On a day when a pall of gloom descended on Bollywood after Salman Khan's conviction in the 2002 hit-and-run case, the Bengali film industry woke up to the sad news of filmmaker Srijit Mukherji's accident.
The filmmaker met with an accident on Tuesday night, while travelling in an auto rickshaw in Delhi. He was seriously injured and was taken to the All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS), where he underwent a major surgery in his left ankle.
The filmmaker was in Delhi to receive the National Award for his film Chatushkone, which was held on May 3. According to sources, the incident occurred post midnight when the filmmaker was returning with his friends from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in an auto rickshaw when the vehicle toppled and fell on him, hurting his ankle badly. He was rushed to the hospital immediately and later had to be operated on.
Upon hearing the news, Mukherji's mother left for Delhi on Wednesday morning. HT couldn't reach him. Rana Sarkar, co-producer of Chatushkone, who was also accompanying Mukherji to the National Awards ceremony sounded quite upset.
"I got a call on Wednesday morning (May 6) from Srijit's friend Indra in Delhi informing me about the incident. His condition is stable now. Srijit's mother, who is a professor of anatomy, has already left for Delhi," says Sarkar.
Mukherji was busy with the pre-production of his next film, Paharchuray Aatonko, and was recently in Europe to do the recce for the film. However, now that Mukherji has been advised complete bed rest for a while, a big question mark looms on the schedule of Paharchuray Aatonko. Ravi Sharma, the producer of the film, informs that everything depends on the filmmaker's health.
Anjan Dutt, who plays a pivotal role in Mukherji's recent release Nirbaak, learnt about the accident from his musician son Neel Dutt. "Yes, I am worried. Neel is in touch with Srijit's friends in Delhi. I hope he recovers soon," says 'The Bong Connection' director.
No sooner did the news broke, social networking sites were flooded with messages of shock and grief from his fans wishing him a speedy recovery. Mukherji won the National Awards for best director and best original screenplay for Chatushkone. His last film, Jaatishwar (2014) too had won four National Awards. His latest film, Nirbaak, which marks the debut of Sushmita Sen in Bengali films, will release nationally on May 15.