Filmmakers, actors and family showered wishes and respect on Mrinal Sen as the Indian parallel cinema legend turned 94 on Saturday (May 14).
Director Srijit Mukherji compared the 18-time National Award winner to Baijnath Mishra, better known as ‘Baiju Bawra’ (Baiju the Crazy), a dhrupad musician from medieval India.
“Happy birthday to the incredible Baiju Bawra of Indian Cinema from a hardcore Tansen fan:) #livinglegend #MrinalSen,” Mukherji tweeted.
— Srijit Mukherji (@srijitspeaketh) May 14, 2016
Affectionately addressing Sen as “jethu” (uncle), Bengali superstar Prosenjit Chatterjee dubbed him as an inspiration.
“Happy Birthday Mrinal Jethu..Many happy returns of the day and lots of respect.You are an inspiration to all of us,” Prosenjit said.
Sen’s son Kunal who had recently posted a picture of Sen and his wife having breakfast, shared a link to a film (“Mrinal Sen: An Era in Cinema”) on the “Bhuvan Shome” maker.
“Rajdeep Paul completed a film on my father just in time for his birthday today. I haven’t been able to see it yet, but here’s the link,” Kunal posted on Facebook.
Born on May 14 in 1923, in Faridpur (now in Bangladesh), Sen, a Padma Bhushan and Dada Saheb Phalke awardee, paved the way for parallel cinema in the country with gems like “Ek Din Achanak”, “Padatik” and “Mrigayaa”.
A recipient of 12 international film awards, Sen was a member of the Indian People’s Theatre Association and was instrumental in drawing youth to theatre.