Prosenjit Chatterjee Mourns For President Pranab Mukherjee

 Bengal’s reigning superstar Prosenjit Chatterjee  can’t believe  President  Pranab Mukherjee is gone.  “I am  at home sitting in disbelief.  Because  of the lockdown I cannot be  with Pranabda’s  family. I  know his daughter very well . But I  can’t be calling her at this time when she is  bereaved.Nor can I  express my  grief  and gratitude  properly.”

Why gratitude?  “Because he was  so many things to  me in  so many ways. He  was a  truly enlightened  spirit. Every time I  met him, even if it was  for just five minutes because of his busy schedule,I would come away  with something special from him. He  was a truly enlightened  artiste, the kind of  artiste  we  don’t find  that often in politics.”

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Shy to say so  himself, Prosenjit’s work was  high admired by  Mr  Mukherjee.  “Yes,that’s true. He loved me, and he  loved my work. He  tried  to watch my films as  much as  possible. I had arranged  a show of my film  2017 film Jaatishwar  at the Rashtrapati  Bhawan.  Pranabda   saw  it and  he  couldn’t stop asking me  questions about it. ‘How could you do it? How did you  do it?’ etc etc. He  was  always very encouraging  always kind.”

Prosenjit made it a point to meet Mr Mukherjee every time he  came to  Kolkata.“His  schedules would be jampacked. But he would still make time for me.I felt  very  honoured every time I met him. I remember  at the centenary  celebration of Indian cinema in Chennai in  2013 I received my award  for my contribution to Indian cinema  from Pranabda and Jayalalithaji. It couldn’t get any better  for me.”

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Shouldn’t Bengal plan a major tribute  for Pranab Mukherjee?

Prosenjit affirms.  “Of course! Mamata Didi(Bengal’s Chief Minister) is  a huge fan of  Pranabda. I am sure she has plans.  Of course  it’s  special loss for Bengal.We were  proud of him as  he was  the  first Indian  president  from Bengal. But Pranabda  did  not belong to any one place or community. Every Indian loved him. Just like they loved President Abdul Kalaam. I  was in Kodaikanaal when   President Kalaam died.I could see the nation grieved.  But  Tamil Nadu grieved harder.”

  Would Prosenjit  like to play  Pranab  Mukherjee ? “I’d love to. No other actor knew him as well as  I did. At the risk of sounding  immodest, I must say I feel  no actor is  more qualified than me  to play him.”  

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