Dinyar Contractor's mere entry would make the audience roar with laughter, says Burjor Patel

Updated: Jun 06, 2019, 08:30 IST | Burjor Patel

Dinyar Contractor will be missed not only by the Parsi audiences, but by everyone who has seen him perform on stage, TV and in films

Dinyar Contractor's mere entry would make the audience roar with laughter, says Burjor Patel
A scene featuring Dinyar Contractor (left) in the play Taru Maru Bakaliu. Pic/Burjor Patel

Burjor PatelDinyar is a theatre icon, who was deservedly awarded the Padma Shri last Republic Day for his contribution to theatre. A comedian par excellence, his mere entry on stage was enough to make the audiences roar with laughter. He will be missed not only by the Parsi audiences, but by everyone who has seen him perform on stage, TV and in films.

My association with him goes back to 1968 when after 12 eventful years with Adi Marzban, I was invited to launch a Parsi theatre wing under the Indian National Theatre (INT) banner. Apart from some of my colleagues from my work with Adi Marzban, we introduced a plump, chubby-faced actor called Dinyar Contractor.

Actor Shernaz Patel's parents Burjor and Ruby Patel
Actor Shernaz Patel's parents Burjor and Ruby Patel

From this first play Tirangi Temul till the recent hit Laughter In The House, it's been a long journey with me. Some of his other memorable plays with me were Buddha-e-mari-boundry, Oogi Dahapan ni Daadh (Coming of wisdom teeth), Double Savaari; we also toured USA with these three plays. And, in English, we worked together in My Darling Daughter and Cactus Flower. I can't really pinpoint his memorable roles because in every single play, whether in a small or big role, he would win the audience's applause.

Let me relate one of the many unforgettable moments. It's from a play called Taru Maru Bakaliu (bakaliu is a Parsi slang for girlfriend). A hilarious incident in the play revolved around the Gujju company boss teaching one of his Parsi staff, played by Dinyar, how to wear a dhoti. As Dinyar turns, twists, twirls and jumps in the act of wearing the dhoti, the audience roars with laughter.

Also Read: Thank you for the laughs, Dinyar Contractor

Producer and director of Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah, Asit Modi, (right, in pic) at the funeral at Worli Crematorium on Wednesday. Pics/Ashish Raje
Producer and director of Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah, Asit Modi, (right, in pic) at the funeral at Worli Crematorium on Wednesday. Pics/Ashish Raje

In the end, the boss compliments him and tells him that though "my name is Babulal Chimanlal Parikh, my friends call me BC and you may do likewise", to which Dinyar very innocently says, "Sir, you are lucky your name is not Maganlal." A bit naughty but the audience enjoyed it with laughter and applause. This line was not in the original script. Dinyar had this gift of extempore.

Burjor Patel is a veteran theatreperson

Also Read: Comedian Dinyar Contractor passes away at 79

'Dinyar was an even better human being'

'The first thing that came to my mind when I heard about Dinyarji's passing away was that everyone should lead their lives like he did. He loved being in front of the camera and behind it too and that's what he kept doing till the very end. He was an amazing artiste and even better human being. His sense of humour was simply outstanding and he had his unique style of it, something no one could replicate. He was completely natural and the timing was impeccable.

The late Dinyar Contractor
The late Dinyar Contractor

Whenever we met, I would always greet him with 'Dinyar Bapu kem cho.' I vividly remember him as a co-star on the sets of Badshah. He was around 60 then but was nothing less than a kid in a candy shop. Everyone on the sets including Shah Rukh Khan respected him and his talent. He was mischievous and would often improvise his lines and would also ask us to go with the flow. Humour came very naturally to him and he never had to make an effort to make things funny. He was always on the move and would be thinking about what to do next. His passion for learning even at this age was something that we all look up to. He will truly be missed'

-Johnny Lever

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