An old picture of Suchitra Sen that Mamata Banerjee uploaded on Facebook
Calcutta, Jan. 5: Mamata Banerjee today met someone most of Bengal has not for over three decades: Suchitra Sen.
Mamata was called by Sen to her ITU bedside on Sunday evening, 48 hours after the chief minister visited Belle Vue Clinic but came away without seeing the screen-goddess-turned-recluse, respecting her wish to shun the public eye.
“Everyone knows that she has kept herself away from public view for more than 30 years…. I am undoubtedly fortunate enough to get an opportunity to meet her in person. It is an emotional moment,” the chief minister said in a Facebook post at 7.20pm.
Sen, 82, has lived the life of a recluse for 33 years and barring doctors, attendants and immediate family members, few have met her in the intervening years. Even if some other public figure had met her, Mamata’s meeting is the first to be confirmed officially.
“Aami shob somoy aapnar paashe aachhi (I am always there for you),” a source quoted Mamata as telling Sen during her 25-minute stay by her ITU bed. “Sen offered the chief minister tea,” the source added.
In her Facebook post, Mamata confirmed that she visited the nursing home a second time in accordance with Sen’s wish.
“Day before yesterday, I had visited Belle Vue Nursing Home to enquire about the health of Mahanayika Suchitra Sen as her condition was critical. I met her daughter Moonmoon Sen and Dr. Subrata Moitra and his medical team.”
“Later on, when she became little stable and came to know that I visited the Nursing Home to enquire about her health, she expressed her desire to meet me. Dr. Moitra communicated her desire and accordingly I rushed to the hospital and met her for about 25 minutes today. I also met Moonmoon Sen, Raima Sen, Dr. Moitra and others,” the chief minister’s post said.
Mamata said that Sen “is improving gradually. Let us all pray to God for her early recovery and good health.”
Today, doctors said Sen’s condition had improved with her chest infection under control.
“Suchitra Sen’s medical condition continues to remain stable. She has partially responded to intermittent non-invasive ventilation and her oxygen saturation has improved compared to the previous days…. She has had a light breakfast. She remains conscious but a little weak,” said a medical bulletin issued by Belle Vue at 1pm.
Granddaughter Raima, who resumed work on a film today, said on the sets: “Today she is better and so I am shooting…. She really wants to come back home. I am praying that she is back home as soon as possible. That’s all I want now.”