Kishore Kumar’s first wife of 'Jwar Bhata' fame dies at 84
Actor-singer Ruma Guha Thakurta passed away in her sleep early on Monday (June 3) at her Ballygunge Place residence in the city, family sources said.
Ruma, 84, was suffering from old age-related ailments. She is survived by two sons including singer Amit Kumar and a daughter, from two marriages. “She passed away in her sleep early this morning. Our family doctor confirmed it. The timing of her death could be between 6 and 6.15 am,” said Ayan Guha Thakurta, her son from her second marriage.
Ruma was born on November 3, 1934 in the city. She started as a dancer before moving to the then Bombay where she got married to singer Kishore Kumar in the early 1950s.
The two, who got separated in 1958, had a son – singer Amit Kumar. She later married writer-director Arup Guhathakurta and had two children – singers Sromona and Ayan Guha Thakurta. Ayan said his mother had returned to Kolkata only a month back after a three-month stay with Amit Kumar in Mumbai.
“Dada (Amit) is coming here this evening. He will be taking all the decisions (about her last rites),” Ayan said.
Ruma, who is a niece of film director Satyajit Ray, had worked in over 60 films.
Many of her films were made by great directors such as Satyajit Ray, Tapan Sinha, Tarun Majumdar, Rajen Tarafdar, Aparna Sen and Mira Nair.
She is known for her work in ‘Ganga’ (1959), ‘Abhijaan’ (1962), ‘Palatak’ (1963), ‘Antony Firingee’ (1967), ‘80 Te Asio Na’ (1967), ‘Balika Badhu’ (1967), ‘Dadar Kirti’ (1980), ‘36 Chowringhee Lane’ (1981), ‘Amrita Kumbher Sandhane’ (1982), ‘Bhalobasa Bhalobasa’ (1985) and ‘Wheelchair’ (1994).
Ruma also acted in several Hindi films like ‘Jwar Bhata’ (1944), her first film, ‘Mashaal’ (1950), ‘Afsar’ (1950) and ‘Raag Rang’ (1952). Ruma’s last film was ‘Namesake’ (2006). She worked as playback singer in many films.
Ruma founded the Calcutta Youth Choir, a song and dance troupe, in 1958, which is known for its performance of folk and mass songs.
Popular songs of Choir included ‘Aaj joto juddhabaj’, ‘Bharatbarsho surjer ek naam’, ‘O Ganga boichho keno’ and ‘Waqt ki awaz’.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee expressed her grief over the passing away of Ruma and extended her condolences to her family members and innumerable admirers.
“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,” Banerjee wrote on her Twitter handle.