Some of the Bollywood veterans remember Pran saab as a brilliant co-star and a fabulous human being.
Waheeda Rehman: “I did quite a number of films with Pran Saab, and he was always a thorough gentleman filled with interesting conversation. I looked forward to shooting with him. The one thing that I must tell you about Pran Saab that you probably don’t know is that he was very ticklish. Any hint of being tickled and he would start giggling. Every time I met him I’d put my fingers out pretending to tickle him and he would go. ‘No! No! Don’t you do that.’ The first film we did together was Dil Diya Dard Liya and I was quite nervous, as he played such a terrible human being on screen. But he turned out to be charming, jolly and interesting human being. During those days there were no vanity vans and no air conditioned makeup rooms. So all of us would sit together and chat on the sets between shots. He would regale me with sher-o-shaayari. A very nice human being, a complete family man. No matter how late we packed up in the night he was the first to arrive on the sets the next morning looking fresh as though he had slept for a full 9 hours. I did many films with him like Ram Aur Shyam, Patthar Ke Sanam… Once we stopped working together, we couldn’t meet much. But when my husband passed away in 2000, he had come to see me. My husband Shashi Rekhi was distantly related to Pran Saab. Pran Saab’s wife Shukla Bhabhi told me he had stopped going out anywhere. But he made it a point to come for the memorial service. Last year when Pran Saab got the Dadasheb Phalke award he didn’t want to meet anyone, which is quite understandable considering his deteriorating health. So I spoke on the phone to Shukla Bhabhi and their daughter Pinky. He had full life, great success and he achieved all that he had set out to achieve.”
Mala Sinha: “I didn’t do that many films with him. But one of my major hits Dil Tera Deewana had me, Shammi Kapoorji and Pran Saab sharing screen space. Let me tell you, it was one of my most fun-filled shootings. Pran Saab was filled with anecdotes and stories about the industry. He kept me regaled throughout the shooting schedules. He was a gentlemen villain. Though he played villain’s roles, he was one of kindest and most helpful people in the industry. Always there for anyone who needed him. It’s amazing how such a goodhearted man could play such despicable characters over and over again. But that’s what being a good actor is all about.”
Raakhee: “I worked with him in a few films. Because of his villainous roles he was feared by the masses. But because of his clean, honest nature and passionate work he was loved by the film fraternity.”
Hema Malini: “It’s really sad that Pran Saab is gone. But then no one is here on earth permanently. I did some of my biggest hits like Naseeb, Nastik and Kasauti with him. He lived a long and fulfilling life. I only wish the awards and recognition were given to him when he was hale and hearty and able to enjoy the adulation.”
Asha Parekh: “I was abroad. I’ve just returned to hear this very sad news. The last we met was when I took Morari Bapu to meet Pran Saab. Though he was very unwell, Pran Saab recognized me and greeted me warmly. We’ve lost another very good human being and a brilliant actor. When Pran Saab played a villain, he filled our hearts with terror. I remember when I was working as a child in M V Raman’s Aasha, Pran Saab showed up. I hid behind the sofa. I was so scared of him! Later of course I did many films with him including Mere Sanam, Jab Pyar Kisise Hota Hai, Phir Wohi Dil Laya Hoon. He was a thorough gentleman and a very considerate co-star. Even if he had to twist my hand in a scene he would ask repeatedly if I was okay. He was extremely passionate about his work. We’ll miss him.”
Gulshan Grover: “Pran Saab gave dignity, star-value and a position to the Bad Man in Bollywood. It is because of Pran Saab that actors like me could become stars and have a flourishing career by being bad. It’s a personal loss to me. He was like a parent. He provided me with encouragement, guidance and validation.”