In one of my earlier blogs, I talked about all time favourite iconic movie Sholay and how that apart from six main protagonists, even the minor characters – the Jailor, Soorma Bhopali, Sambha, Kaalia etc also acquired the cult status. Such was the power of that movie.
Another very popular movie of yore that along with Aradhana catapulted Rajesh Khanna to superstardom was Anand. Directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee, the story about a terminal cancer patient Anand Sehgal, played by Khanna and his philosophy to live life fullest by spreading happiness, caught the nation’s imagination. Apart from Anand, the main protagonist, Dr Bhaskar, Dr Kulkarni, Moosa Bhai and Mother D’sa also became household names. A light hearted movie with a tragic end , Anand acquired cult status over the years.
Other day, the news of Ramesh Deo’s death, brought back the memories associated with Anand, in which Ramesh Deo played the character of Dr Kulkarni, with Seema Deo, his real life wife, playing his reel wife in the movie. And what an unassuming actor he was, completely melting into the character that he played. Villainous character evoked detestation, gentle role aroused empathy and an odd comical character the mirth! Where are the actors who neither possessed Greek god looks or gym toned muscular bodies and yet made deep and lasting impression in the hearts of cinema lovers.
He lived life to the fullest, dying at the ripe age of 93 after having fun with the family till the last moment. He might have been a minor actor, given the glitz and glamour of Bollywood, but the moment one reckons the variety of characters played by him with conviction and his contribution Marathi cinema and theatre, his stature rises multiple times.
His death creates a sense of déjà vu, for there seems to be a dearth of actors that looked person next door and played characters that we could readily identify with.
RIP Ramesh Deo.