Om Puri’s movies always came packed with drama and entertainment, and yes, great dialogue – be they his early arthouse films or later commercial ventures. Even his foreign collaborations were peppered with heart-left lines that were delivered with great eloquence. Much of this can be credited to his deep voice and nuanced acting, and it made Puri once one of the best actors of our time.
To pay homage to this fine actor, we’ve combed through his filmography to bring to you some of his most memorable lines. As the world mourns his loss, let us celebrate his life as it unfolded on screen with his best dialogues.
Mazhab insaanon ke liye banta hai, mazhab ke liye insaan nahi bante…
Translation: Religion is made for humans, not the other way around
Movie: Oh My God
Most wars are fought over religion. We forget that religion was created to unite us around a common set of beliefs, not to harm us. Playing a Muslim lawyer in Oh My God, Om Puri delivers this important truism that becomes a leitmotif throughout the movie.
Har insaan ko zindagi mein ek baar pyar zaroor karna chahiye, pyar insaan ko bahut achcha bana deta hai…
Translation: Every person should fall in love at least once in life. Love has the power to transform a person
Movie: Pyaar Toh Hona Hi Tha
He plays a channa-loving faux love doctor in this Ajay Devgn-Kajol starrer, which is a blatant rip-off of French Kiss. Puri, who is out to reform the hero, delivers this gem of a dialogue when he sees how love begins to transform him.
Yakeen ko hamesha waqt ke peeche chalna chahiye, aage nahi…
Translation: Give things some time before you start believing in them
Slightly philosophical, it’s a truth we’d all do well to remember. So yes, build trust over time.
Draupadi teri akele ki nahi hai … hum sab shareholder hai…
Translation: Draupadi doesn’t belong just to you, we are all shareholders
Movie: Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro
Giving a humorous twist to an epic like Mahabharata is no easy feat, which is why Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro enjoys cult status even today, after releasing in 1983. This was an iconic line from one of the most talked about, satirical scenes in the film.
Jung koi bhi ho, nateeja kuch bhi ho… ek sipahi apna kuch na kuch kho hi deta hai…
Translation: No matter the war, no matter the outcome… a soldier always loses something
Movie: China Gate
At a time when even the Supreme Court demands patriotism from us, and ex-soldiers stage protests over OROP’s implementation, it is pertinent to remember this line from Om Puri’s oeuvre of movies. While the dialogue is self-explanatory, the deeper implications of what it says – and what it really means to be a soldier – needs to be pondered upon.
Jab ek corrupt aadmi marti hai toh uski satta khatam hoti hai … aur jab ek sacha aadmi marta hai toh uski satta shuru hoti hai
Translation: When a corrupt man dies, his power ends. But when an honest man dies, that’s when his power begins
Movie: Ghayal Once Again
Remember that lone figure standing up against those tanks at Tiananmen Square, and remember Anna Hazare’s fast unto death. Sometimes, it takes just one upstanding person to shake-up the system.
Paramparaon ki lakeerein jab dhundli padh jaati hai … toh nayi lakeerein kheenchne se parhez nahi karna chahiye
Translation: When the lines of traditions become blurry, we shouldn’t worry about drawing new ones
There’s a constant clash of ‘cultures’ (read: traditional vs what the traditionalists liked to called a ‘Westernised culture). But instead of trying to ‘save our culture’, why can’t both factions follow this simple advice and keep everyone happy?
The gods have not made it easy to be a human being…
Movie: City of Joy
It inspires such feels. Let’s all agree that humans are perfectly imperfect and get on with life.
If you have a spice, use it! Don’t sprinkle it. Spoon it in!
Movie: The Hundred Foot Journey
This Indo-French movie is as delicious as it looks on screen. And this dialogue, which captures all the essence of cooking an Indian dish, is as good as it gets. Relish this movie with a delicious dish by your side for a truly memorable experience.
Marne se pehle mere baal dye kara dena, I want to die young…
Translation: Dye my hair before I die, I want to die young
Movie: Awara Paagal Deewana
A nudge to our narcissism and desire to have a beautiful death, this one dialogue made Puri the star of the show.
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Cover Image Courtesy: YouTube Screengrab