An Actor par Excellence – Om Puri

An actor is a person who represents the ideas of a writer and gives life to the characters that might have otherwise remained just an imaginary shapes of different sizes. When you’re reading a good book you tend to visualise to the best possible ability, a greatest figure that can compliment the words. While transferring that on screen you need someone to represent the very ideas and leave an impression on you and the viewer at the same time. You need the person, man or woman to not be plastic and perform as real as possible to make the proceedings relatable and believable. When you go by this comvention, you find very very minute percentage of “Actors” who fit the bill. And we refer to them as greats.

One of those All Time greats of Indian Cinema, Om Puri, left us today for a divine abode. He is one of the most respected and loved individuals in Indian Cinema. He was unconventional looking. Had marks all over his face, yes for an actor attractive face is a must, but he proved talent doesn’t need to be ‘spot’less. He graduated from National Drama School, New Delhi and Pune Film Institute in acting along with Naseeruddin Shah. Even though he belonged to an orthodox agricultural family, from Ambala, Punjab, he never let his ambition to become a good actor slip away in the struggles of life. He held on to it very dearly and in 1977 finally found his way into the films.

After doing Aakrosh in 1981 and Arohan, he cemented his place in the Film Industry as one of the greatest finds and grew in stature with parallel cinema of the time. He won his first National Award for Arohan and first Filmfare for Aakrosh. Since Ardh Sathya, for which he won his second National Award, he just remained as one of the favorites of Hindi Cinema for his unconventional looks and honest portrayal. He then with many enthusiasts created a comic sensation with Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro and proved himself that he has a great comic timing along with intense expression. He has been part of many English films and Television series in his long illustrated career and even became an Honorary Officer of the Order of the British Empire.

Indian goverment for his contribution to cinema honored him with Padma Shri and Filmfare honored with Lifetime Achievement. He also acted in a Telugu Film Ankuram alongside Sarath Babu, Revathi as Satyam, who being a tribal loses his family for atrocities against his community and his right to speak. He delivered a gut wrenching performance in the language he hardly speaks. He has been known to be one of those famous actors who was able to happily migrate to commercial cinema as well. His contribution to cinema is such that if anyone tries to list out the best actors that India had ever produced he would be among the Toppers! Rest in Peace, Satyam!

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