Kolkata film fraternity mourns Tapan Sinha

Kolkata, Jan 15 (IANS) The film fraternity here came out Thursday to pay homage to director Tapan Sinha, who died here Thursday, with another veteran director Mrinal Sen calling Sinha's death an "irreparable loss".

"Sinha's death is an irreparable loss not only to Bengali, but the entire Indian film industry. It's not about losing a great filmmaker, but an extraordinary friend, always ready to help and support others," Sen told reporters here Thursday.

"I have never seen someone so genuine at heart like Sinha. As far as his exceptional filmmaking is concerned, I don't think I am in a position to comment," Sen said.

Satyajit Ray's son Sandip Ray said he would miss Sinha.

"I, in fact, the entire film fraternity, will miss Sinha. Being a filmmaker myself, I have learnt so much from him. Even today I watch his films to pick up techniques," Ray said.

Indian classical singer Ajay Chakraborty, a friend of Sinha, remembered how the veteran filmmaker used to spend hours listening to his songs.

"Sinha was an expert critic of music. He knew how to play musical instruments like harmonium and tanpura. He used to spend hours at my residence listening to my songs. He even dropped in at my functions whenever possible," Chakraborty said.

"It's impossible to voice what I have lost - he was my friend, philosopher and guide," Chakraborty said.

Sinha, the much awarded maker of critically acclaimed films like "Uphaar" and "Sagina Mahato", died here early Thursday after a prolonged illness. He was 84.

Sinha, who won 19 National Awards in various categories and was conferred the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for lifetime achievement last year, died at the Calcutta Medical Research Institute (CMRI) in south Kolkata where he had been admitted Dec 6. He was suffering from acute broncho-pneumonia.

His last rituals, performed in the afternoon at Keoratala Burning Ghat in south Kolkata, were attended by all city intellectuals and the Bengali film fraternity. West Bengal principal opposition party Trinamool Congress's chief Mamata Banerjee too attended the funeral.

Apart from winning laurels at home, the veteran filmmaker also won several awards in international film festivals like those in Berlin, Venice, London, Moscow, San Francisco and Locarno.

His films include "Ankush", "Ek Doctor Ki Maut", "Safed Haathi" and "Kabuliwala".

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