Poonam Singh

Mumbai: 'Rajnigandha' and 'Chitchor' fame legendary director Basu Chatterjee no more. He passed away on Thrusday in Mumbai, following age-related ailments. He was 93 years.

Basu died in his sleep at his Santacruz residence.

Filmmaker and Indian Film & TV Directors’ Association president Ashoke Pandit took to Twitter to share the news.

"I am extremely grieved to inform you all the demise of Legendary Filmmaker Basu Chatterjee ji. His last rites will be performed today at Santacruz creamation at 2 pm. It’s a great loss to the industry. Will miss you Sir," tweeted Pandit.

Indian Film & TV Directors' Association also took to twitter to condole the death of the legendary filmmaker.

IFTDA mourned the demise of veteran filmmaker Basu Chatterjee. "A Master of Humour who delved into social and moral issues through his films. We pray to the almighty to bless his noble soul & give courage to his family to bear the irreplaceable loss," tweeted IFTDA.

Chatterjee was a pioneer of the seventies middle-of-the-road cinema that was a precursor of what is knowncontent-driven multiplex fare today. Along with Hrishikesh Mukherjee, he ushered the small-to medium-budget entertainer of the era that highlighted the everyday stories of common people.

In this genre of film was also born the realistic, guy-next-door-hero who stood as an alternative to the larger-than-life male protagonist of masala cinema of the era, typified best by Amol Palekar in films like "Chhoti Si Baat" (1975), "Chitchor" (1976), "Rajnigandha" (1974) and "BatonBaton Mein" (1979).

For Doordarshan, Chatterjee made hit TV serials like "Byomkesh Bakshi" and "Rajani" - the latter with  Actress Priya Tendulkar, who essayed the title role and attained a cult status - passed away few years ago.

Among Chatterjee's other best-known filmsare "Piya Ka Ghar" (1972), "Khatta Meetha", "Chakravyuha" (1978 film), "Priyatama" (1977), "Man Pasand", "Hamari Bahu Alka", "Shaukeen" (1982), and "Chameli Ki Shaadi" (1986).

His last directed film was "Gudgudee" in 1997, starring Anupam Kher and Pratibha Sinha.

Born in Ajmer, Rajasthan, on January10, 1927, he is survived by two daughters.

Many people in the film industry and outside condoled the death of the director, who placed the middle class and its everyday joys and struggles at the centre of his cinematic world.

Amitabh Bachchan took to twitter to pay tribute to Chatterjee.

"Prayers and Condolences on the passing of Basu Chatterjee .. a quiet, soft spoken, gentle human .. his films reflected the lives of middle India .. did 'MANZIL' with him .. a sad loss ..," tweeted Bachchan.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said, "Saddened at the demise of legendary film director and screenwriter Basu Chatterjee. He gave us gems like 'Chhoti Si Baat', 'Chitchor', 'Rajanigandha', 'Byomkesh Bakshi', 'Rajni' among others. Condolences to his family, friends, fans & the entire film fraternity."

Filmmaker Hansal Mehta said Chatterjee leaves behind a great legacy of cinema gems.

"Basu Chatterjee moves on. For me very few see the lighter side of life like he did. All his films have a smirk on their faces. I'm a big fan. and I have 'Kahaani 2' to prove it," said Kahaani director Sujoy Ghosh said.

(With Agency Inputs)

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