In this day and age of grey shades (rather than the usual black or white characters that Bollywood was earlier renowned for) one can’t help but feel nostalgic about the bygone era, especially if it happens to be Amrish Puri’s birthday. The man with the powerful voice and the deadly stare, Amrish Puri (who would have turned 86 today) was considered the eternal villain of the industry who essayed numerous roles with utter conviction and with great ease. 

The man immortalized the character of Mogambo from Mr. India, which is counted among the likes of Sholay’s Gabbar Singh and Gulshan Grover’s Badman. But beyond Mogambo, Amrish Puri has given us numerous gems which have, till date, kept him alive in our memories. And so on the occasion of his 86th birth anniversary, here’s shedding some light on his most memorable performances.

Dilwale Dulhania Le Jaayenge

One of the most interesting things about Bollywood in those times was that a few scenes were so brilliantly enacted, that it remains etched in our memory even now. And the last scene from DDJL was just that when the audience experienced a cathartic moment as soon as Amrish Puri exclaimed, “Ja Simran ja, jee le apni zindagi”.

Bhumika

Among stalwarts such as Smita Patil, Amol Palekar and Naseeruddin Shah, Amrish Puri held his own in Shyam Benegal’s Bhumika where he played the role of Smita Patil’s (much-married) businessman lover.

Pardes

“London Dekha Paris Dekha Aur Dekha Japan. ” Rings a bell, doesn’t it? This song picturised on Amrish Puri emphasizes the movie’s theme in key moments. And he played the role of a wealthy businessman who comes to India to visit his best friend and ends up choosing an Indian bride for his son.

Nayak

The film may not have done well at the box-office, but in Nayak, Amrish Puri played to perfection the role of a politician (Chief Minister) under whose jurisdiction Mumbai faces violence and riots among its own people, but who does not take any preventive measures because of a political motive. The film also had Anil Kapoor who played a TV journalist while Rani Mukherjee played his lady love.

Virasat

Authoritative fathers and Amrish Puri go hand in hand because Virasat was yet another film where he opposes his son’s decision to settle abroad because he wants him to work for the upliftment of the people in the village they were residing in.  

Happy Birthday Amrish Puri!