We all know about today's stars and have our favourites from the industry whom we follow with all our heart. Whether their songs or movies turn out good or bad, we make sure that we promote them poora zor laake
But how about the yesteryear actors??Let me tell you about one such successful actor who died a very controversial death!
Our Punjab da puttar
Dharmendra had a cousin brother named Veerendra, who was a very sought after actor in the Punjabi films, during the 80s, when Dharmendra moved to Bollywood. Both the brothers were born in the same house in Phagwara where Dharmendra also used to stay during the completion of his education. Besides being a successful actor, Veerendra was a director, producer and writer who made nearly 25 films in his 12-year career including Lambardarni
and Yaari Jatt Di
. He also tried his hand at Hindi films such as Khel Muqaddar Ka
(1981) and Do Chehere
Veerendra, originally known as Veerinder Singh, was introduced in a film called Teri Meri Ek Jindri, released in 1975, which also starred Dharmendra.
Here are some facts that the one can get from online portals about this actor:
- Veerendra was born on 16th August 1948.
- He was the cousin of mighty Dharmendra which is the reason why the latter made special appearances in many of Veerendra's movies.
- He was assassinated by a gunshot on 6 December 1988, during the shoot of Jatt Te Zameen and it is believed that his popularity made others jealous which led to this killing.
- His wife's name is Pammi Veerender Kaur, who had directed son Randeep Arya in the Punjabi movie Dulha Bhatti released in 1998.
- Veerendra and Pammi have 2 sons named Randeep Arya and Ramandeep Arya.
- He along with his cousin actor Kanwar Ajit Singh (Ajit Singh Deol) brother of Dharmendra married two sisters on the same day. Ajit to Usha and Veerendra to Pammi. Usha and Pammi are sisters.
- His sons Randeep and Ramandeep are married to Deepti Bhatnagar and Chandana Sharma, respectively.
After reading these few facts, I became more inquisitive about Veerendra and through a great contact managed to get his youngest son, Ramandeep Arya's number.
Based in Mumbai, Ramandeep is the youngest of the 3 children out of Veerendra and Pammi's wedlock. Not just 2 sons, this couple even has a daughter named Monica. When I had a hearty chit chat with Ramandeep about his father, here's what he disclosed about the great human being named Veerinder Singh aka Veerendra :
"My father was a very simple guy, he loved his peeli dal and paneer more than anything else and that's what mom used to cook most of the time. He loved taking long walks,especially on a beach, be it anywhere and even used to keep walking while at home."
"A very peace loving person, he never got into unwanted fights or disputes, he liked things going smooth and easy. He had a lot of friends and our home was always full of guests. There were plenty of times when we could see people sleeping in our hall!"
"My father loved an open house, he loved to interact with people and was very social. Being from those times, he still adored my sister Monica, more than us. My elder brother, Randeep and Monica used to have a tiff most of the time because Monica had the possession of the biggest room in our house. I have literally seen them fighting over this issue. But my father was of the opinion that she deserves the biggest room in the house and more facilities because one, she is a girl and two, girls need more space than boys."I asked him about the day Veerendra was shot dead! What was the actual scenario at home?
"I was too young when he passed away but I do remember that day because a lot happened at home. Like a regular day, we were all getting ready to sleep and one was studying and the rest were fooling around at home. Suddenly the phone rang and my bua
walked into the room with some relatives. She told my mom something and my mom howled and instantly passed out. I wasn't told much about it for quite a long time because of my age."
"Ever since dad died, my mother was the one who kept us together. She took charge totally and those were times when people used to easily go back to their lives but she made sure that she kept us strong and got us going. When my father passed away, a ceremonial get together was organised and a book was published in his honour. Many dignitaries from the industry gave speeches and opened up about the simplicity and peace loving nature of my father. My mom even released 2 albums titled Vichoda Tera
- Volume 1 & 2, in the memory of my father."
"What kind of a film lover was Veerinder Ji?
", I asked him and Ramandeep replied, "He loved his culture. He always made sure that his movies carry a social message."
"I remember him saying that I learn my framing from comic books!" "He used to read a lot of Archie's comics."
"He even loved travelling and was supposedly one of the first from the industry to shoot a Punjabi film in London. I remember the film was titled Yaari Jatt Di."Veerendra was assasinated! The worldwide web says that he was shot by some insecure actors/artists from the industry, who were jealous of his achievements. How much of this is true and whom did you guys doubt upon?
"No no, that's not true. They were terrorists who shot my father. At that point in time, a lot of terrorist activities were on and as a matter of fact my father was even warned from shooting."
"As far as I know, these guys had even told dad to not come out for movies and no one was making any movies but him." "Punjab was already in chaos because of the sorry state of affairs but my father used to say that if I have to die, I could die even while crossing the road. So rather than sitting at home, I'd choose to die doing what I love. He was a very strong hearted person who didn't really get jitters too easily."How about the family now? Where are all his children and his wife?
"My mother passed away a few years ago and I must confess that she was the strongest pillar of our family who kept us all together. She was even my father's pillar of strength."
"My brother and I are based in Mumbai and are working for the industry. Randeep produces TV shows and I am into the same line as well. I have also produced a couple of TV Shows."So Ramandeep, any plans of coming to this part of the country for a project?
"Yes, I am currently writing a script and will soon be coordinating with people there but after I discuss it with my brother Sunny Deol and uncle Dharmendra. No one can guide me better than them. Rather, I have also been the script supervisor for Sunny Bhaji's Ghayal Returns."What role of film making would you prefer? Acting, production or direction?
I would like to come in as a director. As I told you earlier, I am writing a script and would love to make a realistic kind of film which carries a social message, just like my father's films. I would want to work with a new face for my film and not put any baggage onto the character because of his/her previous projects."Which ones out of your father's films are your favourite?
I love Yaari Jatt Di, Lambardarni, Sarpanch
. Probably because of my emotional connection, but I simply adore these films.Are you in touch with Veerendra Ji's co-stars?
Yes, I do meet Preeti Saproo Ji quite often, we call her massiji
and ya there are others as well who are in touch.
Thanks Ramandeep for talking to us, I think I know Veerendra, the actor much more now, thanks to you!
Long Live Punjabi CinemaSpecial thanks to Gurpreet Singh Giani - Kisaan Productions for the much needed support!
(Note: All statements and facts are disclosed by the family members of Late. Veerendra Singh. Ghaint Punjab does not take any responsibility of the authentication of the above mentioned information)