Rita Bhaduri, one of the beloved and talented actresses of the film and television industry died after kidney-related complications on Tuesday (July 17, 2018). Her demise shocked the entertainment industry and fans who took to social media to express grief and condolences. Rita's friends from television and Bollywood - Poonam Dhillon, Shabana Azmi, Anil Kapoor, Juhi Parmar, Nimki Muhiya producer Zama Habib, Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai director and writer and others recounted stories of her talent and rare professionalism.
Nimki Mukhiya Producer Zama Habib
The Nimki Mukhiya producer Zama Habib revealed that Rita was not shooting since the last 20 days because of health issues. He added, "She requested that we replace her but I refused to comply. I didn't know she would never come back."
Poonam Dhillon, who acted with Rita on the show, Ekk Nayi Pehchaan, recalled as to how Rita was unwell, but no one was aware of it until she fainted! She was quoted by Mumbai Mirror as saying, "Later, she admitted she didn't tell anyone as she didn't want to disrupt the shoot."
Rita was part of Kumkum which had Juhi Parmar in the lead role. The actress said, "She was such a zindadil, strong woman who brought food for me to take home for months when I didn't have a cook. Spending time with her at her Lonavla home was one of my best New Year's Eve memories for me."
Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai Director & Writer
In Sarabhai Vs Sarabhai Rita had played the role of Ila bua. The director of the show praised Rita, "She was fluent in various languages, disciplined and a zerotantrum actress" while the show's writer and co-director, Aatish Kapadia said, "When we offered her Sarabhai v/s Sarabhai, she came on board without enquiring about the role."
Actor JD Majethia said, "She was the superstar of several Gujarati hits yet one of the easiest people to work with and a top choices in her age group for all production houses."
Chhoti Bahu Actress Rubina Dilaik
Rubina Dilaik was saddened as she couldn't meet the actress before she passed away. The actress said, "We were planning to but couldn't due to our schedule."
Sadiya Siddiqui & Kabir Sadanand
Sadiya Siddiqui said, "Her niece and I learnt kathak from the same guru, so I'm close to her family and was very possessive of her." Kabir Sadanand, who met Rita during auditioning for the show Thoda Hai Thode Ki Zarurat Hai, said, "Despite years of theatre experience, I was scared. I reported at work at 7 am with an empty-stomach. She cooked eggs and offered them to me. When I politely refused, she said she was nervous on her first day too and I should toughen up."
Bollywood Actors Recalled Rita Fondly: Anil Kapoor Says…
Even Bollywood celebrities recalled stories of her talent, kindness and rare professionalism. Anil Kapoor, who worked with Rita, described the late actress as ‘one of the finest talents to come out of Film and Television Institute of India (FTII)'.
Rita’s FTII Batchmate Shabana Azmi
Shabana Azmi, who was Rita's 1973 FTII batchmate, was in touch with the late actress through their WhatsApp Group chats. She told Mumbai Mirror, "Rita had injured her spine during a shoot a month ago and subsequently contracted an infection for which she had to undergo surgery."
Rita Was Called Tanuja By Her Friends
Shabana further added, "Rita was in excruciating pain as she couldn't be administered strong painkillers due to ongoing dialysis." She further revealed that her friends called Rita, Tanuja because of her effervescence.
‘There Was Something Cute And Impish About Her’
The actress said, "There was something cute and impish about her. She was a good student and had the prettiest face in the class. She was extremely photogenic, but I felt that she didn't take her talent seriously."
‘Rita Was Content With What She Had.’
"As a student, she was happy to be one of the yaars, chewing Paan Bahar and not caring about appearances. Her mother Chandrima Bhaduri, a veteran actress, was ambitious for her but Rita was content with what she had." Post Rita's death, Shabana had tweeted, "Rehne ko sada dehr mein aata nahi koi/ tum jaise gaye aise bhi jaata nahi koi #Rita Bhaduri." - (sic)
Gulshan Grover told the leading daily, "She touched my heart with one of her improvisations in class, playing a Gujarati girl who would stop at a Malabari shop every day for bread and eggs. Salim Ghouse played the Malabari man and their romance was beautiful and tender, so unlike the usual hero-heroine love story."
Sanjay Kapoor, Indra Kumar & Suchitra Krishnamoorthy
Sanjay Kapoor, who shared screen space with Rita in his debut film, Raja said, "The scene where her character has an outburst and she yells at her husband, ‘Kaat Mahindra Pratap kaat'... still gives me goosebumps." Indra Kumar, who directed her in Beta and Raja, called her a ‘remarkable actor and a great human being', while Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa co-star Suchitra Krishnamoorthy described the late actress a ‘ fine actor and a kind soul'.