Bitterness Now Past, Naseeruddin Shah Pays Tribute to Mrinal Sen

RBN Web Desk: Veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah has said that he feels privileged to have worked with Mrinal Sen in two of his films. The actor played major roles in Khandhar (1984) and Genesis (1986).

Shah and Sen, it may be recalled, never enjoyed a cordial relation during the making of Genesis. The film had Om Puri, Shabana Azmi, and MK Raina in other major roles. The director and Shah had frequent arguments regarding the treatment of the film. Puri and Azmi used to silently watch the verbal duel from the sidelines, never interfering in what was understandably an immensely enriching argument between one of the best actors in the country and a director who put Indian cinema on the global map.

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According to senior film critic Subhash K Jha, Shah constantly questioned and confronted the filmmaker during the shooting. By the time filming ended, things came to such a passé that the two parted acrimoniously, Jha recalled before the media.

Since then, neither the actor nor the filmmaker commented about each other’s works, and they were not on speaking terms.

Shah, in a statement to the media yesterday, said that Sen was among the rare breed of filmmakers who never compromised. “It was my privilege to work with him—once very happily (in Khandhar) and once not so happily (in Genesis)! I’m grieved to learn of his passing away but was even sadder at his state of health in the last few years. He’s probably better off behind the big camera in the sky,” the actor said.

Mrinal Sen died on 30 December after suffering a cardiac arrest. He was 95.

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