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“I Was Supposed To Be Play Guddi,”Moushumi Chatterjee’s Shocking Revelation



“I Was Supposed To Be Play Guddi,”Moushumi Chatterjee’s Shocking Revelation 13

In her heydays  Moushumi Chatterjee worked with  every major  director from  Raj Khosla to Basu Chatterjee. The one  conspicuous  name  missing from her impressive  roster  of directors   was Hrishikesh  Mukherjee. 

And with reason. During a conversation with  me  recently Moushumi  made a startling revelation. “There is  a reason  why I never worked in any  film with Hrishi Kaku. He  was a family friend,  very close to my father-in-law(singer-composer Hemant  Kumar) and my  husband(JayantMukherjee). And he was  a Bengali lik me . Our  collaboration was  definitely inevitable.”

 But then Hrishida did something that completely ruined their relationship, “I was supposed to play Guddi in his (1970) film. I had meet Hrishi Kaku for the role, everything was finalized. But  then suddenly I  was out, Jaya (Bhaduri)  was  doing  Guddi instead. I never questioned HrishiKaku  never asked him about this  incident. But we never  worked  together.”

Until many  years later  in  1993 in a television series for Doordarshan.

“It  was a serial called Talaash and  it was produced  by  my father-in-law and husband.  They came to me with the offer from Hrishi Kaku. I  flatly refused.Firstly, it was  a home production, and that meant  I wouldn’t get paid. Why should I  work for free? Also I  had vowed never to work with Hrishi Kaku,”  recollects  Moushumi.

 But then Hrishida insisted this was  his  way  of making amends.

Says Moushumi, “Hrishi Kaku invited me  and my husband to his  home for  a meal. My husband explained to me that  Hrishi Kaku was incapacitated, he couldn’t stand  or walk,   and  couldn’t come to meet me. So how could we  say  no to a dinner  invitation from someone  as  senior and respected? When I went to meet Hrishi Kaku he won me over by saying, ‘Beta , I  couldn’t do Guddi with  you. This(the serial Talaash)  is  my  prayashchit (atonement).’ That’s how  I finally worked  with  Hrishikesh Mukherjee.”

Moushumi reveals  she lost many roles because she  wasn’t  willing to compromise on her  principles.  “I left Gulzar’s Koshish after  shooting  for a few days.And Shakti Samanta who  introduced me  in Hindi cinema  as  a blind girl in Anurag,  wrote the  blind protagonist’s role in Barsaat Ki Ek Raat specially for me. Suddenly after shooting for three days  I was  out of the film.”

The  role  opposite Amitabh  Bachchan  was  played by Raakhee Gulzar.

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