It's the birth anniversary of the legendary Amrish Puri today. The actor, with several legendary characters under his belt in both commercial and indie cinema, and a fan-following so huge and dedicated that could rival any top lead star of any era, was born on 22nd June, 1932. Remembering Amrish Puriji, we conducted an exclusive interview with his grandson, Vardhan Puri (he made his Bollywood debuted last year in Yeh Saali Aashiqui), who narrated many interesting stories about his legendary grandfather, including how he maintained his excitement for his craft till the very end, his supreme fitness and why Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan used to tease him.
Letting us in on Amrish Puri's love for fitness even at the age of 72, Vardhan Puri said, "No matter what time dadu used to sleep at night, regardless if he came from his shoot at 2 or 3 o'clock at night, he would be up at 6 am, he would do his yoga, he would then pray to Lord Shiva, he'd do his meditation, then he'd get on to his treadmill and run for, I think, 20-25 minutes, he'd then lift weights, after which he'd have his breakfast and get ready and leave for his shoot. At the age of 72 he used to lift weights and do 50 pushups in one set. That was the physical ability of the man."
Elaborating on his childlike enthusiasm for cinema till the very end, Vardhan added, "I used to see him coming him at 3 0'clock at night, and then I'd see him awake, fresh, excited, whistling and singing away in his bathroom while shaving at 6 o'clock in the morning, and excited about the day and telling me, 'See, I'm playing this character today and this is my wig these are my clothes, these are my lines, I'm going to narrate them once, just check them. And I was like really tiny, nut I could still see that childlike and passion in him, and told myself that whatever I'd do in life, I'd get up and up in the morning and be excited like my grandfather."
"He never liked outside food. Even he was leaving in the morning at 6 am for a shoot, he used to make sure he took his dabba with him because he loved his Punjabi food and his simple dal, roti, salad and soup. Salman Khan saab, Bachchan saab (Amitabh Bachchan), Shah Rukh Khan saab all used to make fun of him because I still remember, that big dabbas of biryani, ghost and kebabs would come from Salman Khan saab's home and they used to all say, 'Arey, Amrishji why are you eating this ghaas-poos (vegetarian food), please eat with us.' And daadu would just take a bite so that no one would feel bad, and then would say, 'Arey, I'm happy with my simple food.' So, he never ate outside food because he would always say that his voice is too important for him and he couldn't abuse it. So, everything was always measured, he used to make sure that the food was made in such a way that it would never damage his throat."
Wow...now that's some truly amazing trivia shared by Vardhan Puri on his late-great grandfather's birthday.
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