Just imagine the ‘villain’ as a good human being, or Kishore Kumar as a true prankster and Meena Kumari with a golden heart, reminices Ashim Chakravarty
In real life, he was Sher Khan of ‘Zanjeer’, an apparent villain who had a truly golden heart
Pran Kishan Sikand popularly known as Pran was a magnificent pillar of the film industry. His demise made Bollywood shed tears, especially those who he helped in many ways. Some remembered his iconic villain roles, others regarded him as magnanimous gentleman with a heart of gold. The spotboys, lightmen, and almost everyone adored him.
An old lightman, Chandan shared an instance with this correspondent. Once Pran went to a programme in Mahalaxmi as Chief Guest, from there he had to go for a shoot in RK studio, Chembur. The technician and others who had to go for the same shooting decided that they will manage to go with Pran. But Pran did not even look at them. He began talking with some familiar lightmen and spotboy while talking to them a spotboy told him that they all are going for the same shooting. Pran realised why they had been loitering and invited them all to his car saying that they will talk on the way. The seniors kept staring at his face. In fact, he asked his assistant to reach by autorickshaw to RK. There are many such instances where Pran’s humility and magnanimity was apparent.
The Glorious Actress
Not arrogance... behind that heavenly beautiful face was a kind considerate lady
Not just her fine acting, Meena Kumari is also known for her nobility. In the film, Phool Aur Patthar, cinematographer Nariman Irani was shooting a complex scene with Meena Kumari. Meenaji had to speak a few lines leaning back from the railing of the terrace. TIrani had to take this shot from three angles. To edit the shot, his assistant had to stand behind the railing. After completion of the shot he had to come from behind. There was a chance that he might have slipped leading to an accident but fortunately despite re-takes things were fine. Meena ji asked the assistant why is he coming from behind after every shot. The assistant apprised her that if he doesn’t do so he might come in the camera. She immediately went to the railing and peeped down. She got scared after thinking something, she asked about his family members. Irani and director O.P Ralhan were aware of Meena ji’s nature. She immediately told OP Ralhan “This shot is very risky. Please change this shot as this man might get hurt.” The director changed the shot and this time in one take it was done. After the shooting Meena Kumari called that assistant and gave Rs 100 for buying sweets.
The multitalented actor, singer and genius Kishore Kumar and popular Hindi lyricist Shailendra’s friendship was quite unique. Both had altogether different personalities as Kishore did love pranks and Shailendra was a serious person. Many people in the industry were attached to Shailendra including Dev Anand. There is an interesting instance during the song recording of Guide. One day after completion of work Dev Saheb said, “Let’s go for a party.” All of them were elated but Shailendra said that today he would not be able to attend the party as some guests will come to his home. Nobody said a word but Kishore Da had a doubt, he whispered in Dev Saheb’s ears that Shailendra is cooking excuses. Later all of them went to their homes. But Kishore Da secretly followed Shailendra to his house. He reached his house and said, “I was just passing by your house so I thought I’d meet Bhabhiji, kids and your guests.” Shailendra did not say even a word. Tea was served and Kishorda’s banter went on till it got very late. After some time, Shailendra had no option but to ask him to stay for dinner. “I will be glad to eat the delicious meal prepared by Bhabhiji. But at around 1.00 am, Kishore felt pity on his dear friend and said, “Your guests did not come today but next time we will surely meet.” It was certainly a lesson for Shailendra. He knew well what Kishorda could do.
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