LEGENDARY Bengali cine-idol and super actress Suchitra Sen is no more and we mourn her death with the people of the Indian sub-continent and especially in Bangladesh. She died at the age of 83 at a Kolkata hospital suffering heart stroke on Friday morning where she was undergoing treatment for old age. Her death came as a big shock to the cultural life of the sub-continent leaving a spell of gloom everywhere. Her films were widely viewed in Bangladesh and West Bengal and she was categorized as ‘queen of the heart’ by capturing the public imagination for almost three decades in the Indian film industry from 1952 with the release of her first Bengali film ‘Shesh Kothai’ through her ethereal beauty and intense celluloid performance. Suchitra Sen in fact, had symbolized the golden age of Bengali cinema in her 25 years of cinematic life and we believe she will be remembered for all time for filming some of the best Bengali movies like ‘Agnipariksha’, ‘Devdas’ and ‘Saat Paake Bandha’ for which she had no parallel.She had acted in almost 60 films of which 53 were Bengali and become an icon and she stole the public mind mainly acting with Uttam Kumar as a matinee idol. The pair produced 30 films to usher the Uttam-Suchitra era in Bengali films giving food for many gossips while however meticulously characterizing the romantic life of middle class Bengali society in their films . However she volunteered to lead a secluded life after the sudden death of Uttam Kumar in 1980 and became highly religious and a follower of the Ramkrishna Mission Order. Sen passed the remainder of her life in meditation and prayers. She was the first Indian actress to be honoured at an international film festival in Moscow but she reportedly refused the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 2005 preferring not to make a public appearance thereby breaking her seclusion. The reason behind Suchitra’s withdrawal from public life remained a mystery till her death. Her daughter Moon Moon Sen though well known by her own performances could never however overcome the large shadow of her mother’s beauty and acting. Some of her Hindi films include Champakali with Bharat Bhushan, Sarhhaad and Mommbai Ka Babu with Anand. Another Hindi film which brought her fame was ‘Andhi’ by Gulzar in 1974 and her role in the film landed her in the controversy due to similarities between her character and Indira Gandhi’s.We recall with fondness that Suchitra was born in Pabna in 1931 which is now Bangladesh and her parents later moved to Kolkata to permanently settle there. Her family name was Roma Dasgupta. She was married to Dibbanath Sen but in her film life she was named as Suchitra Sen. Suchitra Sen will live on in the hearts of the young ones of her time as the most romantic actress. In the world of films she will remain an example of admirable talents who knew when to cease acting and leave behind her youthful image.