Effortless and Real Is How Amitabh Bachchan Remembers Balraj Sahni

Amitabh Bachchan launches a book on actor Balraj Sahni by his son Parkishat Sahni.

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Effortless and Real Is How Amitabh Bachchan Remembers Balraj Sahni

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Megastar Amitabh Bachchan was all praises for the late Bollywood legend Balraj Sahni when he launched a book on the latter’s life written by his son Parikshit Sahni. Bachchan said there was a refined smoothness in all performances of Balraj Sahni.

"When I saw Balraj (Sahni) ji on the screen it was not about the character that he was playing I saw but only the purity of his heart; the way he spoke, moved and expressed himself was unique and straight from his heart. There was a refined smoothness in all his performances," said Big B, while interacting with the media at the launch of his friend and colleague Parikshat Sahni's book titled The Non-Conformist: Memories Of My Father Balraj Sahni on Saturday evening in Mumbai.

“He was so effortless on screen that you never felt he was performing. It was so real and simple. When you ask somebody on the streets about his acting, people would say whenever he used to recite a dialogue, it used to feel like he is speaking the truth and that’s a great compliment for an actor because many of us are incapable of getting that kind of compliment from a man of the streets.”
Amitabh Bachchan on Balraj Sahni
Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan arrive at the book launch.
(Photo: Yogen Shah)

Balraj Sahni is best known for his performances in films like Dharti Ke Lal (1946), Do Bigha Zameen (1953), Kabuliwala (1961), Garm Hawa (1973) and Waqt (1965). Asked to name his favourite Balraj Sahni film, Big B replied: "There is such a vast repertoire, so it is very difficult to name one but I feel Do Bigha Zamin, Kabuliwala', Waqt and an incredible performance in Garm Hawa. I thought it was one of his absolute and ultimate performances till date."

Balraj Sahni was known as a director's actor and he never used to interfere with scripts. Bachchan is also known for the same quality. In this connection, Bachchan said: "I think the essence of every film is what comes out of a writer's pen and I think that needs to be respected. I also believe that he is the one who designs an entire film. He thinks about the mindset of the characters and their look. He decides how the actors are going to say their lines and he decides where the film has to be shot in terms of locations."

"I am sure this is in conjunction with director but if he has gone through so much trouble to do that then, I don't think I have any right, if I am a professional and I have agreed contractually to follow what the director has ask me to follow because they (writer and director) are the most important people in every film," he said.

"I just do it out of my respect and regard for the writer. I feel once it is written, I do believe that is final. You can have differences in opinions so you have to seat with each other before going on the sets but once you are in front of the camera then, you don't argue. You just do what is asked you to do," he added.


Asked when he would direct a film or write a book, Big B said: "I am just trying to learn how to act and I can't direct at all. And as far as writing is concern I would do great injustice to writing profession."

On work front, Amitabh Bachchan will next be seen in Nagraj Manjule‘s Jhund, Shoojit Sircar's Gulabo Sitabo and Ayan Mukherji's Brahmastra.

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Topics:  Amitabh Bachchan   Balraj Sahni 

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