One starry night

How Babita became famous is like a story from a movie.

Updated - July 11, 2016 06:57 pm IST

Published - May 19, 2012 05:34 pm IST

SM_Satajit Ray and Babita

SM_Satajit Ray and Babita

Babita was the lone actress from Bangladesh who performed a key role in one of Satyajit Ray's films. Satyajit Ray, whose 92nd birth anniversary was celebrated recently, had made the offer to Babita. She had received a letter from the then Indian High Commissioner in Dhaka who requested her to contact Satyajit Ray. “But, I did not believe it, and thought the letter was a prank by a crazy fan. A few days letter I got a phone call from the High Commission. After that I left for Kolkata,” the actress spoke on Ray's birthday on May 2.

Babita claims that she got international exposure early in her career in 1973, by playing the role of Ananga Bou in Ray's much acclaimed film “Ashoni Shanket”. She says, “My first visit to his residence in Kolkata was even more interesting. I was in heavy make-up, and nervous. When he asked me why I had applied so much make-up, I became even more nervous and started sweating.”

Satyajit Ray then gave Babita dialogue sheets and told her to meet him the next day for screen test. “I rehearsed the whole night and went to the shooting floor without make-up,” recalls Babita.

Ray had said she looked better without make-up. He was also very impressed with the screen test and exclaimed: “Eureka, I've found my Anango Bou.”

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