Veteran actress Rita Bhaduri who has acted in over 70 movies and numerous TV shows and ad campaigns passed away earlier on Tuesday morning. Reports say she was hospitalised from the last 10 days and had been rather ill for a while. In a Facebook post, actor Shishir Sharma wrote, “We deeply regret to inform you that Reeta Bhaduri has departed for her journey beyond. The funeral rites will be held on 17th July, Tuesday at 12 noon at the Cremation Ground, Parsi Wada Road, Parshiwada, Chakala, Andheri East. Extremely sad.. lost a wonderful human being .. a mother to many of us.. will miss u Ma…”
Rita’s most famous movies were Julie (the 70s hit where she portrayed actress Lakshmi’s friend) and 90s hits like Beta, Raja, Dil Vil Pyaar Vyar among others. She was also hugely popular on TV with shows like Sarabhai vs Sarabhai, Choti Bahu, Kumkum, Khichdi and many others.
One of her closest friends in the industry was Shabana Azmi who studied with her in the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII). An emotional Shabana recalls her time with Rita…
“There is something so matter of fact, almost cold about this question, ‘Your thoughts on Rita Bhaduri?’ I am yet to fully comprehend that my classmate from FTII passed away this morning. I’m on my way to her house and the phone hasn't stopped ringing .Perfunctory questions... your reactions please?. How strange that I mentioned her in a piece I wrote on the FTII days just three days ago .We were in touch on a whatsapp group of FTII classmates. I got a message yesterday that her condition was critical. She fell down at a shooting a month ago and injured her spine. Unfortunately she contracted an infection and had to undergo another surgery. She was in excruciating pain because she was on dialysis and could not be administered strong pain killers. And today she is gone. With her go my memories of an easy comradeship, much laughter and affection that comes from living together.
Although we didn’t share a room at the FTII hostel, I was in the habit of clambering into her bed on waking up. For as long as I can remember I used to snuggle into my parents’ bed first thing in the morning. When I left home for FTII, it was Rita’s bed I would tumble into, my eyes only half-opened. There was something cute and impish about her.We used to call her Tanuja (veteran actress) because of her effervescence. She was a good student, my closest competitor in class but that didn’t colour our friendship. And then life happened. We went our separate ways. Maskara Gop bhi mar gaya .. hum bhi mar jayenge .