Women's Day special: Tollywood actors and filmmakers tell us about women who inspire them

These are men who owe their success to the women

Sharmistha Ghosal Published :  05th March 2021 12:00 AM   |   Published :   |  05th March 2021 12:00 AM
International Women'S Day Special

Srijit Mukherji

They say, behind every successful man, there is a woman. Ahead of this International Women’s Day on March 8, we ask around a few good men from Tollywood about the women who shaped their lives and influenced them the most. Read on:

Srijit Mukherji, Filmmaker

“Of course, it has to be my mother, Sumita Sarkar, because one, obviously DNA and two, because I have seen her fight many a battle in life. She is a huge inspiration and continues to inspire, even today. She has always lived life on her own terms even if it has gone against the people close to her, but she never budged from what she felt was right. That’s a good life lesson I learnt from her.”


Shiboprosad Mukherjee, Filmmaker

“Filmmaker Nandita Roy has had the biggest influence on my life. She has inspired me, encouraged me, taught me, trained me and guided me as an actor and director. A constant source of support, she is patient and always cares for everyone around her. She is never hesitant and insecure about teaching fledgeling filmmakers the art of direction or writing scripts, be it Pritha Chakraborty or Aritra Mukherjee. Both Pritha and Aritra had a superhit debut with Mukherjee Dar Bou and Brahma Janen Gopon Kommoti respectively under her able guidance.”

Anirban Bhattacharya

Anirban Bhattacharya, Actor

“My mother is definitely the biggest influence in my life and the reason for that is really simple and clear. It’s because she is my mother, the one who showed me the light of the day and nurtured me and made me what I am.”

Bonny Sengupta

Bonny Sengupta, Actor

“There are actually two of them — one is my mom and the other is Koushani. I admire my mom because of her grit and the way she has struggled despite her lineage. Since my father didn’t hail from a rich family, she used to travel by public transport to go for film shoots, despite being the lead actor. Also, she has a major contribution to my becoming an actor. Now that she has joined politics, I wish her all the best.
Also, Koushani is another woman I am in awe of for the way she has pulled it off in the film industry, despite being an outsider. She deals with everything strongly and I respect her for how she handles everything in life.”

Riddhi Sen

Riddhi Sen, Actor

“My mom has been the biggest influence in my life. She is the one in our family who has always taken all the major and critical decisions. A huge risk-taker, she lives for the moment. She could realise from early on that I have a knack for acting and allowed me to shift from conventional education after completing school. If she wasn’t there, I couldn’t have done such a wide range of films in such a short span, including winning a National Award. She is also a fine example of how a woman can manage both work and home with equal elan.”

Arjunn Dutta

Arjunn Dutta, Filmmaker

“In my case, more than one woman has been influential in my life and my mother and grandmother lead the pack. I owe much to the two of these amazing, loving and sacrificing women. They have selflessly sacrificed their lives for their families and their loved ones, they have taught me to love unconditionally and also to respect one’s own individuality. In fact, I think all homemakers are like magicians and are great influencers in the truest sense.”

Anubhav Kanjilal

Anubhav Kanjilal, Actor

“The most important woman in my life is and will always be my mother Sumana Kanjilal. I grew up in a matriarchal household where both my sister and I were dependent on my mother and we idolised her and wanted to be as strong as her. Though she was fiercely protective about us and was a hands-on mom, she never quit her job and I always aspire to have her level of energy and motivation. She is my biggest influence in life.”

Subhrajit Mitra

Subhrajit Mitra, Filmmaker

“I’m a very religious person and the most influencing source of my existence is the primordial Mother Goddess, Ma Kali, Devi Durga and Ma Saraswati, the holy trinity of three important elements, Rajo gun, Tamo gun and Swatta gun. Whatever I was, whatever I am and whatever I will be will only be is because of these three celestial superpowers.”

Shieladitya Moulik

Shieladitya Moulik, Filmmaker

“Both my parents used to work since I was in primary school. My grandfather used to teach me at home. And along with me, there was one more student who’d study from my textbooks — my grandmother. I used to wonder why she was studying, especially at her age. She once asked, ‘Is it too late now?’ Those words of my grandmother will always keep motivating me.”