Kolkata, Jan 17: Stating that the word legend was not adequate to describe Bengali screen icon Suchitra Sen, who died Friday, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Friday hailed her as a “god” and recalled how the star had spoken to her as a “near and dear one”.
“It would be wrong to address her as a legend. She was a god,” said Banerjee,while officially announcing Sen’s death at the nursing home premises, in the morning.
Sen was 82. Her body was consigned to flames at the Keoratala crematorium here Friday afternoon. During her last rites the ‘Mahanayika’ (great actress) remained virtually invisible to the public.
She was honoured with a 21 gun salute by the state government, in accordance with Banerjee’s wish.
Banerjee attended Sen’s funeral.
“The passing away of ‘Mahanayika’ (great actress), I feel in world of cinema and in Bengali cinema is a big and sad news. Such a talent is born only once and there is no parallel. Today is extremely saddening for us. We have lost someone important today,” said Banerjee.
The chief minister rushed to the nursing home soon after receiving the news from doctors and family members.
“During my second visit, she asked me, who was I to her? She had spoken to me like a near and dear one (aaponjon). She was conscious and could recognise her family members during her last days.”
She observed, how she had “so astonishingly” kept herself away from the public for three decades, a departure from tradition.
Banerjee was a frequent visitor to Belle Vue Clinic where Sen was admitted. Having shunned public figures for over three decades, Sen made a rare exception for Banerjee during the last few days of her stay in the nursing home.
In 2012, the West Bengal government conferred its highest award “Banga Bibhushan” on Sen in absentia.
Sen, who had bewitched generations of filmbuffs with her grace and beauty, died following a massive cardiac arrest, a doctor said. She was under treatment for the last 26 days following serious respiratory problems.