News WrapGet Handpicked Stories from our editors directly to your mailbox

I`ve lost my voice: J.P. Dutta on father`s death

Mumbai: Filmmaker J.P. Dutta is bereaved after his father O.P. Dutta`s death following prolonged illness. The ‘Border’ director says he will miss the man, who wrote the screenplay and dialogues of all his films, right up to the last ‘Umrao Jaan’ in 2006.

"I`ve lost my voice. My soul. Who will write the words that come into my mind when I make a film? Who will fill the void in my heart," J.P. Dutta said, choked with emotions.

Writer-filmmaker O.P. Dutta passed away Thursday night. He was 90.

He started his career as a director before India`s partition. Later, when his son J.P. Dutta turned into full-fledged director with ‘Ghulami’ in 1985, the senior Dutta chose to sit and write the screenplay and dialogues of movies. Among the first to reach the Dutta residence after the announcement of O.P. Dutta`s death was Abhishek Bachchan, who regards J.P. Dutta as a father figure. Abhishek`s debut film ‘Refugee’ was helmed by J.P. Dutta and the movie`s dialogues were penned by the senior Dutta. Soon, others including close family-friend Suniel Shetty arrived at the Dutta residence to pay their condolences.

According to a member of the Dutta family, OP, as he was affectionately called, was in acute physical pain for some time.

"While his body had gone completely useless, his mind remained as alert as ever. OP was therefore aware of his helpless condition. He was angry and raging against his physical disability all the time. Months after his illness, he didn`t want to be in a hospital. So JP brought him home. There were two nurses on 24-hour duty. But OP was constantly upset about his helpless condition. JP gave up his work and just devoted all his time to looking after his dad. OP had lost his other son Deepak to the army. JP was his entire world. With dad gone, JP is shattered and bereft," said the family member.

J.P. Dutta had always hoped for more recognition for his father, who made films like ‘Pyaar Ki Jeet’, ‘Hamari Manzil’, ‘Ek Nazar’ and ‘Aangan’.

Recently the proud and emotional, son J.P. Dutta had said: "It`s about time my dad got some recognition. Do you know, he`s been an active part of the film industry for more than 60 years? He has directed eight to nine films and written dialogues for all my films including ‘Umrao Jaan’.

"Still, when he was honoured at IIFA (International Indian Film Academy) awards some years ago, do you know what dad`s reaction was? `Why should I be honoured? I`ve given nothing to the industry. The industry has given me so much`.

"Lately I`ve discovered some startling facts about my father. No one knows he directed the first Indo-Pak film. It was called ‘Anokhee’ and it was shot in 1956 in Karachi with India`s Sheila Ramani and a cast of Pakistani actors. Even I tried to do something to bring the two countries together in ‘Border’ and ‘Refugee’. I feel so small in front of him."

O.P. Dutta released his memoir ‘Chulah Aur Chakki’ in 2003, and almost the entire film industry showed up for the release function.