Friday, June 18, 2010

Uttam Kumar's Bikele Bhorer Phool propagated the tourist spot Digha.

Uttam Kumar’s Bikele Bhorer Phool propagated the tourist spot Digha.

Uttam Kumar’s Bikele Bhorer Phool propagated the tourist spot Digha. Digha became an important tourist spot with allied spots like Talsari, Shankarpur, Jhargram, etc., in the recent times. Lot of films are shot in the romantic place. But in the early 70s, the tourist spot was on the making. Uttam Kumar’s film gave it a great launching pad. Uttam Kumar became a living God in the 70s in Bengali cinema. Bikele Phorer Phool was released in the early 70s, at a time when producers used to consider that the moment Uttam Kumar appeared in any film the film became hit automatically. He was one man industry. The film was directed by Pijush Basu.

The film was entirely shot at West Bengal’s biggest tourist attraction Digha. It was released in 1974, and director Pijush Bose in one way discovered the place. Uttam Kumar was a renowned novelist in the film. He was old aged and came to Digha to pass his leisure time. Sumitra Mukherjee with her friends were college girls who were brought by the college teacher from Kolkata on a trip to Digha.

When the college teachers knew about the presence of Uttam Kumar, they called him in the guest house to address the college students. Sumitra Mukherjee sang a rabindra sangeet, “ki gabol ami”. Uttam Kumar then told them a horror story. Most of the girls became fan of Uttam Kumar.

Sumitra Mukherjee got especially attached with him, as she had a bad parentage and her parents quarreled against each other daily. She went to Kapal Kundala Mandir near Digha with Uttam Kumar. That was the place where Novelist Bankim Chandra Chatterji got the plot of the novel Kapal Kundala.

Sumitra Mukherjee wanted to marry Uttam Kumar. But Uttam Kumar explained to her that his days were over, he was old like twilight and Sumitra Mukherjee was a young flower, so marriage between unequal age groups could not blossom. He advised Sumitra Mukherjee to forget her past, concentrate on singing and live a better life.

Utpal Dutt did a great job in role of District Magistrate. He showed his comedy instincts as his speeches and song made the young girls laugh. Kalyan Chatterji played the role of a loafer who wanted to seduce Sumitra Mukherjee and got a slap from Uttam Kumar for that.

Hemant Kumar’s music was super hit, with Arati Mukherjee’s song “ei jhaupata” becoming very popular in the early 70s. In the song “ei jhaupata” the entire forests (jhaubon) fringing the Bay of Bengal in Digha was shown. Uttam Kumar’s mere presence in a film used to create storms in the Bengali arena during that time.

So the film of Pijush Bose ended up being a super hit project. The film and the music should be preserved.

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