Fragrance of Yesteryears: Pran

We shine the spotlight on an established actor within our beloved India film industry, This week, we have the great personality Pran Krishan Sikand, better known as Pran.

Monday, May 13, 2013 | 7:03:11 PM IST (+05:30 GMT)
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Welcome to yet another edition of Fragrance of Yesteryears, an article where we shine the spotlight on an established actor within our beloved India film industry, This week, we have the great personality Pran Krishan Sikand, better known as Pran.

Pran was born on 12th February 1920 into a wealthy Punjabi family in Old Delhi and is one of seven children. His father, Kewal Krishan Sikand, was a civil engineer and a government civil contractor, and mother, Rameshwari, a housewife. Pran was very passionate about his education where he was particularly gifted in the subject of mathematics. Due to his father's transferable job, he studied in various places but finally finished his education at Raza High School in Rampur. Initially, Pran had aspired to become a professional photographer which lead him to join A. Das & Co in Delhi as an apprentice. This soon took him to Shimla where he played the role of Sita in a local act of Ramleela. The role of Ram was played by Madan Puri.

Pran's first break in the film circuit happened to be in Pancholi's Punjabi film Yamla Jat (1940), after having gotten the chance of meeting with the writer, Wali Mohammad Wali. He followed this up with small roles in 1941 in the films, Chaudhary and Khajanchi. In 1942, Pran was given the role of a romantic hero in his first Hindi movie, Khandaan, opposite Noor Jehan. He soon continued to act in many movies in the pre-partition era.

After the partition, Pran left Lahore and arrived in Bombay. After eight months of non-Bollywood industry work, he was given the chance to re-enter the film industry with his movie, Ziddi, alongside Dev Anand and Kamini Kaushal. This launched both Pran and Dev Anand's careers and from there on, there was no looking back for both. He was approached with numerous negative roles in which he was to portray either the main villain or a negative character of some sort throughout the 1950s and 60s. In the 1970s, new younger directors and producers continued to cast Pran in their films, even though they knew that he charged the most amongst all the supporting actors of that time.

Pran also acted many comic roles with Kishore Kumar and Mehmood Ali. Sadhu Aur Shaitaan (1968), Lakhon Main Ek (1971), Bewaqoof (1960), Half Ticket (1962) and Man Mauji (1962) are among some of the most memorable villainous comic roles.

In the late 1960s, Pran turned towards positive roles beginning with Upkaar (1967). His song "Kasme Waade Pyaar Wafaa" became one of the most popular songs from this movie. The film also gained him his first, rightfully earned, Filmfare Award. He then continued to play pivotal and positive roles in many movies. Purab Aur Paschim (1970), Sanyasi (1975), and Dus Numbri (1976) are considered to be the most popular movies in his repertoire where he was seen in the roles of a supportive character.
However, the talented actor not only gained success professionally but also personally, forming friendships with the likes of Ashok Kumar. They acted in 27 films together and the movies that are still remembered today are, Mr. X (1957), Victoria No. 203 (1972), Chori Meri Kaam (1975), and Raja Aur Rana (1984). Some other famous songs of his were "Hum Bolega Toh Bologe Ke Bolta Hai" from Kasauti (1974) and "Do Bichare, Bina Sahare" from Victoria No. 203 (1972).

Another great pair was that of Pran and Amitabh Bachchan. Having been the one to recommend Big B for the character of Vijay in Zanjeer (1973), Pran and Bachchan's friendship was as strong as it could be. In the aforementioned movie, Pran's character of Sher Khan was hugely appreciated. The two went on to act in 14 movies together, of which the memorable ones were Don (1978), Amar Akbar Anthony (1977), Dostana (1980), Naseeb (1981), and Sharaabi (1984).

As time went on, Pran began to reject film offers citing his age-related problems. He made only an exception to Amitabh Bachchan who requested him to do roles in his home productions. However, his roles were modified accordingly to ensure that his age-related problems were taken into account. Post-2000, Pran made only a few guest appearances.

Pran has received numerous awards and honours. In 1967, 1969, and 1972 he won the Filmfare Best Supporting Actor award, and in 1997 he was awarded the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement award. In 2000, he was awarded the Villain of the Millennium by Stardust. In 2001 he was honoured with the Padma Bhushan and in 2013 he was given the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Curiosity Corner
  • Pran was the highest paid actor over lead actors such as Vinod Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Shatrugan Sinha, Randhir Kapoor, and Rishi Kapoor between 1969 to 1982.
  • The only lead hero to be paid more than Pran in the 1970s and 1980s was Rajesh Khanna.

BollyCurry can effectively say that most probably, there will never be an actor like Pran again, just as the many other legendary actors of Tinsel Town. With a final salute to the talented Pran Krishan Sikand, we sign off and await for our next meeting with a new veteran in our hotseat. Until then!

Author: Shreya S.
Editors: Harjot D. & Jenifer Y.
Graphics: Preet K.

User Rating Rating(5 Votes)
ringroses, -Khush-, ---Manish---, samicute, MrToolConfuser

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Posted on: 15 May 2013 at 2:39am
god bless you with good heatly

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Posted on: 13 May 2013 at 8:32pm
God bless him with a healthy and happy life.

2 member(s) Liked the above comment :
chowdhury27, ---Manish---

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Posted on: 13 May 2013 at 7:57pm
Love pran ji just love love him

2 member(s) Liked the above comment :
---Manish---, MinzPie

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