The month of July is synonymous with Uttam Kumar. TV channels show his films throughout the month. People get glued to those films. It is a wonder how the superstar is so living four decades after his death.
The Bengalees are yet to get a hero like Uttam Kumar whom they can relate to. The dhoti-punjabi clad nayak, a pair of thick lips, with cigarette stuck in between, dreamy eyes, well-defined chin, partly back-brushed hair from the front, ravishing smile capture the imagination of the Bengalees like no other star from Tollywood does.
It is perhaps every Bengalee woman’s dream to pillion-ride her dream man in life and sing: e path Jodi na shesh hae…., the way Uttam-Suchitra did iconically.
Uttam Kumar, on death-bed, asked for permission to smoke from his doctor. The doctor took time. He could not decide if it was ethical for him to nod to his request. Uttam Kumar was admitted under him because of massive cardiac arrest.
Uttam Kumar asked for the second time.
This time the doctor nodded.
Uttam Kumar took two to three long puffs and blew the smoke into rings. The rings came out floating to doctor as he sat close by.
Doctor smiled at his patient. The patient did not smile back.
Uttam Kumar died with cigarette dangled from the corner of his lips.
The smoky rings, meanwhile, vanished before they reached doctor.