Ruma Guha Thakurta

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Ruma Guha Thakurta
Birth name Ruma Ghosh
Born (1934-11-21) November 21, 1934 (age 79)
Kolkata
Genres Film music
Occupations actress, Activist, singer
Instruments Vocalist
Years active 1944–present

Ruma Guha Thakurta (Bengali: রুমা গুহঠাকুরতা) is a Bengali actress and singer.

Early life[edit]

She was born in 1934 as Ruma Ghosh. She hails from a Brahmo Bengali family. Her father was Satyen Ghosh (known as Montey Ghosh) and her mother was Sati Devi, a singer. Sati Devi's younger sister Bijoya married film director Satyajit Ray. Thakurta had her formal education in many places including Santiniketan for a brief period. She was educated first in Loretto and then in Gokhale School and thereafter Sacred Heart School, Lahore. She was also one of the earliest child students of Uday Shankar Cultural Centre in Almora in its formative years where her mother had been a music teacher. Kishore Kumar married Ruma Ghosh in May 1951 in Bombay, and their son Amit Kumar was born the following year. The couple divorced in 1958. She settled in Calcutta and married Arup Guha Thakurta and had two children by him, Ayan and Sromana. In 1958 she set up Calcutta Youth Choir with Salil Chowdhury and Satyajit Ray.

Singing career[edit]

As a singer Ruma Guha Thakurta recorded a few Rabindra Sangeet like Maya Bono Biharini Harini with Kishore Kumar and Tomar Geeti Jagalo Smriti with Hemant Kumar, both in Lookochuri, Sukher Majhe tomai dekhechi in Jodi Jantem, and Potho Hara Tumi Pothika and some solo songs in Bakso Badal, Baje Karun Sure in Monihara, Momo Chitte Niti Nrite in Ponchoshor and others. HMV recorded Kotha Baire Dure, Khone Khone Mone Mone and few others. In Bangla Adunik (modern) songs genre, Guhathakurta recorded a number of songs such as, Mon Je amar kemon kemon... and Chinite parini badhu... in Polatak, Ei To Hethai Kunjo... with Kishore Kumar in Lookochuri, Jodi Akash Hote... in Ashite Asio Na (only used in film), Sukh Sari with Manna Dey in Antony Firengee, Shudhu Poth Cheye Thaka in Baghini, and the Baithaki songs in the movie Benarasi. In 1969, HMV recorded Ek Khana Megh Bheshe Elo Akase and Bathan Bathan by her, which were super hits. Her duet songs like Sajea Dopati with Bhupen Hazarika are also memorable. In the year 1993, after Satyajit Ray died, she recorded Puroskare Sommane as a tribute to him. She also sang a song as tribute to Mother Teresa, after she had died. Most of the songs sung by her is always related for awakening the society. The most excellent Bengali choral version of Ol' Man River is performed regularly on their concerts by Calcutta Youth Choir arranged by RumaDevi. Other noted songs include Tomar Amar Thikana, Ei Amader Desh, Bharat Jai Jan, Sare Jahan Se Accha, etc. The Bengali version of We Shall Overcome, translated by Shibdas Bandyopadhyay, Ek Din Surjyer Bhor (literally translated as "One Day The Sun Will Rise") was recorded by the Calcutta Youth Choir arranged by Guhathakurta during the 1971 Bangladesh War of Independence and became one of the largest selling Bengali records.

