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Screen legend fights fever

Suchitra Sen has lost her looks, but not her grace.

A doctor at Belle Vue Clinic, where the legendary screen beauty was admitted late on Tuesday with fever and stomach ache, told Metro: “She looks her age, with white hair and all. But the grace is still very much there.”

The doctors and nurses in the CCU (critical care unit) on the seventh floor of Belle Vue were among the precious few to have caught a glimpse of the superstar-turned-recluse in three decades.

Sen, 77, was said to be “stable” and undergoing a series of tests. Doctors are suspecting viral fever or a urinary tract infection, and have put her on antibiotics. She was in the CCU more to draw a veil of secrecy around her than for strictly medical reasons, hospital sources said.

“Suchitra Sen was running a high fever for the past few days, so the family decided to shift her here,” said Pradip Tondon, the CEO of Belle Vue Clinic. “Her condition is stable now. She had a very light lunch. All investigations are being carried out and we will get the reports on Thursday morning,” added Tondon.

Daughter Moon Moon, who had admitted her late on Tuesday, said she was feeling much better by Wednesday afternoon. “There’s a slight fever but she is fine,” smiled Moon Moon, accompanied by her husband.

According to attending doctors, Suchitra Sen was running a 104-degree temperature for the past two days and was admitted under the care of K.B. Bakshi.

Fever apart, she was suffering from stomach ache and high blood pressure.

“She had biscuits and water last night. We offered her Horlicks but she refused. She had black tea in the morning and soup around noon.... She was wearing glasses when she came in,” said an awestruck nurse.

Two others who met the Indian Greta Garbo in the high-security critical care unit were Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi and actor Tapas Pal’s wife Nandini.

“She has a strong heart and she is in good spirits. She sounded good. I didn’t talk to her as I didn’t want to tire her. I hope she will be able to go home soon,” said the governor, who was at Belle Vue for a physiotherapy session in the evening.

Nandini Pal, whose husband is recovering from a haemorrhage in Belle Vue, was mum about her brief meeting with Sen.

A rare secrecy alert has been sounded at Belle Vue, as the star patient is “very particular” about “maintaining her privacy”, sources said.

Doctors and medical staff members have been forbidden from leaking any information about the screen goddess, who has remained hidden from the public eye since the late 1970s.

“She is a very private person and has threatened to leave the hospital if her privacy is not guarded,” said a source in Belle Vue.

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