There is an old adage that a lot of talent is wasted due to lack of courage.
One could not have but felt the same when actor Naseeruddin Shah let us know at the weekend that his lifetime regret is not having worked with acclaimed filmmaker Satyajit Ray.
Naseeruddin, who was in Kolkata to deliver the Satyajit Ray Memorial lecture on Saturday said, the director had appreciated his performance in Ketan Mehta's Hindi film “Mirch Masala”.
“So many times, I had wished to write a letter to Satyajit Ray requesting a role but I did not muster the courage. Now I regret why I didn't. A film by Ray never happened to me,” he said.
Naseeruddin, who has starred in films like “Aakrosh,” “Dirty Picture”, “Masoom”, “Mandi”, “Paar”, “A Wednesday”, “Sarfarosh”, “Monsoon Wedding” and “Iqbal” besides other Bollywood commercial films like “Mohra” and “Trimurty”, recalled that “I had met Manikda (as Ray was known to his near and dear ones) when I was a 22-year-old student of National School of Drama in Delhi watching Ingmar Bergman's Silence' at Max Mueller Bhavan when he sat before me.”
“I remember I could not watch the film properly. How can you with the 'Pather Panchali' maker sitting in your front row?” the actor said.
Naseeruddin plays a butcher in an upcoming Bengali film “Khasi Katha” who is about to slaughter a “khasi” or a goat when the animal pleads for its life and turns into a chronicler of events.
“Khasi is the human conscience which mirrors our self. It also narrates the story of underdogs, including a female boxer,” he said adding “I haven't seen the film but I have expectations from it going by my shooting experience.”
In the film, Naseeruddin talks with the animated version of the goat with the voice- over done by popular Bengali comedian and character actor Kanchon Mallick.