Nothing perhaps makes the heart ache more than the absence of the company of their loved ones during the Pujas. Actor Rituparna Sengupta understands that every time she walks up to her son Ankan’s bedroom. His drawings still adorn the walls while his books and toys peep through the shelves. The smell of his shirts tucked in the closet makes her feel his presence in his absence.
When the Goddess comes home during the Pujas, Sengupta is unapologetically emotional. In a short film directed by Pritha Chakraborty, the actor invites her Boston-based son to return and reunite with her in Kolkata during the Pujas. Viewers can watch the film at Facebook.com/phireyeshokolkata .
Sengupta, along with percussionist-turned-music director Pt Bickram Ghosh, actors Ankush, Riddhi Sen, Bonny Sengupta, Neel Bhattacharya, Priyanka Sarkar, Oindrila Sen, Trina Saha and Ushasi Ray, joined TOI to celebrate this homecoming with a new edition of our tribute to the city: Phirey Esho Kolkata.
Pujas not only mark the return of Durga, but also of those who have shifted base elsewhere for studies or work. “The last time we spent the Pujas together in Kolkata was in 2017. I was in Singapore with my family during the Pujas in 2018, but was off to the US for Puja shows in 2019. Covid took away all the fun from Durga Puja last year,” Sengupta said.
This year, Ankan has shifted to Boston for studies. “The day before the Phire Esho film shoot, his toy guns, bow and arrow, and Spiderman costume toppled out of the closet, making me pine for him even more. How I wish we could meet during the Pujas,” Sengupta said.
It has been a difficult 18 months of pandemic and bereavement has left permanent scars in too many families. Ahead of the Pujas, Ghosh lost his dear friend, percussionist Pt Subhankar Banerjee. Though concerts, music direction and personal album launches have kept him busy, he knows that such scars will need time to heal.
“My college friend, Sourav Mukherjee, lost his father recently. After college, we parted ways when he settled in Mumbai,” Ghosh said. As part of the Phire Esho Kolkata campaign, Ghosh requested his friend to return to the city. Revisiting old ties while the world is in a festive mood is also part of healing, he said.
However, it’s not just celebs who are on a nostalgic trip. Every family is now scripting its own homecoming story. Mousumi Deb joined the TOI campaign to invite her Pune-based sister to return while Swayampurna wants a reunion with her London-based brother with whom she is yearning to spend Pujas in Kolkata after eight years.
Phire Esho Kolkata, for them, is no longer just a phrase. It is a metaphor for a heart in love with Kolkata.
Source: Times of India