Soumitra Chatterjee is an artist of such stature that awards actually do not define him anymore. A man is known best for what he does and what he is truly made from the inside.
Soumitra Chatterjee never drifted towards Bollywood for the sake of fame or money. He was more interested in following his soul – which wanted something deep and sincere. He pursued theatre and poetry among other flairs. Today of course, he is a living legend and a man respected not only in India but probably even more outside India.
Here is an interview of Soumitra Chatterjee from CNBC’s Being Legends. Wise and humble, he is a man who knows how to speak his heart out.
A little about Soumitra Chatterjee’s early life
Soumitra Chatterjee was born in Krishnanagar. At that time, Krishnanagar was also the home to Dwijendralal Ray. For those who do not know, Dwijendralal Ray or D.L. Ray was a renowned poet, musician and playwright. His influence of Bengali culture is paramount. It was because of Dwijendralal Ray that the air of Krishnanagar was rich with culture and theatre.
Soumitra’s grandfather was active in theatre. Although his father was a lawyer by profession, he continued amateur acting. Naturally Pulu (nickname) grew up in a rich cultural environment and he became a common face in school plays and later in local theatre. Later he became quite close to the great theatrical personality, Mrityunjay Sil.
His family shifted to Kolkata and he continued his studies from the University of Calcutta. In the mean time he also got a chance to work another theatre stalwart, Ahindra Choudhury. But as we know, it was Sisir Bhaduri who influenced his life the most. Soumitra, like a true disciple would absorb all that he could from the master of theatre.
It was during the tutelage of Sisir Bhaduri that he was selected by Satyajit Ray for his role as Apu. The rest, as we know, is history.
Related: Soulful Apu poetry by Soumitra