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Featured Image: Arabinda Mukherjee in file photo and a poster of Uttam Kumar starrer Bengali comedy Mouchak that he had directed in 1974.  

By A Newsman

Kolkata, 10 February: VETERAN Bengali film director, Arabinda Mukherjee, passed away at his south Kolkata residence today morning. He was 97 and died of old age related ailments.

Known among his peers as Tulubabu, Mukherjee died around 8.45 am at his residence near Tollyganj tram depot. He was unwell for some time and lost the ability to converse properly.

Mukherjee shot to limelight with films like Nishipadma, Mouchak, Dhanyee Meye and Amar Prem. He wrote stories, screenplays and also directed several movies.

Mukherjee went on to direct 17 Bengali movies casting almost all popular actors of his time in them. Uttam Kumar, Jaya Bachchan, Ranjit Mullick, Utpal Dutt, Mithun Chakraborty, Soumitra Chatterjee, Sandhya Roy, Sabitri Chatterjee, Robi Ghosh, Tanuja, Aparna Sen among others have worked with the director, who always stressed on good stories.

Most of his films went on to become big hit.  Some of them include Jeevan Sangeet (1968), Pita Putra (1969), Nishipadma (1970), Dhanyee Meye (1971), Mouchak (1974), Agnishwar (1975), Ajasra Dhanyabad (1976), Mantramugdha (1977), Ae Prithibi Pantha Niwas (1977), Nadi Theke Sagare (1978), Paka Dekha (1980), Prayashchitta (1983), Sansarer Itikatha (1983), Arpita (1983), and Ajante (1986).

Based on Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay’s short story Hinger Kochuri, Mukherjee penned the story of his popular Bengali film Nishipadma.

When Shakti Samantha decided to adopt the film into Hindi, he asked Mukherjee to write the screenplay. The Hindi version was named Amar Prem starring late actor Rajesh Khanna and veteran actress Sharmila Tagore. The director also collaborated with Hemanta Mukherjee, who rendered music to several of his films.

Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee condoled the demise of Mukherjee by tweeting: “Saddened to hear veteran director Arvind Mukherjee passed away. We will remember him through his films. Condolences to his family & friends.”

Mukherjee was consigned to flames in the afternoon at Keoratala burning ghat. Several Bengali film industry personalities were present on the occasion.

The late director is survived by two sons, a daughter and their families.