Tributes—OM PURI

Vol. II. Iss. I.
with Jyoti Srivastava, Chandini Prakash, Manju Prakash, Suraj Prakash, and Nandita Puri. Photographed by Pankaj Prakash.

“Om Puri. End of an era… এখন অসমীয়া ছবিত ওম পুৰীে কাম কৰাৰ কথা অাছিল I ছবিখন অাছিল ভবেন্দ্ৰ নাথ শইকীয়াৰ ’কোলাহল”I চাৰৰ লেখাত পোৱা যায় ওম পুৰীয়ে চাৰক কিমান সন্মান কৰিছিল I কিন্তু চাৰে ওম পুৰীৰ ইচ্ছাক বাস্তবত পৰিণত কৰিব নোৱাৰিলে I কিয় ? চাৰক সোধোতে কৈছিল, পুৰীয়ে কৈছিল, ফি-টো কোনো সমস্যা নহ’ব, অাপুনি যি দিব সেয়াই হ’ব I কিন্তু , চাৰে কৈছিল – ’ওম যি ষ্টেটাচৰ অভিনেতা, তেওঁক মই যি সুবিধা দিয়াটো উচিত হ’ব, মোৰ বাজেটত সেইটো সম্ভব নহয় I ওমে কৈছিল, মোক ষ্টাৰ হোটেল নালাগে, অপােনাাৰ টেকনিচিয়ান যত থাকিব মই তাকেই থাকিম I কিন্তু সেই কথা ক’ব পৰা শিল্পী এজনক মই প্ৰাপ্য সন্মান নিদিমনে ?” (Once, Om Puri was supposed to work in an Assamese film. The film was Dr B N Saikia’s KOLAHAL. One can find this in Dr Saikia’s writings – how Dr Saikia was honoured by Om Puri. Yet, Dr Saikia had failed to materialised Om’s dream. But why, I asked Dr Saikia. The filmmaker replied, “See, Om said, ‘My remuneration will not be a problem. I would be happy with whatever you could give me’. But Om is an actor of such a high caliber that it would not be possible for me to offer him the facilities that he deserves. Om insisted, ‘No star hotel for me. I will stay with your other technicians’. But how can I do that? Should I not show my utmost respect to such a great artist who can utter such humble words?)

Utpal Datta | Film critic, Assam

 

“അഭിനയ ഭാഷയുടെ പൂമരം പോലെ ഒരു മഹാ നടൻ.”

VK Joseph | Film critic, Kerala

 

“Om Puri was one of the best—easily among the world’s finest modern actors. I try to pay tribute to him in every book I write.”

Amitava Kumar | Writer, New York

 

“Even in Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi, Om Puri’s first venture in an international project, his poignant miniscule role is significant and etched in the minds of all who have witnessed the spectacle that bestowed Gandhi with God-like qualities! But that is a different debate altogether. What intrigues me is the power of Om Puri’s delivery and the subtle acting of his eyes that turn from defiance to submission.”
Amitava Nag | Film critic, Kolkatta
https://learningandcreativity.com/silhouette/om-puri/

 

“Wholly unaware of his own greatness, you could tell, there wasn’t a false note in his personality, much like his performances… His success gave hope to countless actors who had only their talent, rather than physical beauty, to count on.”

Mayank Shekhar | Film critic, Mumbai
http://www.mid-day.com/articles/om-puri-will-forever-live-in-our-hearts-tribute-bollywood-entertainment/17893155

 

“Brilliant. Never obstructed the story telling. Always where the scene and the film required him to be. A perfect cinema actor.

Sudhir Mishra | Filmmaker

 

“RIP, Puri Saab. For me you’ll always be the King of Bollywood.”

Piyush Jha | Writer-director

 

“Omjee, a Father Figure to Actors who believed in Independent Films. Truly a Trailblazer. I will miss him Dearly. Rest In Deep Peace Omjee.”

Adil Hussain, Film actor, New Delhi

 

“Perhaps the best actor of Indian Cinema has passed away, also a straight talking, finest of man who used to have little fuss in calling spades as spades. RIP Om Puri. Wonder why programmes on Indian television channels paying tributes to the late artist have failed to mention about Satyajit Ray’s “Sadgati”, one of the earliest films of the country addressing a subaltern reality, where Puri played the central character, suported by the other acting great of the land, the late Smita Patil.”

Maulee Senapati | Filmmaker, Mumbai

 

“You must be a good person to be a good actor”.

-Om Puri

“You must be a good person to be a good actor”. That was what Om Puri said to me when I was talking to him for my book on Smita. It is so true of Om. One of our best actors who was also a warm, generous man who often spoke from the heart without calculating the consequences in an age of trolls who are ready to pounce… As a rule, I had kept away from stars when writing on films. Chasing them is a daunting, thankless job. Om was the exception.”

