The face, the smile are still the same - Close encounter with legend

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 13.10.07
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Suman De of STAR Ananda made his way into Belle Vue Clinic as a patient the day after Suchitra Sen was admitted. And yes, he did manage to catch a glimpse of the screen legend , who has shunned the public eye for three decades...

“The same face, the same smile — Suchitra Sen looks absolutely the same. She looks far younger than her age (which is shown as 65 years on the ICCU door!). She is learnt to be 77. When she smiles, it is like seeing the Suchitra of old. The only major difference is that her hair has turned milky white.

I was admitted on Wednesday afternoon disguised as a patient, with a moustache and an altered voice. I managed to get close to her and see her more than once, but I was not able to speak to her.

She was first admitted to CCU B, and then shifted to ICCU 2. Not only was that room more secure, but she also got a view of Minto Park from her window.

It was not easy to sneak into her seventh-floor room from my fourth-floor cabin. Trying to see Suchitra Sen was like trying to breach a fortress. Security was very tight. There were two guards, one policeman and another private security guard between the lift and her cabin.

The hospital staff were all tight-lipped and even her private attendant was not allowed into the cabin unless she was summoned by Moon Moon Sen.

Suchitra Sen’s daughter sat in a chair diagonally opposite the door of the cabin, with a clear view of anyone trying to peep in. Suchitra Sen lay with her back to the door.

I didn’t see her standing or walking around but I was told by some people who did that she was still very graceful. Others said she wore thick-rimmed reading glasses, but the few times I saw her, she was not wearing them.

She was in a good mood for the first two days. She was smiling and chatting with all those who met her. But she became irritable when her fever did not subside even after 48 hours. She even yelled at a doctor who had strayed into her cabin out of curiosity.

She was angry at news of the media craze surrounding her stay at Belle Vue, and also the curiosity among the patients and staff members about how she looked.”