Ruma Guha Thakurta
|Ruma Guha Thakurta|
|Birth name||Ruma Ghosh|
November 21, 1934 |
|Occupation(s)||actress, Activist, singer|
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 very talented woman. Sati Devi was a singer, a musician and India's first woman music director who worked with Uday Shankar at Almora, Prithviraj Kapur in Bombay and with Devikarani at Bombay Talkies. 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 Loreto 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 1952 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.
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.
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 500 (US$7.90) 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).
As an actress
As a Playback singer
|1966||Joradighir Chowdhury Paribar|
|1976||Mera Dharam Meri Maa|
|1982||Amrita Kumbher Sandhane|
Honors and awards
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.