(This story is from The Quint’s archives and was first published on 15 October 2015, to mark Sai Baba’s death anniversary.)
As a birth anniversary tribute to the much loved and revered saint ‘Shirdi waale Sai Baba’, we’re looking back at actors who have been brave enough to portray the spiritual master on the silver screen. No act of creativity can compare to the ‘miracles’ that they have managed to pull off.
So who from this lot takes the cake, you think?
Let’s start with the man who is all things suave and dapper. Of course, we are talking about Jackie Shroff, but this time, we burst the bubble of his stereotypical on-screen sophistication. He took up the challenge of playing the part of Sai Baba, while we had a tough time finding subtle adjectives to describe his performance. Jackie definitely was the most versatile of them all. Don’t believe us? Check out bhidu’s Sai Baba avatars below.
Next in queue is the popular TV actor, Sudhir Dalvi. True to his usual image, he plays a composed Sai Baba who preaches lessons of love and compassion. Whats’s the shocker in that, you ask? Well, he was so sincere in playing the character that people actually started confusing Dalvi’s face with the actual Sai Baba. Who knew that even saints could have an identity crisis?
Here’s the third candidate of our ultimate Sai Baba face-off. But what do we say about Milind Gunaji? He didn’t leave much of an impression as the Shirdi saint. Whoever thought of casting this ‘badman’ of hindi cinema as the revered fakir!