Arundhati Devi

Arundhati Devi
Arundhati Devi
Born 1925
Barisal, (now in Bangladesh)
Died 1990
Spouse Tapan Sinha

Arundhati Devi (1925–1990) was an Indian actress, film director and writer. She was also known as Arundhati Debi, as Arundhati Mukherjee and as Arundhati Mukhopadhyay.


Personal life

Arundhati was born in Barisal, East Bengal, in British India (now in modern Bangladesh). Her father Bibhucharan Guha Thakurta was a scion of the Guha Thakurta family of Barisal – a family well known for its interest in and patronage of cultural activities. She studied at the Santiniketan Ashram founded by Rabindranath Tagore and from a very early age received training in dance, theatre and singing. In 1955 she had a short–lived marriage with the director Prabhat Mukherjee. However in 1957 she met Indian film director Tapan Sinha at the Berlin Film Festival and they eventually got married . Their son is Indian scientist Professor, Anindya Sinha. She died in 1990 after a long illness.[1]


In Kolkata, Arundhati started doing her Master degree studies and wanted to become a journalist. There she came in contact with the scriptwriter Binoy Chatterjee, who was a family friend, and under his influence, she was selected to join the payroll of the New Theatres Studios, which at that time still held its position as the premier film production unit operating out of Kolkata. Arundhati made her cinematic debut in the seminal film Mahaprasthaner Pathey (1952) which also had a Hindi version named Yatrik. The film directed by Kartik Chatterjee, depicted a group of pilgrims on an arduous trek in the high Himalayas, was a smash hit. In Mahaprasthaner Pathey, Arundhati Devi essayed the role of Rani, strong-willed young widow who develops a soft corner for the young Brahmachari of the team played by Abhi Bhattacharya. Basanta Choudhury, another notable actor of the Bengali screen, also made his debut in this film which also boasted of actors of the calibre of Tulsi Chakraborty, Sisir Batabyal and Molina Devi.

Arundhati Devi also acted in a number of important films in the late 1950s and early 1960s which clearly were her heyday as an actor. Films like Shashi Babur Sansar and Pushpadhanu, (all released in 1959), Indradhanu (1960) were modest hits but her histrionic abilities received kudos from all. She turned producer for the first time with Bicharak(1959) directed by Prabhat Mukherjee and the film which had her and Uttam Kumar in the lead roles was awarded a Certificate of Merit as the 3rd Best Feature film at the National Awards in 1960. In Bijoy Bose’s Bhagini Nivedita (1962), she played the definitive role of her career and portrayed the role of Swami Vivekananda’s Irish disciple who dedicated her life for the cause of India with great élan. Admittedly the film the film was a simplistic study of this complex and fascinating woman, but the role suited Arundhati Devi just right and the film was a box office success.

After Bhagini Nivedita, Arundhati Devi cut down her screen appearances drastically and began to explore other facets of filmmaking. She had already turned producer with Bicharak, in 1962 she used her musical training and abilities to the hilt and composed the music of Shiulibari – a film by Piyush Bose which again had Uttam Kumar and Arundhati Devi in the lead roles.

Her first film as a director was Chhuti (1967) which won a Certificate of Merit at the 1967 National Awards.However her most popular film as a director is Padi Pishir Barmi Baksho (1972) – based on the popular children's novel by Leela Majumdar.[2]


As an Actress (16 titles):

  • 1976 Harmonium
  • 1964 Jotugriha (as Madhuri)
  • 1962 Bhagini Nivedita (as Bhagini Nivedita)
  • 1961 Jhinder Bandi (as Arundhati Mukhopadhyay)
  • 1960 Kshudista Pashan (as Arundhati Mukherjee)
  • 1959 Bicharak
  • 1959 Pushpadhanu (as Arundhati)
  • 1958 Manmoyee Girls' School (as Niharika)
  • 1956 Nabajanma
  • 1955 Dashyumohan (as Chapala alias Miss Sandhya Ray)
  • 1955 Du-janay
  • 1955 Godhuli
  • 1954 Chheley Kaar (as Mili)
  • 1954 Nad-o-Nadi
  • 1952 Mahaprasthaner Pathey (as Rani)
  • 1952 Yatrik (as Rani)

As the Film Director (5 titles)

  • 1985 Gokul
  • 1983 Deepar Prem
  • 1972 Padi Pishir Barmi Baksha
  • 1969 Megh-o-roudra
  • 1967 Chhuti

As the Script Writer (1 title)

  • 1967 Chhuti

As the Music Composer (1 title)

  • 1967 Chhuti

As the Music Director (1 title)

  • 1967 Chhuti


External links

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