Bollywood Buzz

Rituparno Ghosh’s films, belongings to be archived

It’s been almost two weeks since eminent filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh passed away and there is now an attempt to preserve his non-cinematic legacy as well.

Rituparno was known for his flamboyance and fine and eclectic taste in art. His residences (a sprawling ancestral home and two other apartments elsewhere) are a treasure trove of books and paintings, jewellery and trinkets, lampshades, watches and sunglasses, crockery, shawls and scarves—valued at a few crores to say the least.

At a memorial service held in Kolkata late on Tuesday, there were discussions about conserving the artefacts the late director had handpicked over the years and Aparna Sen, Rituparno’s senior colleague and mentor, appealed to West Bengal Chief Minister MamataBanerjee to turn his ancestral home into an archive, “to make these accessible to the public, including students researching his works.” Banerjee, who was present at the event, promptly accepted the proposal.

House of books
The filmmaker was an avid collector of books. Dr Nrisingha Prasad Bhaduri, an eminent historian, who used to teach Rituparno, recalls, “Wherever you looked, his walls were lined with bookcases. There were thousands of books, but not one was out of place.” Elaborating on his collection, Sanjay Nag, who had directed Rituparno in Memories in March says Rabindranath Tagore was a favourite with him.

“Any Bengali family would boast of a good collection of Tagore’s works. But he collected rare, critical works on Tagore. The collection was as vast as it was deep,” says Nag. Another all-time favourite was the Mahabharata and Rituparno collected several critical editions and interpretations of the epic. According to estimates, his personal library of a lakh tomes includes art, cinema, music, poetry, paintings, interiors and cookery.

Art and antiques
Apart from this, the mansion has an impressive collection of paintings by artists like Paresh Maity, Jogen Chowdhury, Subhaprasanna. He also had paintings on Buddha and masks collected from all over India and abroad.

Even the furniture bears evidence of his classical, refined taste. Apart from antiques pieces, his collection includes a brown stool with two arms raised in a way to give you a feel of sitting under a tree, a set of armchairs restyled as a bookcase. “All his houses had old canopy beds and he simply loved them. Wherever he went, he picked up pieces he found unique or appealing. In films like Chitrangada and Abohoman, he even used some of these,” Nag adds.

Ghosh had an eye for lamps and lampshades and some of his pieces bear the stamp of his creativity. “He had once fashioned a lampshade out of an ordinary milk can. His recent innovation was a charred wooden plank from where multiple night lamps used to hang,” says Nag.

“In 2011 he went to Spain and collected glass bottles used for drinking water. Rituda painted and recycled the bottles,” said another friend of the filmmaker.

Apart from these, there is an enviable collection of dupattas, scarves and shawls. “The evolution of his style shows how varied his range was. He preferred cotton clothes at home but would not shy away from wearing even an elaborate turban if he was in the mood to,” says Nag.

The treasure
Paintings 6 editions by of eminent the Mahabharata artists lakhs of books on art, cinema, watches interiors and many sunglasses of them rare collected from Kolkata’s pavements to antique London’s furniture high-end including stores class, exquisite sic canopied fabrics beds , dupattas and shawls.

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