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Priya Dutt, Bimal Roy’s family unveil lane named in his honour

A lane adjoining the famous Mount Mary Road in Bandra, Mumbai has been named ‘Bimal Roy Path’ in the legendary filmmaker’s memory.

Bimal Roy's children Aparajita Sinha, Rinki Roy Bhattacharya, Yashodhara and Joy Roy with Priya Dutt. Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Sonal Pandya

On the 51st death anniversary (8 January) of the acclaimed filmmaker, family, friends and well-wishers gathered to honour Bimal Roy’s memory with a lane adjoining Mount Mary Road being named after him. Originally, Roy resided at Godiwala Bungalow in Bandra from 1953 to 1966. The road outside his former residence is now called ‘Bimal Roy Path’.

A drawing of Godiwala Bungalow. Courtesy: Rinki Roy Bhattacharya

Roy’s eldest daughter Rinki Roy Bhattacharya said, “It was a tenanted house called Godiwala Bungalow. It was known as Bimal Roy’s bungalow during his lifetime. When we came [to Mumbai] the first two years, we were in Malad. Then we moved to Godiwala and he died there.”

This is the first time that a road is named after Roy anywhere although Rinki mentioned that years ago, there was a suggestion that the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) should be named after him.

Former MP Priya Dutt unveiled the plaque, along with Bimal's children, daughters Rinki, Yashodhara Roy and Aparajita Sinha and son, Joy Roy. The plaque, which has ‘Bimal Roy’ in English and ‘Path’ in Hindi, has been designed classily by Alan Abraham, brother of actor-producer John Abraham.

The plaque of the new lane. Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Calling the honour ‘long overdue’, Priya said, “This has truly been a labour of love. [Bimal Roy’s family] have been fighting for this for a long time and I remember it was during my father’s [Sunil Dutt] time and it’s been delayed a lot. But it’s eventually happened.”

She went to say that Bimal's contribution to the industry has been phenomenal. “This is just a very small tribute to him. He deserves much more,” she added.

Priya Dutt, Rinki Roy Bhattacharya, Joy Roy and Baba Siddiqui unveil the plaque.
Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Rinki, who heads the Bimal Roy Memorial Committee, had contacted Sunil Dutt, then minister of youth affairs & sport in 2004, regarding a road named in his honour. Sunil had worked with Bimal in the classic feature film Sujata (1960) opposite Nutan. The film competed against Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’avventura and Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita at the 13th Cannes Film Festival.

Joy said a few words after the unveiling and thanked everyone who helped make the project a reality, especially naming Siddiqui, Asif Zakaria and corporator Karen D’Mello, along with Priya. Joy felt it was a historic occasion that part of Mount Mary Road was renamed as ‘Bimal Roy Path’. “I don’t think it’s a coincidence. It was bound to happen. It’s the end of the 50th year. The whole of last year has been extremely significant for us. And everything that happens has the blessings of both my parents,” he said.

Besides his children, several family members of Bimal Roy had travelled to make the ceremony. Also present at the unveiling were actor Khulbhushan Kharbanda, Lalita Lajmi (sister of Guru Dutt), author Nasreen Munni Kabir and the wives of composer Salil Chowdhury, Jyoti Chowdhury, and art director Sudhendu Roy, Krishna Roy. Both Chowdhury and Sudhendu worked closely with the late filmmaker. The ambassador of Bangladesh, where Bimal was born, also attended and said a few words about him.