Bollywood mourns by Rituparno Ghosh’s death

With Rituparno Ghosh, an era of sensitive, brave and internationally relevant cinema comes to an end. The National Award winning Bengali director died yesterday of a massive cardiac arrest at 7.30 am. The industry mourns his loss…

Gulzar: He was full of positivity
Forty-nine is so young to die. This is a deep shock and disturbing news for me. I remember him as a very young and enthusiastic boy when Aparna Sen had sent him to me. I realised that he was full of positivity and never seen him dull. I also wrote the lyrics for his first documentary film Vande Matram. He won two National Awards for Unishe April, but I really liked his Noukadubi and felt that he deserved an award for it. Over the years, he met with success in work, but has always been in touch. It is a deep loss. He was jubilant about every moment in life and always smiling.

Ajay Devgn: His way of looking at things was so different
I’m shocked and saddened to hear of his demise. It was great working with him in Raincoat. His way of looking at things was so different and that’s probably what made him a good director. He has made some great films and through them he will always be remembered.

Konkona Sen Sharma: He’d help me with my Bengali grammar
It is such a shock. He was a brave, sensitive and an inspirational filmmaker. He was really educated in films; not just Bengali cinema. He was deeply aware of his own cultural heritage, yet he made films that were relevant and contemporary, internationally. He was like family — he would help me with my Bengali grammar. He was so funny and had such a zest for life. He was a great mind and this is a huge loss.

Prosenjit Chatterjee: We’ve lost one of our greatest talents
I can’t believe that Ritu is no more. We have lost one of our greatest talents. It’s a personal loss; he was a fierce friend, a gifted human being. He always brought out the best in me. He will be dearly missed.

Bipasha Basu: He would chide me like his little sister
Rituda understood my sensibilities, which are different and wouldn’t have matched with that of an old-school Bengali director. While shooting Shob Charito Kalponik, he would chide me like his little sister. He used to call me by my nickname, Bonny, which apart from him, only my parents use. He was never boring and that is why I was so comfortable with him.

Deepti Naval: Ritu was a courageous filmmaker
When I got a call from him for Memories In March, I jumped at the opportunity because I love his work as a director and more as a writer. Then, when I came to know that Sanjoy Nag would be directing the movie and Ritu — who had written the script — would be my co-star, I was so excited! I had a memorable time shooting with him. I love his cinema. He was one of the most courageous and brave filmmakers in India, who tackled the complete aspect of his sexuality. And he put so much at stake for that exploration. He was also very sensitive and portrayed women and relationships and their nuances so beautifully. I am enamoured because he had the courage to do what he did.

Soha Ali Khan: Rituda brought out the best in his actors
He has been the vanguard for good cinema in Bengal, the link between Ray and a new school. He had just started to make his newer alternative cinema more acceptable in the mainstream. I will always cherish my experience of working with him in Antarmahal. I had hoped to work with him again sometime. He was passionate and sensitive and really knew how to bring out the best in his actors. I will miss him.

Arjun Rampal: He was a master of his craft
I don’t know how to react to this tragedy. My wife messaged, ‘Rituparno Ghosh is no more’. It’s shocking. The Last Lear was a great experience and happens to be one of my favourite performances ever. He was a wonderful man, a master of his craft and I learnt a lot from him.

Raima Sen: My life and career turned around with Chokher Bali
He just completed Byomkesh a few days ago. I have worked in all his films except this last one. He had called me for this and said that he was going to miss me on the sets. He turned my life and career around with Chokher Bali. He was my mentor — he taught me so much, he told me which books to read, which movies to watch, etc. He would come to our house — he has seen us (my sister and me) grow up. Whenever he was in Mumbai, he would stay with us. With Rituda gone, who will make those beautiful movies now? He was immensely talented and contributed a lot to Indian cinema.

Subhash ghai: He was a true artiste
India has lost one of its finest filmmakers. He was extremely sensitive as a director and a true artiste. I liked Noukadubi, which I had produced, so much that I dubbed it in Hindi as Kashmakash and released it.

Anupam Kher: He knew the female psyche
He was a great director and effortless at what he did. He had an unbelievable understanding of the female psyche. He’d pick up small nuances and use them in his films.

Kirron Kher: There was an actor in him
He was not just a great director, but also a prolific writer. He took our cinema to an international platform, that’s why even Bollywood actors would give an arm to work with him. While shooting for Bariwali, which got me a National Award for Best Actress, every morning, he’d make me rub my face with my pallu. He wanted to know if I had secretly put on any makeup. At times, he’d be tempted to dub himself. He’d say, ‘Cry the way I’m crying’. There was always an actor in him.

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