In today’s film arena while it is easy to blinded by glamour – the truth is that there are some unbelievably gifted artists – and they hold the foundation of the entire show. Without them, cinema would cease to exist. Period.
Kharaj Mukhopadhyay or Kharaj, as he is popularly known – is one of these artists. Most people have seen him in one film or the other. Under the humble look, lies a sparkling diamond of talent.
Here are wonderful and lesser known facts about Kharaj Mukhopadhyay –
#1 He made his debut at the age of 17. In 1980, he had his first appearance in Bengali film Hulusthul. It is said that Kharaj was doing a play on stage during his college days. One of his spectators was also a film director who was so impressed by this young boy’s talent that he offered him a role in films. It has been thirty five years since then and in 2017, he still keeps on getting better and better every day.
#2 Kharaj Mukhopadhyay is accepted universally for his natural acting in all arenas. He is a director’s favourite. He has done films in Bengali as well as Hindi, excelling in both. We have seen him in the Hindi film Kahaani as Inspector Chatterjee of Kolkata Police (he is excellent at portraying the stereotypical policeman).
One of his most memorable acts is in Ghurghutiar Ghotona, one of the Feluda stories made for the television series. Kharaj played the role of Bishwanath, the spoilt son who would do anything to extract his father’s wealth. While he causes his father’s death just before he was to meet to the detective, so now Bishwanath plots a dangerous game. He chilled us to the bone with his remarkable act at portraying the son and the ‘father’ and also almost fooled the brilliant detective.
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#3 Although talented, he went to learn his art. He worked with the respected theatre actor, director and playwright, Ramaprasad Banik. Kharaj Mukhopadhyay has worked on himself for years to hone his skills and make his place. At one time, he had to work in the Railways but still continued his passion for acting. He left the job when it became difficult to pursue both.
#4 Apart from being an actor par excellence, he is also a talented singer. In 2004, he was honoured for his singing in the film Patalghar. He was awarded the Bengal Film Journalists’ Association – Best Male Playback Award.
#5 With singing and acting, here is still more in the artist! He is also a professional songwriter and a composer.
#6 Like many renowned actors of Bengali cinema, he had also been active in the theater. He acted often on the stage in his younger days. Presently he is more involved in theatrical productions and one of his famous ones is Bhushundir Mathe penned by the unforgettable Parashuram.
#7 Kharaj Mukhopadhyay is an extremely grounded actor who does every kind of role in the bag. We have seen him in his comic, villainous and supporting avatars. His presence has merely completed the whole picture. He is unbelievably good at acting out the stereotypical characters whom we would find around us but generally overlook. He has the rare talent to get into the character fully in body and mind.
Who could forget his two-and-a half minute appearance as Pod (Promod) Pradhan in Bhooter Bhoshiyot? His iconic dialogues and portrayal of the potbellied mastaan are inimitable. That piece of cinema remains as one most memorable and funniest performances on screen!
United we stand, divided we misunderstand.
Kharaj Mukhopadhyay is the one of those artists whom we cannot help but love. Budding actors look up to him for inspiration. We hope that this gifted artist gets more avenues through which we can keep on seeing his best, and he keeps us hooked to our screens for years to come.
Credits: Wikipedia, veethi.com, IMDB