Heroines of Satyajit Ray:Aparna Sen, Aloknanda Roy, Madhabi Mukherjee and others

Madhabi in Bengali Film charulata
Madhabi in Bengali Film charulata

Kolkata, Sept 12 (Calcutta Tube/IBNS): It was a nostalgic Saturday evening in Kolkata when five evergreen ‘heroines’ shared the same platform to recollect the memories of working with the legendary director Satyajit Ray, in an informal chat session titled “Heroines of Satyajit Ray”.

Aparna Sen, Aloknanda Roy, Madhabi Mukherjee, Paramita Biswas and Uma Sen Dasgupta were the five actors who shared their memories with the audience present at the event.

“I am a bit different from others, I am not a heroine at all but it is better to call me a character, a sweet character, as I my role had finished in the middle of the film,” said Uma Sen Dasgupta, who will  be better known to her followers as ’Durga’ of ‘Pather Panchali’ (The Ballad of the Road).

Uma Sengupta in Pather panchali Bengali Movie
Uma Sengupta in Pather panchali Bengali Movie

“It was an enjoyable moment in my life, a completely new feeling,” she said, when she was asked to share her experiences of working with Satyajit Ray.

“Manik da [as Ray used to be known as] used to elaborately explain to us how to act in the shots, so it was not a tough thing to do,” she added.

“I acted in only one movie, every one loved it. Moreover for the past 55 years I had to speak as well as write about this, so I have not forgotten anything,” Uma added.

Actor Alokananda Roy shared her experience of sharing her eighteenth birthday on the sets of ‘Kanchenjunga’ when she was shooting   for the movie in Darjeeling.

She shared how Ray used to explain her all the shots before hand and then they used to have a small rehearsal before the final shot was taken.

“Satyajit Ray was such a teacher,that once he used to explain the script or character , a repetition  was not required at all,” said Madhabhi Mukherjee, the leading lady of most of the Ray films, including the all time class ‘Charulata’.


Speaking about her experiences while acting with Satyajit Ray, Aparna Sen said: “I enjoyed the entire experience of shooting with him.”

“I never felt anything, whether there was a camera or not. Soumitra Chatterjee used to tell me then that acting in film was different from stage, here machines played a crucial role,” Sen recalled when asked about her first experience before camera.

All the five heroines shared their experiences of how Satyajit Ray had convinced their parents to allow them to act in his movies.

Clippings from their movies, which were directed by Satyajit Ray, were screened, making the evening all the more special.

By Supriyo Hazra

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