By Pradeep Pattanayak:
Bhubaneswar: What he did, he did it successfully. Be it painting, acting, directing, stage designing or be it writing columns. But, like every living being on earth, he was literally unsuccessful in fighting against the dead truth of life. Today Asim Basu fondly called “Dada” is not amongst us. But he will be remain alive in the hearts of art lovers. His amicable smile was referred as his sole weapon to win over even an enemy’s heart.
Born to Motilal Basu and Bijanbala Basu in Kakhada village of Bhagarai block, Balesore district in 1935, Asim Basu had an inclination towards art since his childhood. His hunger for art finally landed him in Kolkata, against the wishes of his parents. There in Kolkata he had an opportunity to work with noted actor Utpal Dutt that he effectively cashed in on. He proved his talents in the field of acting, direction and stage designing so long as he was associated with Minarva Theatre. In the year 1962/63 he wanted to do something for his own State. Thus born a theatre group “RUPAKAR”. His debut play as a director was Bijay Mishra’s ‘Duiti Surya Dagdha Phula Ku Nei’. A few years later, a group of theatre enthusiasts along with Basu branched out of ‘Rupakar’ and formed ‘Uttar Purush’ theatre group. An artiste par excellence who dominated both the stage and visual art scene for several years, he directed around 200 plays and did stage designing for over 500 plays and was the art director for several Odia films. What he did as art-directer in films like Agni Sanketa (Odia) and Shodh (Hindi) are still in the memory of cine lovers. He also made his appearances in many Tele films and films like Jaga Balia and Dadagiri. Basu who received the state Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1998,was chosen for Dharmapada Award for the year 2010 but he seemed to be not so lucky to get this prestigious award till his death.
Noted dramatist Bijay Mishra termed Basu’s demise as a huge loss for him in particular and for theatre world in general.