Veteran actor Soumitra Chatterjee, who “gelled well” with Om Puri and admired his work, recounted how the two indulged in numerous “adda” (discussion) sessions, while National Award winner Goutam Ghose emphasised the late actor’s earnestness to help a friend in need.
“In my film ‘Paar’, Puri had a small role which he enacted extraordinarily. A villager was supposed to play the part but he couldn’t deliver. So I sent him a telegram and told him that ‘I want you for a role’, and without any hesitation and even without knowing anything about the character, he took a flight out and came down to Bihar,” Ghose said here.
“He was thinking that Goutam is in trouble and needs help, readied himself in a few days for the part and delivered. He was well known by that time. This was his attitude. In how many people can you see this attitude today,” asked Ghose.
In his 1993 film “Patang”, recalled Ghose, the “Tamas” and “Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro” actor helped out the local boys of Gaya, where the movie was set, and rehearsed with them to bring out their best performances.
“He mixed well with the unit and treated them equally. Usually, actors have their own place but he was different,” said a grief-stricken Ghose.
Chatterjee expressed sadness that Puri passed away so early.
“He had given a lot and he had a lot more to give (to cinema). This is very saddening. We spent a lot of time in India and abroad and went to many festivals. We had good adda sessions when he used to come to the film fest in Kolkata. He was a long time friend,” Chatterjee said.
Om Puri died on Friday morning of a heart attack at his Mumbai residence. He was 66.