This Article is From Jun 04, 2019

Remembering Ruma Guha Thakurta, Actress And Singer Who Redefined Popular Music

Actress-singer Ruma Guha Thakurta worked with celebrated directors such as Satyajit Ray, Tapan Sinha and Tarun Majumdar.

Remembering Ruma Guha Thakurta, Actress And Singer Who Redefined Popular Music

A picture of Ruma Guha Thakurta shared by Arpita Chatterjee. (Image courtesy: Twitter)


  • She featured in several Hindi and Bengali films
  • Several celebrities tweeted about her contribution to music
  • She was last seen onscreen in Mira Nair's The Namesake

Veteran Bengali actress and singer Ruma Guha Thakurta died on Monday following old age related problems, prompting people to remember her for the legacy she left behind and mourn the loss. Ruma Guha died at her residence here. She was 84. Founder of the Calcutta Youth Choir (CYC), which played a role in popularising 'gana sangeet' or mass songs in Bengal, she showcased her talent in a number of Hindi and Bengali movies working with celebrated directors such as Satyajit Ray, Tapan Sinha and Tarun Majumdar.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee mourned the loss on Twitter. Several videos on the internet showed that the politician also went to her residence to pay her respects. "Saddened at the passing away of Ruma Guha Thakurta. Her contribution to the field of cinema and music will always be remembered. My condolences to her family and her admirers," Mamata Banerjee tweeted.

Born Ruma Ghosh in Kolkata in 1934, she married legendary singer Kishore Kumar in 1951 and the couple's only child Amit Kumar was born next year. The couple divorced in 1958 and that year Ruma Guha formed the CYC with composer Salil Chowdhury and Satyajit Ray.

The choir rendered with aplomb the Bengali translations of popular mass songs from various languages. Their discs were lapped up by music lovers.

In 1974, the CYC, under her direction, won the first prize at the Copenhagen Youth Festival. After her divorce from Kishore Kumar, she married Arup Guha Thakurta. They have a son Ayan and a daughter Sromona, a noted singer.

"My heartfelt condolences on the demise of veteran actress Ruma Guha Thakurta. May her soul rest in peace," tweeted actress Arpita Chatterjee.

Rituparna Sengupta also posted: "Saddened by the news of eminent actress Ruma Guha Thakurta's demise. My most sincere condolences. May she rest in peace."

Singer Rekha Bhardwaj also expressed her condolences, and prayed for her soul.

Politician Madan Mitra tweeted: "Really saddened to hear about the passing away of the very talented and enigmatic Ruma Guha Thakurta. Founder of the Calcutta Youth Choir. The first wife of Kishore Kumar and mother of Amit Kumar. My heartfelt condolences to her family and friends."

Another politician Partha Chatterjee said: "The founder of Calcutta Youth Choir and a renowned veteran actress, Ruma Guha Thakurta passes away today. Indeed, it's an end of an era. Her creative brilliance will stay forever. My Condolences to her family. May her soul rest in peace."

Ruma Guha has done playback for a number of films including Lukochuri, Tin Kanya (directed by Satyajit Ray), Baksho Badal and Amitra Kumbher Sandhane.

Beginning with the Hindi film Jwar Bhata in 1944, she acted in Mashaal, Afsar and Rag Rang in Bollywood, before moving on to Bengali films with Rajen Tarafdar's classic Ganga in 1952.

Under Satyajit Ray's direction, Ruma Guha acted in Abhijaan and Ganashatru while playing prominent roles in three of Tapan Sinha's films Nirjan Saikate, Khaniker Atithi and Wheel Chair.

Tarun Majumdar directed her in Polatak, Balika Bodhu and the evergreen comedy Dadar Kirti. She also acted in Aparna Sen's maiden directorial venture 36 Chowringhee Lane.

In 2006, she acted in Mira Nair's English movie The Namesake, which was her last film.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)