Dipen Guhawrote on Aug 31 2009 1:16AM
Satyajit Roy would hold him as one of the most powerful actors. Hrishikesh Mukherjee looked upon him as a gennius, the late Jalal Aga once said," I wish, i could act like him", Tapan Singha found in him a true genius, and the chief reason why Sandip Roy would not dare to venture for any Goopy- Bagha series, because there is no"Bagha" as there is no Robi Ghosh.
Rabi Ghosh was a native of Barisal though he was born in Kolkata on November 1931. After his schooling at South Subarban School, he was admited in college. But his bent took him away from academic areana and pushed him in acting. He joined P.L.T under Utpal Dutt and set forth his acting career on stage. Finding Utpal Dutta as his mentor, Robi Ghosh learnt the grammar of acting which was nourished with his inherent qualities. His performance in the play"Angar" would enthrall the audience. He acted in "Arohan"directed by Aurobinda Mukherjee. Ritwik Khatak took him in "Ajantrik", and Satyajit Roy used him in " Abhijaan". In Tapan Sinha's " Galpa Holeo Satti' Robi Ghosh gave an outstanding performance of a cook-cum servant who comes in a family like an angel and leaves the house after warding off the persistent inequties amongst the family members. Rajesh Khanna is said to have watched the film several times, only to take after the performance of Robi Ghosh in his "Bawarchi". He acted in enumerable roles, phased or brief, his performances had ever been underling. Then came Ray's "Goopi Gayen Bagha Bayen" in 1967. Here he is one of the two protagonists( the other being Tapen Chatterjee as Gupi). His role of "Bagha" left an abiding impression in all. The Gupi and Bagha duo became a house-hold reference. The duo could be seen in the sequels to Googa-Bagha"." Hirak Rajar Deshe" and "Goopy Bagha Phre Elo". He was also used by the directors like Tarun Majumdar, Dilip Mukherjee, Mrinal Sen(Chorus), Hrishikesh Mukherjee( Satyakam) and host of others. He established a genre of his own class. His physionomical interpretation would surpass his being mouthy. He had profound sense in music and Ray had utilised in his "Goopy-Bagha" sequences. Besides. being a comedian he proved his worth in serious acting too. In "Jana Aranya" he is a middle-man, who could act as a pimp. In "Baghini" he is an outright lustful scoundral. In " Aranyer Din Ratri" he is one of the four city-bred friends who come to sojourn in the wilderness.
Pecularity was meant for him. Tough and rather challenging roles used to be his cup of tea. The way he threw dialoughs, the mannerisms he used,the poses and gestures he put on differentiated him from others, and became "The Robi Ghoshian". He also directed films like " Nidhiram Sardar" and "Sadhu Judhisterer Karcha". He had so many plans to execute. But he left us on February 4, 1997. The Maharaja of laughter, "tomare salam".