Tanuja and Uttam Kumar
Tanuja, the younger sister of Nutan had a good box-office in Bengali films and had contributed well opposite Uttam Kumar, the superstar of Bengali film industry in the 60s and 70s. Her films opposite Uttam Kumar were all successful and became landmark hits during that age.
Uttam Kumar played the role of renowned singer in the film Deya Neya, who left his house as his father Kamal Mitra, a big industrialist did not accept his musical career. Uttam Kumar worked as the driver in Tanuja’s house and went on singing in All India Radio. The truth relating to Uttam Kumar’s identity was unearthed when he sang in a public function for the cause of his sick friend who had written the lyrics of Shyamal Mitra’s song “ganer bhuban bhariye debo”. Shyamal Mitra and Manobendra Mukherjee’s song “dole dodul dole jhulona” became superduper hit in 1963. Tanuja complimented Uttam Kumar’s romantic image in the film with her carefree acting. The film was remade in hindi with the title Anurodh where Rajesh Khanna played Uttam Kumar’s role and simple Kapadia played the role of the leading actress in the film.
In Antony Firingi, Tanuja played the role of successful singer from who Uttam Kumar being a Christian learnt singing and reproduced Manna Dey’s songs like “ami je jalsaghare”, “ami jamini tumi shashi he”, etc. He married Tanuja and arranged for puja for Goddess Kali. Unfortunately the orthodox hindus could not accept that and they burnt Tanuja at the end of the film. Uttam Kumar got National Award for best performance in Antony Firingi and Chiriakhana. He gave excellent lips in Manna Deys’s songs like “champa chameli” which were some of the best songs Manna Dey had sung in his life.
Both Tanuja and Uttam Kumar complimented each other in the film Raj Kumari, which was a romantic film. The romantic songs were composed by RD Burman. Kishore Kumar’s song “e ki holo” became extremely successful and RD Burman made the remake of the songs in hindi which were also successful.
Uttam Kumar’s existence in Bengali films had drawn many leading actress from bollywood films in Bengali including Tanuja, Mala Sinha, Moushumi Chatterji, etc., and all their films had been extremely successful. These films should be restored and preserved.