Mr. Ahuja, a middle aged drunk dumb head conniving builder in hope of a plump construction deal with his wit and captivating demeanour in ‘Jane Bhi Do Yaaron’, was a character that lay engraved in my memory for his exceptional comic timing and dialogue delivery. Om Puri and Naseerudin Shah had become favourites and actors whom I looked up with great respect vis-à-vis the frontrunners of the commercial films.
This was a film etched in my mind for its impeccable combination of humour and realism. The pragmatic satire had brought together legends of parallel cinema and a masterpiece was created.
One of the pioneers of realism in Indian cinema, today, Om Puri has embarked on a different journey altogether, creating a void in the Indian cinematic arena. His acting prowess and the sheer magic of his husky and impressionable voice has been a treasure of sorts for the Indian film industry.
His electrifying on screen presence in Jane Bhi Do Yaaron was the reason I had been waiting impatiently to watch him and others in the theatre for the first time.
Recently, I was fortunate enough to encounter this rib tickling humorous treat by the stalwarts of the art cinema once again. It was an opportunity I didn’t want to miss at any cost. Being an avid movie buff, I grabbed the tickets available to experience the extra ordinary classic comedy of the 80’s on the big screen. ‘Jane Bhi do Yaaron’ is one such movie I always wanted my children to watch and have a taste of the acting genius of our times.
This evergreen cult film had left a remarkable impression on me as a child and it was no less than a laughter ride every time it appeared on television. I remember being fed generously on the kind of cinema Om Puri and his likes were part of. Although as a child, none of my peers had that kind of art films exposure. Thanks to my father, a writer and a cinema lover, his unconscious efforts were detrimental in shaping my intellectual persona, and had unknowingly, culminated into a tremendous fondness for films with a deep insight into the pathos and psyches of the common Indian.
The legend Om Puri had a number of stellar performances in his acting career; however, his outstanding and utterly hilarious portrayal in Jane Bhi Do Yaron was a character I could not erase from my memory. It is a difficult task to pick one favourite scene.
Waiting for a movie I had already seen was indeed a delight once again; with my children showering praises and laughing their hearts out the same way. The way I burst into laughter decade’s back, my children, equally enjoyed the charisma of this cult movie. The characters and the infamous dialogues were still afresh and I could easily recall a number of them.
His sudden and shocking demise yesterday, leaves me with a very unpleasant feeling. We have lost yet another acting genius, who had made his mark as an actor with unconventional looks and a strong throw of voice. His choice of films and his versatility of characters put him into the category of one of India’s finest actors ever.
Nonetheless, we will continue to cherish his films as much we applaud the actor in him.