Maithili Rao | Film critic

 

“Some faces are made to tell stories. Om Puri possessed a mien so ordinary that it was extraordinary: except for a slight hook at the end of his flared nose, and the deeply cratered cheeks which he never bothered to hide, he was someone you’d pass by without a second glance. But if you managed to hold his gaze — amused, aware, warm — you would know instantly that this was a face made to put on other faces. And become the story.”

Shubhra Gupta | Film critic, New Delhi

http://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/bollywood/parallel-cinema-loses-its-favourite-india-a-gifted-actor-4462573/

 

“Om Puri sir and I worked on two projects together. One was ‘Chirantan’ the other ‘Buddhaa Mar Gayaa’.

The first project was when I was very young and I watched him in awe from behind the camera while I waited my turn to be in front of it.

He was flawless and fluid. Joking in the seconds before ‘action’ was called and then transforming completely, his shoulders changing, his stance subtly different and he became the character. Suddenly unrecognisable.

It was stupendous. Magic beyond words. And that baritone. Like grated hot chocolate.

Then, in the second project, I saw him prance around, becoming a slimy character with the same ease. His comic timing sudden and smooth.

Between shots, Om Puri sir and Anupam Kher sir would carry my daughter and walk around with her so she would be distracted while I gave my shot. This was in Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad.

She loved Anupam sir and played with his bald head and looked at Om sir with great curiosity, touching his face.

And the minute he opened his mouth and the voice rumbled out, she would bawl for me. And Anupam sir would tease him about it. It was such a warm and wonderful sight. The two of them vying for her affection.

Om Puri sir never gave up trying to make her believe that he rumbled but meant well.

Dear Om Puri sir, you have left us such a great treasure of your work. Thank you.
You were not lauded enough, sir, in my opinion.

I hug you with my heart.”

Mona Ambegaonkar | Film & TV actress, Mumbai

 

‘Ace photographer Nemai Ghosh describes Puri’s face as being “ideal” for the lens since it exhibited so much of character. “His eyes spoke.”‘

Priyanka Dasgupta | Journalist, Kolkata
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/city-of-joy-plunges-into-sadness-post-om-puris-death/articleshow/56380985.cms?from=mdr

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/our-durwan-tried-to-shoo-away-om-puri-when-came-home-pulling-a-rickshaw-sandip-ray/articleshow/56380775.cms

 

“The most painful good byes are the ones that are never said and explained. RIP Om Puri.”

Sandeep Marwah | Film educationist, Delhi

 

“Farewell Om Puri. Though you found respect in the West, the Indian film industry must bear the guilt of having wasted your supreme talent.

It must bear the cross of nepotism, due to which so many great talents are wasted and reduced to caricatures. Actors like him spend their last days in bitterness (just read his frustrated interviews) because they had once dared to go offbeat.

I don’t think ‘Yeh Hain Lollipop’, ‘Warrior Savitri’ & ‘Ho Gayi Dimaag Ki Dahi’, Om Puri’s last few films, particularly did justice to his beautiful talent.”

Apurva Asrani | Film editor, Mumbai

 

“RIP, OM PURI. When you came to Siolim, you asked how long it took for me to turn on and off all the lights every night – coming from a Mumbai flat, an ancestral Goan home must have awed you. I told you I only turned all the lights on when someone very special came over. You were touched by my answer.

If I were in Siolim tonight, Om, I would have turned them all on in your memory. And I would have had a drink for your safe passage, in the same spot we sat a few years ago.

In you India has lost a great actor, one of the few who are truly known and respected the world over by serious international film lovers, not only by Bollywood masala lovers. The last film I saw of yours, “100-Foot Journey”, was very popular here in Europe.

May your last journey be smoother.”

Remo Fernandez | Pop-Rock Singer, Goa

 

“He had that gnawing hunger to become an actor. His resonating voice, laser eyes, an inborn-ease-before-the camera were his lethal weapons. And he was also at the right place at the right time.”

Khalid Mohamed | Film maker-critic-journalist, Mumbai

http://mumbaimirror.indiatimes.com/entertainment/bollywood/khalid-mohamed-om-puri-never-said-goodbye/articleshow/56385861.cms

 

“What I liked most about the legend is how he never let the odds get to him. He refused to let his underprivileged background or conspicuous unconventionality kill his passion or dreams. Instead in an industry driven by superficiality, he compelled the audience to look past the surface and discover an intense presence and complex soul.”

Sukanya Verma | Film critic, Mumbai

http://www.rediff.com/movies/report/the-best-films-of-om-puri/20170106.htm

 

“Om Puri. Fine actor. Simple human being. Old colleague. Passes away. Will miss him. RIP.”

Amit Khanna | Lyricist-writer-director-producer-author, Mumbai

 

The Hindu | Chicago Sun Times | The Guardian | Daily Mail | Mirror

BBC World | Independent | New York Times | The Sun

 


Photograph by cinematographer-filmmaker Pankaj Prakash. In the pic: Jyoti Srivastava, Chandini Prakash, Manju Prakash, standup comedian Suraj Prakash, and Nandita Puri.

 

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