ANINDITA ACHARYA, Kolkata: It will be difficult to imagine but Mimi Chakraborty couldn’t afford a television set in 2010. And at that time, she was playing Pupe — the lead of Gaaner Oparey. As the cult serial makes a return on Star Jalsha amid the nationwide lockdown today at 5 pm, the leading Bengali actress, who today is also TMC’s Member of Parliament for Jadavpur constituency, couldn’t help but go on a nostalgic trip. “What would I do then? I couldn’t afford a TV then? It’s true. I used to shoot and return to my rented apartment,” reminiscences the Dhananjoy actress.
Again, a shocker for Mimi fans. Wait, till we reveal it. Mimi has never watched the episodes of Gaaner Oparey. Yes, you read that right. And today, the Dracula Sir actress is nervous, because as the favourite serial of man return on television this afternoon, Mimi will watch Gaaner Oparey. “Over the years, I have received a number of requests for Gaaner Oparey to return. People have also asked to do a sequel to Gaaner Oparey and now when it is actually returning, I am quite nervous. Of course, I am excited also. But I haven’t seen the episodes entirely. I saw the songs on YouTube because at that time, I used to shoot at a stretch. In the initial stage of my career, I didn’t have a television set,” she says.
Gaaner Oparey achieved cult status, courtesy the aesthetics of Rituparno Ghosh. Today, Mimi recalls how Ritu da carefully crafted Pupe, Gora (the character Arjun Chakraborty played in the serial) and Pradipto (Gaurav Chakraborty). “It’s been 10 years since I started my journey. Ritu da made Pupe and how she would behave… how she would drape the sari, wear kajal and talk. When I used to go out shopping those days, people used to gather around me and ask from where do I get those saris which Pupe wear? Those were the collection of Ritu da and
Sabarni di (Das). I remember, Ritu da used to call me up and tell me how my Bengali diction has improved… not that I could not speak Bangla. But the Bengali spoken on the show was in Rabindrik style and we used to do workshop at Bumba da‘s (read Prosenjit Chatterjee, the producer of the show) office,” says the Bojhena Shey Bojhena actress. Today, she also informs us that watching the show for all three leads be it Arjun, Gaurav and her will be a different experience because the journey started with Gaaner Oparey.
যদি তোমায় দেখতে পেতাম আবার !! pic.twitter.com/Z9izIFJMpM
— Mimssi (@mimichakraborty) April 5, 2020
Another interesting information is Mimi hesitates to watch her own films with her family. Though her family is in North Bengal, however, her mother and aunt are excited to watch Pupe at 5 pm on television today onwards. And she would also watch the serial. So, will she try to find loopholes in her acting after 10 years, we ask? “Firstly, I am too nervous to watch myself and I always am. So, I don’t know how I will react. I have a mixed feeling. I will watch it… I will not be shy and accept the way I was. I was young then, so I will try not to find loopholes. Also, I am excited to see what Pupe had done then. Gaurav, Arjun and I are established today… so, everything started with this serial,” she says.
As we wrap up the chat over telephone, she tells us another story. “I used to stay in a colony when I started off my career as an actress. I used to be a tenant and there was a dingy narrow alley and I used to come to the main road for a taxi to go to the shooting of Gaaner Oparey. People used to recognise me on the streets as Pupe. Now, I’m the MP of the same area… it’s so surreal to me. God has been kind,” she signs off.