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Kanan Devi: Tributes

When I joined films, Kanan Devi had reduced acting and was mainly busy with film production. I did not get an opportunity to work with her ….. I remember very well “AMI BONOPHOOL GO” …I was a school going child then and almost everyone I knew had this song in his or her lips, specially the young generation. Later I learnt that the song was from the film Shesh Uttar and the singer was the most glamourous film star of the day Kanan Devi…… The elders used to say Kananbala, we used to refer to her as Kanan Devi. We were in Dacca then, to be precise Kamalapur of Dacca district. We had a gramophone-we called it by the popular name “KALER GAAN”-every evening our neighbours used to come to listen to the records and mostly Kanan Devi’s songs were played. There wasn’t any other actress or singer who had captured public imagination the way she did. In shops her photos used to be kept displayed, sometimes calendars with her photos were seen. Those who could sing, always sang her songs and those who could not hummed her tunes……. I became so engrossed in her personality that I started day dreaming about becoming an actress like her when I grew up. I kept writing letters to her and used to hand them over to anyone who came from Calcutta and they would take the letters assuring of a speedy delivery. Little did I know that not a single one of these could have reached her …… Then came partition of the country and we took refuge in Calcutta where my cherished dream of coming face to face with Kanan Devi was fulfilled. We had taken shelter at the residence of one of my elder sisters and her father in law happened to be the officer in charge of Tollygung Police Station. Kanan Devi had come to the police station with her husband for some work. Someone told me that she was there and I rushed to meet her and straightaway asked for an autograph. My relative introduced me to her telling her how big a fan of her’s I was. Kanan Devi stared at me for sometime and told her husband to watch my eyes. They werebeautiful she said (much to my pride). She then pulled me close to her, gave her autograph in the paper that I had brought with me and told me that one day I would become a greatactress…….. Today I remember her with the deepest respect and and recall her prophesy ……..


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