Gone too soon: Kolkata remembers Mahanayak on his 94th birth anniversary
Kolkata: The 94th birth anniversary of Uttam Kumar was observed in the city with great enthusiasm. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted on the occasion on Tuesday: "Tribute to Bangla matinee idol Mahanayak Uttam Kumar on his birth anniversary. In 2012, we instituted the Mahanayak Samman in his memory."
Mayor Firhad Hakim garlanded the statue of Uttam Kumar at Ahiritola, near the house of his maternal uncle where he was born. Sabitri Chattopadhyay, who had acted with Uttam Kumar in Shyamali, a drama in the 1950s where she had played the role of a deaf and dumb girl, was also present at the function.
Chattopadhyay had acted in many films with the matinee legend which were immensely popular, like Basu Paribar, Bhranti Bilas, Kal Tumi Aleya, Sesh Anka, Nishi Padma, Mouchak and Dhonyi Meye, among others.
At Nabanna, state minister for Cooperation Arup Roy garlanded the photograph of Uttam Kumar. Shilpi Sansad, which was set up by the actor to look after needy artistes and technicians, garlanded his statue at Tollygunge. A function was organised at Rabindra Sadan, where well-known artistes sung songs from popular films of Uttam Kumar. A musical soiree was also held at Sisir Mancha.
Meanwhile, Mahanayak Uttam Kumarer Hariye Jaoa Beyallish Din, edited jointly by Anadi Kumar Dutta and Ramakrishna Sinha, was released at Swapno Bhor in New Town. The book contains a detailed description of the actor's maiden trip to USA in 1979.
Uttam Kumar had visited USA along with Supriya Chowdhury and visited many places that included Washington DC, New York, Buffalo, Toronto and other cities. His simplicity and magnetic personality
had attracted the Bengali community in the US.