Master filmmaker Tapan Sinha dead
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Tapan Sinha, 84, legendary filmmaker from Bengal, passed away on Thursday morning at a city hospital after prolonged illness. He was suffering from bronchopneumonia, electrolyte imbalance and several other age-related problems. He is survived by his son Anindya Sinha. Sinha's death marks the end of an era in Bengali film- making.
The iconic filmmaker's demise saw the entire Tollywood film fraternity descend on his New Alipore residence to pay their last respects. Celebrities made a beeline in front of his house to get a last glimpse of their favourite filmmaker. Work was suspended for the entire day.
It's not easy to describe Tapan Sinha as a filmmaker. Yet if there is one thing that separated Sinha from other contemporary greats, it was his ability to say the most complex things in the simplest possible manner. Take his breakthrough film, Kabuliwallah, for instance. This seemingly simple tale of an Afghan trader in India, adapted from Rabindranath Tagore's novel by the same name, talked about nationality and modernism, but it did so with simple humanism that struck a chord with the audience instantly.
On Thursday morning, the scene outside Sinha's house reinstated the oldest irony of this world. "The last ride," as filmmaker Mrinal Sen said, "turns out to be the most overwhelming one — and the most ironical too."
Born in 1924 in Kolkata, Sinha began his career as a sound engineer in Kolkata's New Theatre in 1946. In 1950, he got the opportunity to work at Pinewood Studios in the UK where he spent two years. On returning to India, he turned his attention to direction and made several films in Bengali, Hindi and Oriya.
Though works of Hollywood greats like John Ford inspired him a lot, if there was one steady influence on his works, it was Tagore.