Sunday saw another Bollywood personality leave this world. Director Rajat Mukherjee, best known for his 2001 film Pyar Tune Kya Kiya, a dark delicious adaptation of the Glenn Close classic Fatal Attraction with Urmila Matondkar giving one of the best performances of her life.
In fact, Urmila was so powerful in the film that I remember Kirron Kher telling me how she was on the jury of film awards and was very upset when Urmila was not given the best actress award.
And now Mukherjee is gone.
Reacting to his death Urmila says, “I can’t believe he is gone. I am saddened.I had not been in touch with him for a while now, so I didn’t know about his illness.”
Urmila still vividly remembers the effort and hard work that went into her role in Pyar Tune Kya Kiya of an obsessive girl trapped in unrequited love. “He was extremely passionate, talented, vibrant, a livewire kind of person. Also, a great cook. His vision and belief in my character Rhea helped me in getting such a tough and extremely difficult character to the screen. Pyaar Tune Kya Kiya remains a gem if a film ahead of its times.”
A year later in 2002, Rajat Mukherjee made a dark horror film Road for the same producer Ram Gopal Varma featuring Manoj Bajpai, Vivek Oberoi and Antara Mali.
Manoj remembers Rajat, “He was a friend of 21 years and the director of Road. Just too sad since morning. I spoke to Geeta his wife. All the memories of laughter, dining together, parties shooting together, his love for Clint Eastwood’s films…. all came rushing back to me.”
Manoj misses his Rajatda. “I am feeling sad that all of the above will never happen again without him. He was a lovely man, high on life, no malice or back-biting, just a pure soul that he was. Will miss him always.”
Incidentally, Rajat had a huge fall-out with producer Ram Gopal Varma by the time he directed Road.