Budding actor Vardhan Puri has shared some of his fondest memories of his late grandfather, actor Amrish Puri, on the latter’s birth anniversary on June 22.
Amrish Puri was born on June 22, 1932, and he gave many memorable performances in Bollywood, including arthouse films such as “Nishant”, “Manthan” and “Bhumika”, as well as commercial hits such as “Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge”, “Karan Arjun” and “Nayak: The Real Hero”. He is best remembered for his role as Mogambo in “Mr. India”. He made an international mark playing Mola Ram in Steven Spielberg’s “Indian Jones And The Temple Of Doom”, long before it became fashionable for Bollywood stars to foray Hollywood.
For Vardhan of course, he was more than an accomplished actor.
“We were best friends before being anything else. When he was around, I did not need anybody else. He was so gentle with all the children. We used to bond over classic cinema, Discovery channel and cartoons. He really was a gentle giant and the most loving man I have ever come across,” Vardhan told IANS.
“He was kind, compassionate and so full of love for anyone and everyone. He had an amazing sense of humour, and women and children felt very secure in his company. We have never heard him raising his voice or getting angry like he would do in films. It is still so difficult for me to separate the grandfather from the actor and superstar that he still is. We all miss him terribly,” he added.
Vardhan calls him a master of his craft.
“He had devised his technique and it worked so brilliantly for him. That is why he is the most versatile actor of all times,” said the youngster about Amrish, who had acted in Hollywood films such as “Gandhi” and “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”.
Vardhan considers Bade Raja Thakur of the 1997 film “Virasat”, as the best Amrish Puri character. “(It is) So believable, so real, so palpable, so emotionally correct, so dual and so magnetic. Every time I watch the film, I cannot help but cry.”
Amrish Puri died on January 12, 2005, at the age of 72.