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published time By Sonali Velinker Kamat published time 08 Oct, 2015 Share image 0 Shares

For a boy who has barely known his mother, Prateik has a heart-warming connection to her memory. And so, to mark Smita Patil’s 60th birth anniversary, he is proudly associating with the release of a new book about the acclaimed actress.

Scheduled for an October 17 unveiling at the hands of Amitabh Bachchan, Maithili Rao’s ‘Smita Patil: A Brief Incandescence’ is the biography of a rare talent. It tells Patil’s remarkable story — tracing it from her childhood to stardom, touching upon her controversial marriage and finally, on to her untimely death at the “impossibly young” age of 31.

While we have yet to read the book, Prateik’s personal invitation to its launch is a poignant reminder of an amazing actress and mother, who left us all too soon. “I write this on behalf of Shri Shivajirao Patil, my grandfather; my aunts, Anita, Manya; and myself. This year my mother would have been 60 years old on October 17, had she been with us,” says his lovely letter. “On that occasion, a book… authored by Maithili Rao is going to be published by Harper Collins. The entire Patil Family would feel deeply honoured if you would so kindly agree to grace this occasion with your august presence.”

“We hope that you would honour us and honour my mother’s memory by being with us for this important occasion,” he adds, signing off as ‘Prateik Smit’ — a moniker the media rarely uses, but one that the young actor has always inscribed on books and letters.

They say ‘when someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.’ It was never truer than in this case and we have no doubt Rao’s tome will be one to treasure too.