Peepli (Live) director Anusha Rizvi remembers actor Sitaram Panchal as she says, "I am deeply saddened. My condolences to the family and his friends. 'Jaane wale Na palat kar aaye... din dhala, shaam gayi, raat hui (the one who has left never returns...day passes by, evening wears off and night returns) ', wrote Nasir Kazmi."
Panchal died on Thursday, 10 August, after a brave fight with cancer.Advertisement
Rizvi first met the actor while she was hunting for an actor to play the role of Bhai Thakur in the film, "I first met Sitaraman Panchal, or Situ Bhai as he was popularly known, when I was casting for Peepli (Live). Unlike many other actors who would tell me that they are 'one take' actors and perform best only on the set, Situ bhai had no issues auditioning for the role of Bhai Thakur," she says.
While she had already auditioned many fine actors for the role, she wasn't impressed with any of them. However, the humble Panchal struck the chord perfectly. "He was sitting on a sofa in Aamir Khan Productions and he just loosened his body a little. Then he delivered the most perfect Bhai Thakur I could imagine," she recalls.
Rizvi vividly remembers the actor's performance as he transformed from Panchal to Bhai Thakur: "Farooqui himself as performer couldn't stop himself and asked me not to call 'cut'. What followed was a spectacular jamming of the craft of acting. It was breathtaking. I wish I could get my hands on that recording again. It's one of the most accomplished performances in a long long while."