Acting career[edit]

Her career started in Bollywood as a child artist. Thakurta acted in more than 100 movies in Bengali. Most of her Hindi movies were released in the 1950s. She joined Bollywood as a child artist at a remuneration of INR500 (US$8.40) at the age of thirteen in the Prithvi Theatre. She acted in number Hindi movies like Rajani, Raag Rang, Samar, Afsar, and Bairaag. In 1944 Devikarani gave her a break in Jowar Bhata after seeing her dance. Ritwik Ghatak wanted her to act in the lead role in his film Meghe Dhaka Tara, but she was busy in shooting Rajen Tarafdar’s Ganga so she could not accept the offer. She performed as a lead actress in films such as Khaniker Athithi, Benarasi, Ashi te Asio Na, Personal Assistant, Ganga, Abhijan, Nirjan Saikate, Ponchoshor, Arogya Niketon, and Ganashatru. She performed as a supporting actress in Chele Kar, Garh Nasimpur, Baghini, Jodi Jantem, Hanghsa Mithun, Balika Badhu, Chakranto, Malabadal, Joradighir Chowdhury Paribar, Aakrosh, and Aagun. She won the award for best actress for her performance in Nirjan Saikate. She acted as a mother character in Amar Songee, Anuraher Chhonya, Troyee, Dadar Kirti, Arogya Niketon, Papee, 36 Chowringhee Lane, Amrita Kumbher Sandhane, and Srodhanjoli. She also played characters in Mega TV serials like Prabaho, Ghum Nei, and Pratibimbo. In 2006 she also acted in Mira Nair's The Namesake. She acted in Hindi Films too like Milan ( Naukadubi in Bengali) with Ashok Kumar and also in Mashaal (1950).

Filmography[edit]

As an actress[edit]

Year Movie Director Role Language
1944 Jowar Bhanta
1950 Mashaal Nitin Bose
Afsar Chetan Anand Hindi
1952 Rag Rang Digvijay Ruma Devi Hindi
1959 Ganga Rajen Tarafdar Himi
Personal Assistant Chitrakar Rumali Sen (as Ruma Devi) Bengali
1962 Abhijan Satyajit Ray Neeli Bengali
1963 Nirjan Saikate Bengali
Polatak Moyna Bengali
1964 Prabhater Rang
1966 Joradighir Chowdhury Paribar Ajit Lahiri Bengali
1967 Balika Badhu Tarun Majumdar Bengali
Antony Firingee Sunil Bannerjee Jogweshwari Bengali
Ashi te Asio Na Bengali
1968 Panchashar Arup Guhathakurta Bengali
Baghini Bijoy Bose Bengali
Hangsa Mithun Bengali
Garh Nasimpur Bengali
1969 Arogya Niketan Bijoy Bose Pradyot's mother Bengali
1974 Jodi Jantem Yatrik Ranu Basu Bengali
1976 Bairaag Asit Sen Pushpa
1980 Dadar Kirti Tarun Majumdar Saraswati, Beena's Mother Bengali
1981 36 Chowringhee Lane Nandita's Mother English
Swami Stree Bengali
1982 Troyee Bengali
Amrita Kumbher Sandhane Bengali
1983 Samarpita Bengali
1985 Bhalobasa Bhalobasa Keya's Mother Bengali
1986 Amor Sangee Bengali
Anurager Chhonya Bengali
1987 Gayok Shantanu Bhowmick
1988 Agun Victor Banerjee
1989 Asha O Bhalobasha Bengali
Aakrosh
Gonoshatru Satyajit Roy Maya Gupta Bengali
1991 Path O Prasad Bengali
1992 Indrajit Anjan Choudhury
1994 Wheel Chair Tapan Sinha Sushmita's Mother
1995 Sangharsha Haranath Chakraborty Bengali
1996 Himghar Bengali
2006 The Namesake Ashoke's Mother English

As a Playback singer[edit]

Year Movie
1958 Lukochuri
1963 Barnali
Polatak
1961 Tin Konya
1966 Joradighir Chowdhury Paribar
1967 Antony Firingee
1968 Baghini
1970 Bakso Badal
1974 Jodi Jantem
1976 Mera Dharam Meri Maa
1982 Amrita Kumbher Sandhane

Honors and awards[edit]

Thakurta received the Soviet Land Nehru Peace Award in the year 1982, the President's Medal for her performance in Nirjan Saikate in 1963, Banga Ratna in 2009, and the Bharat Nirman Award from the Government of India.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]