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Gentleman-villain of cine world is gone forever
Pran, the most popular and impressive villain of Indian cinema is no more with us. He breathed his last on 14th July 2013 at the Lilawati Hospital, Mumbai at the age of 93 years. Winner of the Dadasaheb Phalke award on 10th may this year, he had reached the golden heights of his film career. Playing the role of a villain in an excellent manner, he excelled in his roles in films like Upkar and Zanjeer. Many a time he overshadowed the role of heroes in some movies.

His face, his voice, his dress and above all his mannerism confirmed the impression that he was a villain par excellence right in his first appearance on screen even if it was for a fleeting moment. He excelled in all types of roles of villains that he played on the screen. And yet, away from reel life, in real life he was a gentleman to his fingertips.

After all he was a Delhi boy. Born in 1920 in Ballimaran in old Delhi, the imprint of the city of court culture was on him from Aye to Zee. He never raised his voice while talking to a fellow human being because it was against the Delhi culture in which Pran was born and brought up. Pran Nath Sikand, yes that was his full name, was the son of a civil engineer. But the fine arts, photography, acting on Ramlila stage as SITA JI, clicking cameras for some memorable photographic record of days gone by in the Imperial city of the British Raj were his first love.

Pran had a penchant for stage and screen. The classrooms of Delhi never attracted him. He moved to Rampur and did matriculation from the Raza College.Of course, it was Mumbai, then known as Bombay, where his talents as an actor came to the fore and brought him to the centre stage of the cine world. It was there that he touched the sky with glory and reached the pinnacle with the Dada Saheb Phalke award, the most prestigious one of the celluloid world.

Pran lived the role of a villain so well that no less a person than Jaya Bhaduri called him a bad boy in the shoot of the film Guddi and implored Dharmendra to return the wrist watch presented by Pran. Of course, one and all present there convinced Jaya Bhaduri that Pran was a good man in real life. Thereafter Jaya changed her mind.

Many film heroes of eminence wished Pran to play the role of a villain where they were cast as a hero. The logic was: If the hero excels in acting on screen despite the active presence of Pran as a villain, then their talent as thespians would be recognized globally.

While parting with Pran, the man and the actor, allow me to record that award of the highest prize of the cine world at age 93 was rather late in the day. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting should have woken up early and recognized Pran’s talents a little earlier in the day. Be that as it may, Pran will always be in our thoughts as a man of great talent on stage and screen, as a soul of a gentleman-villain of the century gone by.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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