A man of action

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  • Published 21.01.09

A legacy of 42 films apart, the late Tapan Sinha has left a half-done film behind.

Sinha had started shooting for Teen Murti, a film for television, with Soumitra Chatterjee, Sabitri Chatterjee and Manoj Mitra in November 2006.

The story revolves around three elderly, retired individuals who are very bored and desire to lead a dignified life. The three come together to open a tea stall and the film tracks how their lives change for the better.

Teen Murti was being produced by Gaurang Films, the company that had financed Sinha’s Harmonium, Safed Haathi, Aaj Ka Robinhood and Anokha Moti.

“Six years after Anokha Moti (2000), Tapanda called me one day and said that he wanted to make a film for television. I agreed. He had a script-reading session with the cast and even recorded four songs for the film. That was in 2006. But just when he was about to start shooting, he fell ill and never recovered,” says R.A. Jalan of Gaurang Films.

“We plan to finish Teen Murti but Tapanda was sceptical about someone else handling such a film. We are considering a few directors but things are yet to be finalised,” adds the 67-year-old producer whose association with Sinha began in 1974.

They met in Kurseong through a common friend at a time when Jalan was toying with the idea of turning producer.

“When I met Tapanda I told him that I wanted to produce films for him, but he was not very encouraging. He said that it wasn’t a very good line. But he agreed later. We made Harmonium, which was a box-office success. The film had a budget of only Rs 3 lakh. Then we did Safed Haathi, Aaj Ka Robinhood and Anokha Moti and all the films succeeded at the box-office,” recounts Jalan.

“Tapanda was very economical and would do everything to save the producer’s money. I have recovered my money from all the four films I made with him.”

For Jalan, Sinha was more than just a director. “He was a friend and he would often discuss his scripts with me, though I never gave any suggestions.... Everyone loved him. I have seen actors showing great respect for him. Nana Patekar agreed to do Aaj Ka Robinhood for a meagre Rs 10,000 and Shatrughan Sinha said yes to Safed Haathi even before hearing the script,” says Jalan.