Om Puri was remembered on Friday by some of his batch mates, juniors and seniors from the National School of Drama (NSD) who paid tribute to the veteran actor here. Puri died in Mumbai on January 6.
Those who remembered him shared that the “Ardh Satya” fame actor wanted to come back into theatres but never got the chance because of his film career.
The 66-year-old actor died of a heart attack at his Mumbai residence.
After his primary education, Om Puri joined the National School of Drama (NSD) in Pune.
An alumnus of the 1973 class of the NSD, where he studied theatre acting, the actor thereafter began to seek active roles in theatre and in films.
Bhanu Bharti, batchmate of Om Puri, said he shared different relations with the actor.
“In my four years in NSD, I came across various personalities of Om Puri. I saw how he worked so hard on his speech and voice because initially he had this heavy Punjabi accent but it was not seen post his hard work. He was very different from others and very rare individual.”
One of his seniors from NSD shared how Om Puri used to call him to ask scripts for his son Ishaan.
“He was one year junior to me. We all stayed together in hostel. He used to call me in night once a month,” said Ankush.
“He continuously tried to come back to theatre but somehow didn’t manage,” he said.
Neelam Mansingh, junior to Om Puri, shared that how the actor wanted to do theatres again.
“There was something about him which was so generous and compassionate. The last time I spoke to him was on January 1 when he rang up to wish me in New Year. He was two years senior to me at NSD. He wanted to do theatres again, but then one day we got the sad news,” she said.
The veteran actor, a recipient of Padma Shri, started his journey as an actor with a Marathi film “Ghashiram Kotwal” in 1972.
If he featured in some intense dramas, he also balanced out his filmography with movies like “Mirch Masala”, “Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro”, “Chachi 420”, “Hera Pheri”, “Malamaal Weekly” and more.
More recently, he featured in Bollywood films like “Ghayal Once Again” and “Mirzya”, as well as in Pakistani film “Actor In Law”.
He even used his distinct baritone for the voice of black panther Bagheera in the Hindi dubbed version of Hollywood film “The Jungle Book”.