The bengali film industry seems to have turned matriarchal overnight. First it was the Sen sisters and now it is the Bhowmick sisters. Raima and Riya, the daughters of Munmun Sen were Raima Dev Burman and Riya Dev Burman before they started getting”plum” roles. By birth they belong to the erstwhile royal family of Tripura whose members carry the surname of Dev Burman.
Next came the Bhowmick sisters…Neelanjana and Chandana. They are the daughters of a notable actress of yesteryears Anjana Bhowmick. Before they ventured eastwards both sisters established themselves as familiar faces on television. Neelanjana was part of quite a few prominent soaps likes “Hip Hip hurray”, “Darr”, “Star Bestsellers”..etc. Younger sister Chandana has a very expressive face which she has lent to a number of prestigious ad-campaigns. Besides she played the part of Aditi in the hit television series “Just Mohabbat” and Manisha in “Love Mein Kabhi Kabhi”. The latter had, imho, a very well-scripted storyline with performances to match, but got lost in an obscure channel, perhaps SabeTv.
Coming back to the Bhowmick sisters, during their run on television, they called themselves Neelanjana Sharma and Chandana Sharma. Neelanjana had landed in Kolkata earlier and took her mother’s surname soon after. Chandana did the same last month when she was reported to have signed a bengali film.
Perhaps, all the four young ladies have not legally adopted their mother’s surname and are still known by their paternal surnames. Yet when it comes to publicity and recognition there is no hesitation about which parent to choose. Munmun Sen, descended with her mother Suchitra Sen’s fame and has been making news on and off screen on a regular basis for a considerably long period of time. Anjana Bhowmick on her part, tasted success with “Rajdrohi”, “Nayika sambad”, “Thana theke aschi” and other films. Not a formidable presence at a time when big names were ruling the bengali box-office, but certainly not one to be ignored.
Presently Soha Ali Khan daughter of Sharmila Tagore is making news for her role as Kamallata in the forthcoming film “Ebong Srikanto”. Thankfully she is not being introduced as Soha Ali Tagore. Else it would have given off the impression that to be a part of the bengali film industry, one has to initiate an identity crisis.