Celebrated Indian filmmaker Basu Chatterjee passed away on 4 June 2020. Yesteryear’s actress Bindiya Goswami exclusively speaks to FilmiBeat about the late director and how she got the girl-next-door tag with Basuda’s films.
The actress, who did four films with Basu Chatterjee, shares her experience of working with the filmmaker. In her words….
“I have done four films with him and aaj ki lingo mein bole toh he was the coolest director. He never put any pressure on his actors, whether it was Amol Palekar, Rakesh Roshan or me. He was easy to work with. My journey with him was enriching. Like JP Dutta puts it, ‘I was like the girl next door because of the films I did with Basuda’. And it was because of his films that I got the tag of girl next door. I worked with him during the impressionable years of my career and it was very nice.
Basuda ke set pe kaam shanti se ho jaata tha aur pata bhi nahi chalta that film kab ban gayee. I am really honoured to have done four films with him including Prem Vivah, Khatta Meetha and Hamari Bahu Alka. I am glad that two of his films are in the top 100 best films in cinema.
I miss him dearly, but I am happy that I met him a couple of years ago for Amol Palekar’s 70th birthday. Amol had come down from Pune and all of us, including Amol, Zarina Wahab and Vidya Sinha went and met him. He wasn’t keeping well and did not speak much, but he was really happy to see all of us.
He never controlled his actors and just let us act. After the second assistant read out the scene to us, he would tell us to do it our way and that is probably the reason you could see us at our natural best, whether it was in Hamari Bahu Alka or Khatta Meetha.
Basu Chatterjee’s films had an instant connect with the middle-class, which is why his cinema was understood and loved by all. I am blessed to have worked with him. I also had the honour of working with his guru Hrishikesh Mukherjee. And what Basuda inherited from Hrishida was his simplicity, which reflected in his cinema and story-telling.
Basuda was not aggressive on the set, but he always had a handkerchief with him. I remember an instance while shooting for Hamari Bahu Alka at the Mayor’s Bungalow. After he said cut to a scene being shot with Uptal Dutt, Rakesh Roshan, Sudha Shivpuri and me, we turned around and saw him chewing the corner of his handkerchief, which was an indication of the stress he was going through!
Since I have worked in quite a few of his films, I once asked Basuda, why does he keep casting me in his films? He just said, “You fit into my cinema, that’s all.” I am glad Rakesh Roshan and I had the honour of handing him the Lifetime Achievement Award to him by IIFA.
Rest in Peace, Basuda!”
As told to FilmiBeat.