Screen-march 31, 2000

A grateful heart at 80 The just-turned 80, yet still very active (despite some problems with the heart), pran, undoubtedly the greatest bad man of Hindi films, is also one of the most humble, obedient and grateful men. Stories of his acts of philanthropy and social service are legion but he doesn't talk about them. "When you give something with one hand you should make sure the other hand doesn't know", pran says. The speech he made at a recent awards function, in which he was declared the villain of the millennium, literally moved thousands of people to tears. Pran said (in Hindi) " Award milne ke baad hum bolega to bologe ki bolta hai (one of his popular dialogues in Majboor with Amitabh Bachchan). Said an emotional Pran: " At the outset I am extremely grateful to the organization for presenting me with this precious and literally very heavy award which not only forces me to bow my shoulder but also naturally inspires me to bow my head in sheer gratitude before all of you because of whom I am standing here today.

I am acutely aware of the fact that I am not the only winner of this award. There are so many others. I owe this award to innumerable people. I am grateful to all my producers who gave me work for fifty long years, my directors who taught me the basics of good acting, the writers who created all those good charters for me, those roles for me, created charters and wrote lines specially to go with all the characters I played. And above all, I am grateful to all millions of my people who saw my films and wrote letters telling me how much they loved me as the most hated man and encouraged me to keep going like every day was a new day, every film a new film, every role a new role. But for a little health problem I still feel youthful, bright, always in the best of spirits. I am on the stage now only because of all of you. Today, bend on my knees (he literally bent on his knees on stage) before all of and thankyou with all my folded hands.