'Though Pran played villain roles, he was kindest in industry'
Bollywood showered rich praise on one of the greatest villains of all time, Pran, who passed away on July 12:
I did a number of films with Pransaab. He was always a thorough gentleman, with interesting conversations. I would look forward to shooting with him.
One thing you probably don’t know is that Pransaab was very ticklish! He would start giggling if you tried to tickle him. Every time I met him, I’d put my fingers out and pretend to tickle him and he would go, ‘No, no, no!’
The first film we did together was Dil Diya Dard Liya. I was quite nervous, as he played such terrible human beings on screen. He turned out to be charming, jolly and interesting. During those days, there were no vanity vans and air conditioned makeup rooms .All of us would sit together and chat on the sets between shots. He would regale me with sher-o-shaayari.
No matter how late we would pack up in the night, he would be the first to arrive on the sets the next morning, looking fresh.
I did many films with him like Ram Aur Shyam and Patthar Ke Sanam.
Once we stopped working together, we couldn’t meet much. When my husband Shashi Rekhi passed away in 2000, he had come to see me. Shashi was distantly related to Pransaab. Pransaab’s wife Shuklabhabhi told me he had stopped going out anywhere but he made it a point to come for the memorial service.
Last year when Pransaab got the Dadasaheb Phalke award, he didn’t want to meet anyone, which is quite understandable considering his deteriorating health. So I spoke to Shuklabhabhi and their daughter Pinky on the phone.
He had a full life, great success and achieved all that he had set out to achieve.
Image: Waheeda Rehman and Dilip Kumar in Ram Aur Shyam
'Pransaab was full of anecdotes and stories about the industry'
I didn’t do many films with him but one of my major hits Dil Tera Deewana also starred Shammi Kapoorji and Pransaab.
It was one of my most fun-filled shootings. Pransaab was full of anecdotes and stories about the industry.
Though he played the villain roles, he was one of kindest and helpful people in the industry.
Image: Shammi Kapoor and Mala Sinha in Dil Tera Deewana
'I wish the awards and recognition were given to Pran when he was hale and hearty'
It’s really sad that Pransaab is gone but then no one is on earth permanently.
I did some of my biggest hits like Naseeb, Nastik and Kasauti with him. He lived a long and fulfilling life. I wish the awards and recognition were given to him when he was hale and hearty and able to enjoy the adulation.
Because of his villainous roles, he was feared by the masses. But because of his clean, honest nature and passionate work, he was loved by the film fraternity.
Image: Hema Malini and Amitabh Bachchan in Kasauti
'Pran was a very considerate co-star'
I was abroad, and have just returned to hear this sad news.
We’ve lost a very good human being and brilliant actor. When Pransaab played a villain, he filled our hearts with terror.
As a child, when I was working in M V Raman’s Aasha, Pransaab showed up. I hid behind the sofa. I was so scared of him!
Later of course, I did many films with him including Mere Sanam, Jab Pyar Kissise Hota Hai and Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon. He was a thorough gentleman and a very considerate co-star. Even if he had to twist my hand in a scene, he would ask repeatedly if I was okay. He was extremely passionate about his work. We’ll miss him.
Image: Asha Parekh in Jab Pyar Kissise Hota Hai
Pransaab gave dignity, star-value and a position to the Bad Man in Bollywood
Pransaab gave dignity, star-value and a position to the Bad Man in Bollywood.
It is because of Pransaab that actors like me could become stars and have a flourishing career by being bad.
This is a personal loss to me. He was like a parent. He provided me with encouragement, guidance and validation.
Image: Gulshan Grover
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar