National Award winner Ujjwal Chatterjee, who is helming a trilingual film produced by Priyanka Chopra’s company on the relationship between Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore and his English teacher Annapurna Turkhud, has agreed to chop off one “intimate scene” of the bard at the behest of Visva Bharati University. “I have agreed with Visva Bharati’s recommendations on removing intimate scenes. I am removing one scene. There are no problems regarding the decisions of the committee formed by the varsity to look into the authenticity of research. The shooting will commence in November this year, and will take place in Shantiniketan, Jorasanko and Maharashtra,” Chatterjee said.
Annapurna Turkhud, also known as Anna or Annabai, was the daughter of Atmaram Pandurang Turkhud, a Mumbai-based (then Bombay) doctor. Tagore had stayed with the family prior to his first voyage to Britain in 1878 and took lessons in spoken English from Anna. He gave her the nickname Nalini, which Anna used later on as a pseudonym for her writing. She inspired some of Tagore’s early poetic expressions. Tagore never forgot about Anna and used to reminisce about her in his old age.
The film will portray the platonic relationship between the two. Chatterjee explained in one scene of the Marathi-Bengali-English film, Nalini kisses her fiance as Tagore looks on while in another Nalini pecks Tagore on the cheek. “Actually we have to retain the scene where Nalini kisses her fiance because it’s documented. The other scene will be removed,” said Chatterjee. Acting Vice Chancellor of Visva Bharati University Swapan Kumar Datta said that the subject has to be treated sensitively and they are awaiting the final script with the necessary changes.