Vardhan Puri, who made his debut with the thriller film 'Yeh Saali Aashiqui', feels blessed to have had the opportunity of sharing screen space with late actor-director Satish Kaushik twice in his career, including his upcoming and soon-to-release film, Vivek Agnihotri's 'Nautanki'.
Vardhan said: "Satishji has not just been a great actor and co-actor, but also a father figure, well-wisher, and someone I considered as family. I still remember when we had approached Satishji to play a very important character in my debut film 'Yeh Saali Aashiqui', he was very excited to do it as he loved the script. But sadly, our dates changed a little and he had some prior commitments, so he couldn't do the film and expressed his unhappiness at not being able to do so."
"And then there was another role that was written later which was a pivotal character who was going to introduce my character in the film and we approached Satishji again. He was so kind that he told me that he doesn't want to listen to his role because he mentioned to me that if we have got the role to him, it must be something of value and he agreed to do it within five seconds. It was just a day's shoot but we had the most amazing experience, especially all the words of wisdom he shared with us, which will never be forgotten," Vardhan said.
"I remember praying that I want to work with this beautiful human being and marvelous actor again because the experience that I had on the sets of 'Yeh Saali Aashiqui' was beyond phenomenal. And as luck would have it, within a year, filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri signed me for his next film 'Nautanki', which will be out very soon. I had the pleasure of working with the most versatile and accomplished actor Satishji again," Vardhan added.
Sharing an interesting anecdote from the sets of 'Nauntaki', Vardhan said: "I remember once calling him Satish sir on sets and he told me, 'Bete, I would prefer if you call me Satish uncle because I am family. Uncle will make it more loving. Sir se woh ek senior wali feeling aati hai. And we are equals as actors on the sets'. He was a man with a heart of gold and the kind of acting advice and performance tips he gave me will always be cherished... We shared such amazing moments... We used to have all our meals together. We used to discuss everything under the sun, not only acting and cinema.
"We were shooting for 'Nautanki' in Bhopal. One day, Satishji just called out my name and said, 'Vardhan bete idhar aana. Kal tune Anupam (Kher) ki bahot achhi photo li, meri bhi ek bahot achhi photo le... Mujhe dekhna hai mera get-up kaisa jach raha hai mere pe (Vardhan bete come here. Yesterday you clicked a very nice picture of Anupam. Take a very nice photo of me too... I want to see how my get-up is looking).
"I clicked the picture immediately and when he saw it, he said in his unique style, 'Arre yaar, badi achhi photo li hai tune. Mera ek baar photoshoot tu khud apne haathon se zaroor karna. Mazaa aa jayega! Aur saath mein bhi lenge achhi photo jo Instagram pe daalenge' (You clicked a very nice picture. You must do my photoshoot once. It will be fun. We will also take good photos together and post them on Instagram)."
"It's a great loss to humanity and our film industry that Satishji is not with us today, but I will always celebrate him through his films. I will keep loving and missing him dearly because I have not only lost a great co-actor, but I lost someone who was as good as family," Vardhan concluded.