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Suchitra Sen, Gulzar addressed each other as 'Sir'

Suchitra used to be addressed as 'Sir' by Gulzar, not much out of respect as out of humour.

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Updated:September 30, 2013, 1:12 PM IST
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Suchitra Sen, Gulzar addressed each other as 'Sir'
Suchitra used to be addressed as 'Sir' by Gulzar, not much out of respect as out of humour.

New Delhi: Did you know that Suchitra Sen and Gulzar addressed each other as 'Sir'?

In an interesting anecdote in her book 'Uttam Kumar And Suchitra Sen: Bengali Cinemas First Couple', author MaitreyeeB Chowdhury says that Suchitra used to be addressed as 'Sir' by Gulzar, not much out of respect as out of humour.

"While working on 'Aandhi' (1975), Gulzar resorted to calling her 'Sir', in retaliation to her persistently calling him so, despite being friends. Such was Suchitra's persona," she writes.

The book also says that M F Husain drew a sketch of Suchitra based on her pictures and named it 'Mystique'.

According to Chowdhury, 'Aandhi' gave Suchitra the kind of adulation and respect that she had always desired as an actor.

"Gulzar says that he was aware of Suchitra's strong persona and he conceived the role especially for her. Suchitra wanted to dub for 'Aandhi' in her own voice a wish to prove her Hindi diction. Though her Hindi diction in the film had scope for much improvement, 'Aandhi' finally established Suchitra as a successful actor in Hindi cinema," the book, published by Om Books International, says.

'Uttam Kumar and Suchitra Sen: Bengali Cinema's First Couple' is a tribute to this unparalleled star-duo of Bengali cinema. The pair ushered in what came to be known as the golden era of Bengali cinema.

Of the 60 films Suchitra worked in, 30 were with Uttam. The duo gave a string of hits such as 'Sagarika' (1956), 'Harano Sur' (1957), 'Indrani' (1958), 'Agnipariksha' (1954), 'Saptapadi' and 'Grihadaha' (1967), all part of Bengali
cinematic history today.

The writer says that platonic or spiritual, their mutual admiration was palpable and infectious. Both shared much more than their films and would even look to each other for solace in times both good and bad.

"The two had tremendous respect for each other, too. Uttam's and Suchitra's relationship was based on mutual trust, appreciation and admiration for each other's work and personality... They maintained a dignified presence in public.
Interestingly, whenever Suchitra was asked to define her relationship with Uttam, she was brief with her words.

"She would usually dismiss it as 'just friends'. Uttam admitted to having not only a soft corner for Suchitra, but also that he was in awe of her as a co-actor, as well as a person. 'Yes I loved her, but this love is of a different kind and genre,'" she writes.

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