It is the mark of an undying curiosity about Bengal’s best loved screen hero that a fresh celebration is mounted every year on the day that Uttam Kumar died suddenly 37 years ago.
The mortal remains may have been removed from the places associated with his towering presence. But,
more than a generation later, the instant power of his screen personality is mixed with a keenness to learn more and more about the actor who strode the Bengali screen for three decades.
That is just the reason why Shilpi Sansad, which the hero had established with specific objectives in 1968,
continues to present a selection of his work that will serve to raise funds for retired actors and technicians.
The session of his films opening at Nandan on Monday will go hand in hand with other offerings like an exhibition of booklets and posters of Uttam Kumar films and another fund-raising programme of music at the Rabindra Sadan.
But what will perhaps draw Uttam Kumar lovers the most will be a quiz programme in the afternoon.
After all that has been said and written since his death, there is clearly a lot more that can be learnt through the questions that the quiz master will throw to the audience to test their memories. It is all part of the entertainment that is still associated with the films.
Fortunately the session this year includes a few seldom seen hits like Abak Prithibi, Bicharak, Sesh Anka, Bikeley Bhorer Phool and Prithibi Amare Chaye.
These will provide glimpses of his enormous versatility built around his unique features – from the majestic walk that left everyone gazing to the smile that stole a million hearts.
But the glimpses should be satisfying enough to sustain the demand for a more lasting initiative in memory of the hero.