Two long decades have passed but the tears just refuse to dry up. Despite this, Smita Patil seems to have an astonishing presence--that still keeps lingering on, refusing to vacate the minds and hearts of her fans. Undoubtedly, Smita did have a talent that has left a void left in the film industry that is yet to be filled..
Her death was as shocking and horrifying as Madhubala's death. Despite of her untimely demise, she has left behind a rich haul of work through her social and intellectual movies. Reality being the soul of Smita's films and hence, Smita's art is truly timeless. Today, when I see an art movie getting critically acclaimed and striking gold at the box office, I just cannot forget Smitaji's contribution towards Indian parallel cinema. It really seems a little funny to know specially when Smitaji lived in an era when the Indian parallel cinema was in its grass-roots level.
I happened to watch Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na nearly a year ago when there was nothing great to watch at the cinema halls. Without much expectation, I found a young, strapping teenager playing Amit Mahant in a special one-scene cameo whose face completely resembled Smitaji's face. Later on, as the movie ended, I realized that he was her son Prateik Babbar, who is a true reflection of his mother. He is as talented as his mom and as simple as her.
Although Smitaji is no longer alive, there is only one question that I want to ask someone, "Aakhir Kyon? Zindagi ne uska saath ek kacche mod par kyun chhod diya?" Is there anyone who can answer my question? I just hope Prateik gets his due as an actor with the right filmmakers like Ashutosh Gowariker or Madhur Bhandarkar to tap his talent. Just like Smitaji's mentor the veteran director Shyam Benegal says, "If Prateik has a daughter, I am sure that it will be Smita returning to us." My fingers are crossed and hopefully, Shyambabu's prophecy comes true.
In her memory, I can only think of four songs filmed on her from her films that I will want to dedicate to her:
1) Tumhare Bin Jee Na Lage Ghar Mein--Bhumika
2) Aapki Yaad Aati Rahi Raat Bhar--Gaman
3) Karoge Yaad Toh--Bazaar
4) Aankhon Mein Teri--Om Shanti Om (the perfect song for Smita that describes the beauty of her lovely and complex eyes).