Not an actor: how Abir Chatterjee aces life non- pretentiously, both on and off screen

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What would you make of a man who looks dashing, has got the super charms, is as intelligently witty as he is suave and is also a fine gentleman? Someone who might be the product of some figment of adulated fiction perhaps? Or at least the perfect human veiling some layers of act?

Well, the one we are alluding to in all our awestruck mannerisms and with every conviction of our submissive being is someone who is an actor unparalleled no doubt. But the range of his histrionic abilities is so expansively persuasive that we would give our heart and soul to this man even if he had just sought to lure and deceive us with all that charm at his disposal. Remarkably though, our hero here is not just a man of his talents, but also one residing in a personality impeccable that while is congenially simplistic, is also as uniquely seductive. And there’s a towering bonus- he’s well over 6 feet tall!

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Abir Chatterjee is the man we have been waxing eloquent about all through and in very right measures, we believe. Here’s a persona for whom being the fancy of many does not bring about that inherent air of perhaps showy non- believance, but rather someone who knows his every fiber so inside out that he can’t help but accept wholeheartedly the intensity of impression he so skillfully registers upon his legion of- read, female- fans.

He’s an actor par excellence but that’s not something we intend to dwell on. Like obviously, it’s there for all to see- his choice of scripts, the excellence of his every performance, the strikingly relatable characters he portrays on screen and the way he gives his all and immerses himself completely and whole heartedly in every thing he devotes himself to. And it is indeed not surprising, not even in the very least, that all through his career as an actor, Chatterjee has always done characters that don’t rely at all on the quintessential attributes of the typecast hero to indeed act like and be one. It’s his charisma that seemingly does the work; however what’s at play beneath all that effortless presence is hours and hours of hard work and a zeal to do things to such perfection that he can take pride in with every iota of confidence.

Indeed, being the son of reknowned Bengali theater personalities Phalguni Chatterjee and Rumki Chatterjee has had its perks for Abir. He definitely inherited the finer acting genes from his parents even when he did not really had to struggle to gain a foothold over Tollywood. But the impression begins and ends there. In fact, Chatterjee feels fortunate that because his parents did not have the star aura attached to them even when they have been impeccable artistes, it made it easier for him to tackle expectations that never went out of reach.

Not that he couldn’t have take care of massive liabilities given his exceptional command over the art he dearly practices. But it is perhaps his nonchalance or his ideals that emanate from not being a star kid but rather from his own persona that make Abir Chatterjee such a darling for all- enthusiastic of everything yet never ever overwhelming even in context or in person.

In fact in all his films, Chatterjee has dared to venture on the thin line between the subdued and the stark but never for once has he lost his restraint. That restraint which he exercises so perfectly and in just the right proportions that have made him the terrific actor that he is today. There’s something about his body language that is calm even in its effervescence that makes him seamlessly fit into all his characters, yet never really making him indistinguishable as one. That’s something that many might lament as an apparent lack of depth especially for someone who calls himself an actor, but Chatterjee knows how to give his all to every character to make them his own while at the same time never restricting himself within the ambits of a singular name.

Indeed it’s a remarkable exploration of his acting repertoire that Chatterjee has played two characters that has been very vital in the world of Bengali literature for their undying charm and presence. Be it as Byomkesh Bakshi or as Feluda, Abir Chatterjee has aced donning the hat of a sleuth to such perfect measure that even in seemingly identical portrayals he knows exactly how to delineate one from the other. Having worked in seven films in the Byomkesh Bakshi franchisee, one would expect Chatterjee to harbour fond connections with the iconic man. But it is to his credit as a master of all his works that he does not identify himself as either even when he is staunchly committed to both.

Chatterjee did indeed start out as an actor on television before making the move to Tollywood and it is therefore no surprise that his most favoured characters aren’t Byomkesh or Feluda. In fact Chatterjee had always been the one not to bask in the glory of the mainstream. Starting out as a kid more devoted to sports and studies even when acting was the predominant familial trait to nursing a special spot for some of his lesser iconic characters, Abir Chatterjee is yet another personification of the preference of art over the artsy, or for that matter nurturing a fondness for the essence of the being over the identity of a name. We say it’s his sheer genius that makes Chatterjee a man of utmost sincerity, wanting to hold on to his own.

For someone who resides in the nuances of the art more than the celebration of it, handling fame comes relatively easy to Chatterjee. It might be his intelligence or his refusal to see himself as a star that makes Abir Chatterjee a man not shying away of all the praises that he deservedly earns. So when he was voted Calcutta’s most desirable man in 2014, Chatterjee modestly accepted the honor though he never felt even in the least qualmish of the aura he knows he encompasses.

Even as an actor he does not dwell on only his on screen charm and star power to make him the man he is today. Sure, he knows he has a million dollar smile that can sweep anyone off their feet but he knows that a half baked personality would not have stood him any chance even when he would have been any more good looking. As someone who is an MBA and continues to be a part time share broker, Chatterjee lets his intelligence finds free expression and acknowledges without airs that it is his brain that makes him so very desirable.

And that’s where Abir Chatterjee the actor steps aside to make way for Abir Chatterjee the person. A loving husband and a doting father, Chatterjee’s success also resides in his hard work. His dedication stems from his passion and there have been a time when he was working it out in shifts. As an actor and as a professional putting his MBA degree to work, Chatterge has forever dwelled in resolute acumen.

An alumnus of theĀ Goenka College of Commerce and Business Administration and the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India, Abir Chatterjee would have remained a man of numbers if it wasn’t destiny beckoning him to pursue his passion, shaped by years of influence of where he stemmed from and what has been feeded to him that forged his essence. It’s perhaps the ideals and cultures of his family that he so values and incorporates in his person that have made Abir Chatterjee the man he is- a completely laidback, simplistic personality even when his name and identity transcends all confines of his bespoken existence.

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