#BigMaintenance! Chiranjeet Chakraborty: Avoiding Backstabbing, Obstacles Is Like Watching My Footsteps While Walking On A Messy Road | Bengali movie news
How did you get through the containment phase? Was it a learning phase?
When I look back on the almost 70 years of my life, it seems that the time has passed in a jiffy. Containment gave me a similar feeling. I think when you have a name, a celebrity, and the money, it’s easy to hang out. But when you’re struggling, even an hour seems like a day. So thanks to Chiranjeet Chakraborty (his pseudonym) for making some hit movies that have helped me earn enough to lead a happy and peaceful life. But it is Dipak Chakraborty (his real name) who will always hold my heart because he is the source of my creative freedom. You have to learn to accept that you can’t get everything in life. And instead of ruminating, they should make the best use of their creativity to achieve it in one form or another.
You are a Tollywood veteran – a superstar who has been in the industry for 41 years! Getting to the top couldn’t have been easy. Are there any particular cases of professional setbacks or rivalries that you would like to highlight?
Roller coasters add value to the journey of a lifetime. The ups and downs teach you the true meaning of success and happiness. A smooth graph indicates a boring life. I like to live my life with the help of the cinema, not by worshiping the cinema. So my expectations of this world are limited. Exorbitant Expectations Cause Frustration It’s important to have a balance in what you’re doing and not obsess over it. I follow a simple logic to lead my life, especially on a professional level. To be able to survive in the trade, you have to be a good kite pilot. The sky is the professional realm and there are several kites out there, trying to reach higher than you. In the process, the other players will try to pull you down, but it’s up to you to take control of your kite and reach new heights. Sometimes obstacles like rain or thunder will prevent you from flying your kite despite your best efforts, but you shouldn’t give up; wait for the sun to rise.
The pressures of being famous and finding your place in the sun affect both men and women. What would be your advice to anyone trying to stand out in the industry?
It takes patience to face difficult situations but with dignity. Not many people know that I am the only person other than Manik da (Satyajit Ray) working on the cover artwork for Sandesh. But I never asked him to get into any of his films. It is dignity! No need to blame others for what you haven’t been able to accomplish in your life. It won’t change your career graph and instead make you look like a jealous loser. So, better to focus on honing your kite skills, your talent. You can hardly make friends in the professional world. For me, avoiding backstabbing and other obstacles in my professional life is like watching my steps while walking down a messy road. You must avoid walking on the mud.
Lobbying and nepotism have always been a source of concern in the film industry in general. But the debate gained momentum after the death of Sushant Singh Rajput. Is this also a reality in Tollywood?
Nepotism does not exist in Tollywood. It’s a problem in Bollywood. I don’t think Uttam Kumar’s son or Suchitra Sen’s daughter had more privileges because of their parents. Being devotees, they never tried to use their influence to create favorable opportunities for their children. However, I would say that what has always existed in Tollywood is patronage. But isn’t this true for all professions? You have to learn how to deal with it. In our time, there was no social media to highlight lobbying in the film industry. But thanks to technology, the news is now spreading like wildfire. Some even treat social media like a courtroom. It’s good that people openly talk about issues like #MeToo. This will make people think twice before engaging in malicious activity.
We are still faced with lobbies, exploitation and casting issues. How do you think such controversies affect the Bengali entertainment industry?
All of these problems exist in all professions and so does favoritism. But the film industry cases are getting more attention because they involve people in the limelight. How one reacts to such incidents is their personal choice. For me, dignity is sacrosanct. I don’t like to get involved in the mud. Why would I want the world to know about my frustrations? No matter how honest and painful, sharing your experiences will not make a difference to the Bengali entertainment industry. Learn to accept and let go. I couldn’t do Aparna Sen and Tarun Majumder movies for a reason. My voice was dubbed in Rituparno Ghosh’s film despite my presence. And there have been instances where people have tried to pull me down. But I ignored everything. Of the 250 films I have made, most of them are successful because I have stayed focused on my job. I still do lead roles. I will soon start working with a new director for a film that revolves around writing letters, a now forgotten art.
One of the topics that is widely discussed now is mental health, especially for young people. The pressures of being famous and finding your place in the sun affect both men and women. What would be your advice to anyone trying to stand out in the industry?
Gather enough wisdom before you jump into this industry. Your sanity is doomed to suffer when you start to make comparisons. People today don’t live for the present, they think too much about the future. Stop that. Learn to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Don’t try to do it all together. Wait for the right moment. Go with the aayega attitude of apna time and never succumb to the pressure.
You and Tapas Paul were contemporaries. You were also close friends. Did his disappearance leave a void in you?
Yes, I lost my brother. He was a great actor, whose life was rightly framed by Tarunda (Majumdar) in Dadar Kirti. A simple boy from Chandannagar, who became famous just like the character and after a lot of struggle, sang Charana Dhorite Dio Go Amare on the screen. His simplicity, his sweet smile and his great acting skills were appreciated in all homes. He has become a star. And like a shooting star, he disappeared from the scene. He joined politics, but was never able to become a wise politician. This is what I regret the most. I pray for his soul. Wherever he is today, I want him to be at peace.