Long before the city boys have made a beeline for the greener pastures in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Gurgaon, many Bongs with dreams in their eyes have made it big in the Hindi film industry in what was then called Bombay.
Some of them were from Calcutta, while others were prabasi Bengalis, a term by which at the residents of Bengal refer to their expatriates. Residents of Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh, Ashok Kumar along with his brothers Anup and Kishore who need no introduction belong to this category.
Be it Himansu Rai and his wife Devika Rani who founded Bombay Talkies or Madhu Bose who made the film Rajnartaki in three languages, namely Bengali , Hindi and English, many Bengalis have left their footprints in hall of fame of Bollywood.
Seeta, a Hindi film directed by Devaki Kumar Bose was the first Indian talkie to be screened in Venice International Film Festival. With Yahudi, Madhumati, Bandini, Sujata to name a few, Bimal Roy’s directorial ability had few peers in Bombay.
Calcutta boys all, Hemant Kumar. Sachin Dev Burman and Salil Chowdhury scored music in their own terms and their compositions are still hummed this day.
Suchitra Sen despite a brief presence, made her mark in Bombay film industry. Both Dilip Kumar and Dev Anand, her heroes in the films in the films Devdas and Bambai ka Babu having a difficult time to match her screen performances.
Biswajit after having made his presence felt in Bengal film industry, travelled west and gave hits after appearing with almost all the leading heroines of Bombay. IfChoti Si Mulaqat, the maiden venture of Uttam Kumar, Bengal’s biggest star did not meet with success in box office, the Mahanayak made it up with his later hits in Amanushand Ananda Ashram.
Last but not the least, one must not forget the tall and lanky executive from the city who after a string of flops turned around with Zanjeer and never looked back. Amitabh Bachchan is still going strong in the big and small screen.
Organised by the magazine, Ekhon Satyajit, an exhibition has started in the foyer of Nandan II from Saturday displaying posters, booklets and lobby cards of the men and women from the city who did it proud by their performance in Bollywood. The exhibition will continue till 17 November. All are welcome.