It was sad to see poor turn-out at Pranji's funeral: Shatrughan Sinha



On Saturday morning, Pran's family and friends bid him a final farewell. Sadly enough the turn-out at the cremation was very poor.

Shatrughan Sinha, who cancelled his trip to Patna to attend the funeral, said: "There is no doubt Pranji was an institution. He has inspired generations of actors, including me. When I heard of his passing away I immediately cancelled my trip to Patna to attend."

At the funeral, Shatrughan Sinha was dismayed to look at the number of people who turned up. "I saw very few people from the film industry. A man who gave 70 years of his life to the film industry deserved a much more hefty send-off."

Recalling Satyajit Ray's condolence meeting at Mehboob Studios on the doyen's death, Shatrughan Sinha says, "This was Satyajit Ray who brought renown to Indian cinema and to the nation, the only Indian to win both the Oscar and the Bharat Ratna. And there was hardly anyone at the condolence meet. At Pranji's funeral on Saturday I was sadly reminded of Mr Ray's condolence meet."

Shatrughan Sinha says he was greatly influenced by Pran. "I used to copy his hairstyle from Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai during my college days in Patna. Later I got the chance to work with Pranji in films like Ganga Tera Paani Amrit, Buniyaad and Vishwanath. In Mere Apne, I paid Pranji a tribute by copying that idiosyncrasy of his from Jis Desh Mein Ganta Behti Hai whereby he kept scratching his neck. Pranji did almost 400 films. Indian cinema is a 100 years old, and he was there for 70 of those 100 years. Very few can equal that record. I'd say Pranji was a true achiever and a source of inspiration for generations of actors."