New Delhi: Filmmaker Pradeep Sarkar, who burst into Bollywood’s silver screen with Parineeta – a classic tale of childhood love that triumphs over class adversities – died in Mumbai Friday morning. He was 67.
Sarkar had a fever on 22 March and was rushed to hospital when it did not subside. By this time, his vitals had started collapsing, the director’s wife Panchali said, adding that Sarkar finally succumbed to pneumonia.
Several comorbidities, including Covid in July 2022, weakened him further and the infection hit his lungs, his wife said. Sarkar died between 3.10 am and 3.30 am at Mumbai’s Lilavati Hospital.
Working as an adman for 17 years, Sarkar took the plunge in cinema with Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s classic “Parineeta” in 2005, starring Vidya Balan and Saif Ali Khan.
The movie was a resounding hit, and its song “Pihu bole” was shared by filmmaker Kunal Kohli Friday as he commiserated Sarkar’s death.
“A really sweet man,” Kohli called him, adding that he had loved their conversations on cinema.
His leading lady in “Laga Chunari Mein Daag” and “Mardaani”, Rani Mukherjee said the news of the director’s death came as a shock as they had planned to meet soon.
Recipient of the prestigious Abby Award, Rapa Award and the National Film Award, Pradeep Sarkar was the proverbial “dada” or elder brother in the film industry.
“Dada. RIP,” wrote filmmaker Hansal Mehta, while actor Ajay Devgn said: “The news of Pradeep Sarkar’s demise, ‘Dada’ to some of us, is still hard to digest.”
Actor Neil Nitin Mukesh, who worked with Sarkar in “Lafangey Parindey” tweeted: “DADA! Why? I’ll miss you dada. Will always remember you as that child hearted, full of life man who taught me so much. Your creation ‘Lafangey Parindey’ will always remain close to my heart. My prayers with the family.”
Pradeep Sarkar graduated with a gold medal from Delhi College of Art in 1979, and was a creative director in the ad world for the next 17 years.
His production house shot successful commercials – for Tata Yellow Pages, ICICI Prudential and Onida KY Thunder to name a few.
His black and white commercials for the Aaj Tak TV channel won him the Rapa Award, and also the Best Director of the Year Award at Abby’s.
He was also a successful music video director – Shubha Mudgal’s “Ab ke Sawan”, Euphoria’s “Dhoom Pichak Dhoom” and “Maeri”, Sultan Khan’s “Piya Basanti” among others.
Also read: Wing Commander Jag Mohan Nath — IAF veteran of 1962 & 1965 wars who received Maha Vir Chakra twice