May 19|2009

MUMBAI: ‘An entire era of cinema passed away with him,’ that’s how superstar Amitabh Bachchan remembered his mentor director Prakash Mehra.

Mehra, who passed away on Sunday after multiple organ failure, gave Bachchan his first success and the much loved ‘Angry Young Man’ image through blockbuster film ‘Zanjeer’. The duo later delivered back to back hits like ‘Laawaris’, ‘Muquaddar ka Sikander’ and ‘Sharabi’.

“Prakash Mehra passed away early this morning. An entire era of cinema and my association with him passed away with him,” Bachchan wrote in his blog.

Ironically, it was through Bachchan’s blog that public first came to know about Mehra’s illness a fortnight ago.

Bachchan and Mehra were one of the most successful actor-director duo in the 70s and gave some memorable hits together.

“A long fruitful and incredible period of his remarkable films that he did with me, flashed past. His first meeting with me at Raj Kamal studio where he had come to cast me in ‘Zanzeer’ in 1971 right through to the mid 80’s, year after year of unbelievable successes,” the superstar added.

It was widely reported that Mehra had a fallout with the actor after their last film ‘Jaadugar’ failed at the box office but the actor had dismissed the allegations in his blog.

Talking about their last movie together, Bachchan said, “He had always maintained that the day I cannot make a successful film with you I shall stop working with you. He never did anything after ‘Jaadugar’”.

The actor said Mehra was a “simple man who had the capacity to narrate great stories through the medium of cinema in the most simple manner”.

Bachchan remembered him as a “writer, a lyricist, a musician” saying, “He added all these qualities to his creativity behind the camera and gave me some of my most challenging roles.”

The mega star also rued the fact that Mehra was never recognised for his contribution to the cinema.

“Never rewarded by any institution. And never sought one either. His films have lived out longer than him.

A true mark of excellence. A friend and a colleague, gone forever,” Bachchan wrote.