Who Was Noti Binodini- A Bengali Artist Admired by Swami Vivekananda?

Who Was Noti Binodini- A Bengali Artist Admired by Swami Vivekananda?
Biography of Noti Binodini and Her Life Story

Kangana Ranaut’s upcoming schedule is jam-packed with a list of movies based on mythological, political dramas, and biographies. Recently, the biography of Noti Binodini is added to this list.

Notable director Pradeep Sarkar who has produced cinematic gems like Devdas, Tanhaji, and more in Indian cinema will direct the film.

Who was Noti Binodini and why Pradeep chose to cover her story? These are the questions popping into the audience’s mind.

Who is Noti Binodini- The Character Behind Kangana's Upcoming Movie?

noti binodini kangana ranaut

Binodini might not be a known name among today’s generation. But she was the most famous and bold artist of the 19th century.

Noti, also spelled as Notee Binodini, grew through the profession of prostitution and became a theatre icon of the Bengal'sstage

In fact, she was the pioneer of the Bengali stage who ruled the industry for 11 years.

However, her real name was Binodini Das she became popular as Noti Binodini later. 

She was not born into a family of artists but rather into a family of sex workers. Born in 1863 in Calcutta, which is today’s Kolkata.

Binodini was only 5 when she got married and later became mistress to three men. She was a victim of a  patriarchal society and of course her fate.

Story of A Fallen Woman- Noti Binodini

noti binodini

Born to prostitution, Binodini Das was also in the profession for some time. In her autobiography, she expressed her pain and position in the society of the 19th century as

There is none in this world before whom I can lay bare my pain, for the world sees me as a sinner – a fallen woman. I have no kith or kin, no society, no friend – no one in this world to whom I may call my own. For I am a social outcast – a despicable prostitute” - (Dasi, MS: 49)

Despite all the suffering and pain, Binodini built her image as an affectionate woman who is religious and an ace actress.

She raised her voice in her autobiography book and asked questions about the unjust patriarchal world.

However, she used to see herself as a ‘fallen’ woman throughout her life. Acting was a way for her to earn respect and honor and climb up the ladder of self-improvement.

Noti Binodini expressed this in her biography Amar Katha ( The Story of My Life)'. She was one of the South Asian Theatre artists who have written an autobiography.

Amar Abhinetri Jibon was also a book by Binodini Das.

Swami Vivekananda Admired Binodini For Her Acting Skills

who is noti binodini

Her acting was loved by several famous personalities of that time like Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Swami Vivekananda, and Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay.

However, her acting career was not filled with joy and happiness. Noti Binodini’s life was a story of betrayal and the fight for dignity.

One of an incident from her life reflects how the profession of prostitution that came by default to her remained a bad stain for Binodini.

A Bengali theatre formed by one of the men she served was named after her as ‘B’.

However, it was registered as ‘The Star’ so that people don’t get the wrong idea of it and wealthy people don’t stop supporting the theatre.

From a Prostitute to Legendary Theatre Icon

noti binodini biography

Binodini’s acting journey began at the age of 12 when the founder of the first Bengali professional theatre gave her a role.

It was a renowned Bengali actor and director, Girish Chandra Ghosh who mentored Binodini and gave her first break.

Noti Binodini as an Actress did several roles like

  • Chaitanaya in Chaitanyaleela
  • Sita
  • Draupadi
  • Motibibi
  • Radha
  • Kaikeyi

Noti Binodini retired early due to the ill-treatment, insult, and betrayal she faced during her career.

Biopic and Films on Noti Binodini

noti binodini film

Time changed and her reputation too. Soon Noti Binodini’s story starts unfolding in front of the world in form of biopics and movies.

Here’s the list of movies on Noti Binodini’s story:

1. Bengali Biopic- Nati Binodini (1994)

2. Theatre Play- Nati Binodini (1995)

3. Bengali film- Abohomaan (2010)

4. TV period drama- Prothoma Kadambini

5. A documentary film - Aamaar Katha: Story of Binodini

6. Lawho Gouranger Naam Re

7. Latest biopic- Bindoiini- Ekti Natir Upakhyan

The Bengali Icon bid adieu to the theatre world at the age of 23 and later died at the age of 41.

For the first time, Bollywood is paying tribute to this Bengali Icon from Theatre World. Kangana Ranaut will shoot for the biopic of Noti Binodini starting next year.


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