(KK Raina played supersleuth Byomkesh Bakshi’s friend and assistant Ajit Kumar Banerjee in the Doordarshan series “Byomkesh Bakshi” directed by Basu Chatterjee. The actor also worked with the late filmmaker in his tele-adaptation of the 1957 English classic “12 Angry Men” titled “Ek Ruka Hua Faisla”, which released in 1986)
BY KK RAINA
Mumbai, June 4 (IANS) It was wonderful to work with him. He was just like a friend. I never felt that I am working with a director who dictates. He would always talk to you as a friend.
I remember during the shoot of ‘Byomkesh Bakshi’, Rajit Kapoor, Basu da and I were staying together in an apartment in Calcutta, where we used to cook food, eat and sleep together as if we are one family. He was really amazing — a highly professional person yet a great friend.
In our industry, you often meet people who promise you a certain remuneration and then if something goes haywire, you do not always get the promised amount. But here was a man who would see to it that whatever amount of money he had promised to pay you, reached your home.
I have only seen two people do that. One was Mrinal Sen and the other was Basu Chatterjee. Even if it is Rs 5000 or 10000, you were rest assured that the money would reach your home. As a producer, he was wonderful.
He was a perfect gentleman as a producer, as a director and as a human being. As a director, he was open to suggestions from actors and would always discuss a scene with each of us and make sure we have understood every bit of.
He was an honest man and if he was unable to understand any scene, he would confess it, sit with us read the scene and discuss it. Such was his approach towards actors that you would never feel intimidated while working with him. Everybody who acted in ‘Byomkesh Bakshi’ and ‘Ek Ruka Hua Faisla’ has delivered wonderful performances because he would let you grow as an actor. It is very sad that we lost him.
He would always come prepared on the set but while doing a scene if we improvised something, he would always encourage it.
If you see his films, you will understand that his approach to cinema was very simple. He never used great technique while making films but he was a great storyteller. More than a director, today I have lost a great friend.”
(As told to Ahana Bhattacharya)