healing, would prefer to remain housebound and retired. Not he.
He came back, acted in films, recited poems, won awards and wowed us in theatre. Salute!
#6 He has had his down times
No man, however successful, is immune to the realities of the world. Soumitra was rejected in his first screen test, he has been criticized, and he has felt tired and has gone through the trials and tribulations of a simple man. He has risen each time.
#7 He has kept the dying art of theatre alive
Soumitra Chattopadhyay has been the one-man-army in keeping the art of theatre alive in recent times. Although Kolkata still has its thespian heritage, but most film actors would not bat an eye for the money is way less.
Not only has Mr. Chattopadhyay chosen theatre along with films, he has inspired many to do so. He truly understands what value the stage holds.
Related: See his full theatre ‘Boshtomi’
#8 He is full of gratefulness
It is true Satyajit Ray gave him the dream launch but after that, Soumitra Chattopadhyay has proved his mettle many times. Ray might have polished a diamond, but one has to be a diamond. The best part is, Mr. Chattopadhyay is still grateful to his old teachers.
Be it Ray, Tapan Sinha, Mrinal Sen or Shishir Bhadhuri – he remembers them all – gratefully. What he learnt, how they guided him. Probably this eternal gratefulness as a student is what makes him such a great master today.
#9 He is connected to his roots
The man who touches the sky – with France’s highest Legion of Honor or India’s top Dadasaheb Phalke Award – still has his roots in his ethnic heritage.
‘King Lear’ is happy to live like a normal Bengali without much ado. He spends his time among the simple things of life and learning.
#10 He is a gentleman and a role model
Most of all, this world needs a gentleman. A man who stands tough as Narsingh and also sensitive as Apu. A man who is charming as Amal but a true lover like Pratul. A man who is honest like Dr Ashok Gupta and a pillar like Khitish Sinha. A man who is perfect like Feluda – and in every avatar – a gentleman.
Credits: Wikipedia, The Quint, Twitter, www.hindustantimes.com/bollywood/why-would-i-have-gone-to-mumbai-asks-soumitra-chatterjee/story-U7sb3dwIQxS7h9InVnHuGO.html