Old mens' tale

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By how Raja Sen's teen murti bridges the generation gap KUSHALI NAG
  • Published 11.12.09
Manoj Mitra, Ranjit Mullick and Dipankar De in Teen Murti

There’s no age for retirement. You don’t retire as long as you live,” says Raja Sen whose Teen Murti, releasing today, drives home the message through three enterprising elderly individuals.

Teen Murti is the brainchild of the late Tapan Sinha, who had conceived the story as a television film, written the screenplay and also composed the music. The project was ready to take off on a budget of Rs 2.5 lakh but was shelved after Sinha fell ill last year. Sen, a long-standing assistant of Sinha, took over Teen Murti after Sinha’s death.

Paoli Dam

“Tapanda had narrated the story of Teen Murti to me when he was making Antardhan in the early Nineties. I sought his permission to make Teen Murti when he was shooting Wheelchair and he gave his nod. Then a few years later, Prabhat Roy’s Lathi released, and since that too was about an elderly hero, I thought of pushing Teen Murti back. In the beginning of 2008, Tapanda finally wrote the script and also recorded a song for the film. After he passed away, I spoke to the producer R.A. Jalan and began shooting,” says Sen, who was helped by playwright and Teen Murti cast member Manoj Mitra in developing Sinha’s script.

At the centre of Teen Murti are three retired individuals — Nabin (Ranjit Mullick), a former professor, Nagen (Manoj Mitra), an ex-station master and Naren (Dipankar De), who once worked in the corporate sector. Sabitri Chatterjee plays Mitra’s wife.

“These men are friends who meet after a long time and then decide to start a tea stall business together. The message is that even senior citizens can do a lot if there’s a will.... Tapanda had wanted Soumitra Chatterjee to play one of the three friends, but when I started making the film Soumitrada fell ill and so I took Dipankar De. Tapanda hadn’t cast any actors to play the young lovers. I chose Paoli (Dam) and Joy. They act as a bridge between the old and the young generations.... I am expecting young people to see Teen Murti. It has a message for them,” says Sen, who has fleshed out Paoli and Joy’s characters in the film.

Says Paoli, who plays Mullick’s tenant: “This film will always be special to me and my career as an actress because it has the touch of Tapan Sinha.”

Teen Murti has been produced by Gaurang Films, which had earlier financed Sinha’s Safed Haathi, Harmonium, Anokha Moti and Aaj Ka Robinhood.