I know Soumitra babu from when I was 14-15 years old, since he was acquainted with my family. He often came to my house, and addressed my father as 'dada' and my mother as 'boudi'. He did not pay much attention to me, since to him, I was a mere kid! As time went by, we did many films together, and we became good friends.
We used to talk about literature, film, poetry and various other topics. He taught me much about acting, especially when it came to shooting and footwork. These helped me a lot, especially when I became a director.
He used to tell me to think of technology as a friend, and not an enemy. The light, microphone and camera make up half of our craft, and the other half was our own lively performances, according to his philosophy of a good shot.
Between shootings, I saw him use a notebook, where he used to paint, write poems, or sketch the next shot that he was supposed to be in.
We were shooting for "Bohomaan" as we were sitting in a coffee shop in Oxford. Even though there was no dialogue in that particular scene, I pointed to a book and asked him afterwards, "did you read it?" When he nodded his head, I bought him that book, and he was extremely happy because of that.
Multi-talented people like him are rare in the film industry. He could write poems, perform elocution, write scripts, direct and it goes without saying – he could act.
He gave so much to Bengali culture, which lost one of its brightest stars. His demise is indeed an irrevocable loss.