Anupam Kher hunts down Marathi stage veteran for ‘Saaransh’ premier

May 23rd, 2009 - 6:19 pm ICT by IANS  

Anupam Kher By Subhash K. Jha
Mumbai, May 23 (IANS) Bollywood actor Anupam Kher has decided to relive his debut performance by holding a premier of “Saaransh” Sunday 25 years after the film was released. He is reuniting the entire cast but Marathi theatre legend Nilu Phule was untraceable for long.

Kher will hold the belated premiere at the Metro theatre, where the critically acclaimed film was first released.

Director Mahesh Bhatt, producer Raj Kumar Barjatya, film’s romantic lead Mohan Joshi and Soni Razdan (Bhatt’s wife) and music composer Ajit Varman, who now lives in anonymity in Andheri, all jumped at the idea of reliving what was unarguably the single-most important event in their lives. But Nilu Phule, who played the sleazy terrorizing politician, was missing.

“There was no way I’d relive ‘Saaransh’, which today is more relevant as a work of cinema than ever before, without one of its important actors. No one seemed to know where Nilu Phule was. I finally got an address for him in Pune. I drove down personally to the address. But Nilu didn’t live there any more. My hunt began all over again,” Anupam told IANS.

Nilu Phule was finally tracked down to another location in Pune.

Says Anupam emotionally: “It was a glorious revisitation. We both could barely hold back our tears. Unfortunately Nilu’s health does not permit him to make that journey from Pune to Mumbai. He was ready to come. But his doctor advised him against it. We’ll miss Nilu at the premiere.”

Anupam has invited his close friends from within and outside the film industry for the premiere.

“Naresh Goel and Yash Chopra will be there. But Subhash Ghai can’t attend because he’s in Cannes. I even invited singer Kavita Krishnamurthy who sang an evocative song in ‘Saaransh’. But she’s in Poland.”

The actor has also commissioned a half-hour documentary on the film.

“To me ‘Saaransh’ is the sum-total of my entire career. It voices all the concerns that I hold precious. If I’m even 20 percent of the human being that my character B.B. Pradhan was, I’ve achieved enough in life.”

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