Mumbai, Jun 4 (PTI) A gentle genius, a man of humour and a pioneer in the middle-of-the-road cinema, is how members of Indian film industry, including Amol Palekar, Lata Mangeshkar, Moushmi Chatterjee, Aamir Khan, remembered veteran filmmaker Basu Chatterjee who passed away on Thursday.
Chatterjee, known for his relatable and slice-of-life films such as 'Chhoti Si Baat' and 'Rajnigandha', had been suffering from age-related health issues for a while. He was 93.
Palekar, a frequent collaborator of Chatterjee's, said the director was as 'simple, straightforward and enchanting' as his films.
'He was a lovely human being. The best part was that he remained so, despite all the success. He looked at life with humour. No matter what the situation, he knew how to smile and laugh,' the veteran actor told PTI.
Palekar and Chatterjee worked together on 'Rajnigandha', 'Chhoti Si Baat', 'Baaton Baaton Mein', 'Chitchor' and 'Apne Paraye'.
'If you see the film history, he was the one who reduced the gap between parallel cinema and commercial cinema. He kept on making parallel films, without making any commercial compromises and yet made very successful films,' the actor added. Mangeshkar, who sang the female version of 'Rimjhim Gire Sawan' in 1979's 'Manzil', condoled his death.
'I just got to know that the brilliant director of 'Choti Si Baat, 'Baaton Baaton Mein', 'Rajnigandha', Basu Chatterjee is no longer among us. I'm deeply pained by this news and pay my humble tributes to him,' she tweeted.
Megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who starred with Moushmi in 'Manzil', remembered the director as a 'quiet, soft-spoken, gentle human'.
'Prayers and Condolences on the passing of Basu Chatterjee... his films reflected the lives of middle India,' he tweeted.
Moushmi, who also worked with Chatterjee on ᨊ'Us Paar' and 'Do Ladke Dono Kadke' among others, noted that the filmmaker's movies had a pleasant charm to them.
'There was something sweet about his films. It was my fortune that I got to work with him in so many films. I loved all his films and even TV shows and I have seen all of it. He gave me so much in life,' she told PTI.
Shabana Azmi, who worked with Chatterjee on three films, also paid tributes to the filmmaker.
'Deeply saddened to hear about Basu Chatterjee's passing away. A prolific filmmaker, he was the pioneer of what came to be regarded as middle of the road cinema. I was fortunate to have done 3 lovely films with him 'Swami', 'Apne Paraye' and 'Jeena Yahan'. All lifelike characters. RIP.' Actor-MP Hema Malini recalled working with Chatterjee in her mother's productions 'Swami' and 'Ratnadeep'.
'He will be sorely missed by his many fans and also by the film industry of which he was an integral part. Rest in peace Basu da,' Malini tweeted.
Actor Rajit Kapur, who played the title role in Chatterjee's hit DD detective series 'Byomkesh Bakshi', remembered the director as 'practical' man with a 'great sense of humour', who was never bogged down by crisis.
'That attitude kept him going. He'd look for solutions and I've learnt that kind of practical approach from him. That's the approach he applied to his work,' Kapur told PTI.
Aamir posted, 'Really sorry to hear the sad news of Basu Chatterjee passing away. My heartfelt condolences to Basuda's family and friends. His contribution to Indian Cinema will always be remembered.' Anil Kapoor, who worked with the director in the hit 'Chameli Ki Shaadi', remembered Chatterjee as a filmmaker ahead of time.
'Basu Chatterjee will be truly missed. He was an effortless genius and an amazing human being. May he rest in peace,' Kapoor tweeted.
Director Sudhir Mishra said, 'Everyday brings with it some bad news! You were part of my childhood Dada. Humane, gentle, witty! These days you are the main inspiration for a lot of young film makers. They are mimicking your films. N they lie when they say different films didn't work in the past. Yours did.' Filmmaker Goutam Ghosh recalled how Chatterjee had readily agreed to arrange him an ariflax camera when he was in desperate search of one during the making of the 1984 film 'Paar'.
'Basu da was very supportive to young directors. When I had requested him to arrange me an ariflax camera he readily agreed at a much lesser rate than the market price then,' Ghosh told PTI.
Bengali star Prosenjit Chatterjee said he is trying to come to terms with Chatterjee's demise.
'A legendary filmaker and a master story teller... I had the opportunity to work with him in 'Hochcheta Ki' in 2008. This is indeed a great loss for Indian cinema,' he added.
Director Ashutosh Gowarikar shared his experience of working with the late director on1989 feature 'Kamla Ki Maut'.
'Sad to hear about the passing of ‘A GREAT DIRECTOR’ whose every film, is a GEM! I had the great honour of working with Basu Da in Kamla Ki Maut! The most gentle Director that I worked with as an Actor! Condolences to @guharupali ji and his family. #RIPBasuChatterjee' he wrote on Twitter.
Actor Manoj Bajpayee remembered Chatterjee as a 'master storyteller'.
'Learned the meaning of simple storytelling with fine nuances!! Thank you Basu Da for all the great stories!! Rest in peace sir!! #BasuChatterjee' he tweeted.
Shoojit Sircar, Anurag Kashyap, Tarun Majumder, Hansal Mehta, Boney Kapoor, Anupam Kher, Riteish Deshmukh, among others also paid homage to the directing icon. PTI KKP JUR SUS RB BK RDS RDS