Dipen Guhawrote on Jul 29 2009 10:35PM
Some actors or men with multiple flairs are destined to become typified. Asrani in the silver screen is one of such fortunate or unfortunate artiste. His christened name is Govardhan Asrani. He was born on January 1, 1941 in Jaipur, Rajasthan. He came to settle in Mumbai in 1964. He had his acting course at FTII , Pune where he had his mates like Jaya Bachchan, Naveen Nischol, Danny, Paintal and others. His debut film was " Hare Kanch Ki Churia" directed by Kishore Sahu. Hrishikesh Mukherjee spotted him and put him in "Sayakam"in a brief role. Comparatively, a role with a phase was given to him by Gulzar in "Mere Apne"(1971) in which Asrani was fortunate to have tender touch of Meena Kumari who , with motherly affection, attends to his physical injuries. He was given a good role in Guddi (1971), and in the following year Hrishikesh Mukherjee gave him an impressive role in "Bawarchi". Another film from the school of Gulzar came to him for the film "Parichay"(1972). In a negative role Asrani was cast in Gulzar's "Koshish". In 1973 Asrani was awarded for his performance in "Aaj Ki Taaza Khabar". In "Abhiman" his role was a blend of light-humour and seriousness. In this film Asrani was a constant figure with Big B and Jaya. In "Namak Haram"(1973) his acting as a blue-collar-worker with Rajesh Khanna as colleague was critically acclaimed. Then came Ramesh Sippy's "Sholay" to brand Asrani a comedian of a class. His mannerism, gestures, style of throwing dialogues left such an abiding impression that Asrani could hardly get rid of the inertia caused by his role of the nincompoop but aggressive jailor in his subsequent films. In "Chchoti si Baat"directed by Basu Chatterjee Asrani played a Romeo-typed brat trying to impress the heroine with his two-wheeler thus increasing wrath in Amol Palekar, the hero. Thus when Asrani had already established a strong position, he came out with different venture. He became director. His directorial debut "Chala Murari Hero Banne"was received by people. His second directorial film "Salam Memsaab"came out in 1979 and the third "Hum Nahin Sudhrenge" was in 1980.
Asrani has started his second innings with renewed vigour. He is no more youth, but his stamina has not fallen on the wane. In the films "Hera Pheri, Dhamaal, Awara Pagal Diwana, Hulchal, Malamal Weekly, Bhagam Bhag and others prove that we have yet more series of laughter to be offered by Asrani Murari.