A picture of Sai Paranjpye teaching Farooq Sheikh how to smoke, is doing the rounds of social media. It’s taken on the sets of Chashme Buddoor, with Saeed Jaffrey overlooking the director-actor duo with fondness. Paranjpye first caught everyone’s eye with 1979’s Sparsh starring Naseeruddin Shah & Shabana Azmi. Shah essayed the role of a blind man and gave arguably his best performance in a career filled with superlatives.
She then went on to make Chashme Buddoor – her most loved film, that also inspired a remake by David Dhawan starring Ali Zafar, Siddharth and Taapsee Pannu.
Paranjpye also made Katha, a familiar rom-com starring Naseeruddin Shah and Farooq Sheikh. She managed the difficult task of recruiting Zakir Hussain in his only Hindi film, 1997’s Saaz.
In an era when parallel cinema was filled with the likes of Shyam Benegals and Govind Nihalanis… Paranjpye was a refreshingly different voice. And no, not because of the cigarette.