As we wonder aloud, shell shocked by his untimely demise, we think, is Nirmal Pandey really no more. Leaving a void that is hard to fathom, especially for his wife and two kids, Nirmal"s death has sent shock waves across the film and television fraternity. Actors, directors, producers, crewmembers, people who have worked, shared memories and moments with this versatile actor remember him as a great actor and a wonderful person.
This National School of Drama graduate begged to be different. With his unconventional looks he wasn"t one to be confined into the stereotypical Bollywood chocolate boy mould, and perhaps that is why he was in a league of his own.
Who can forget the devilish Vikram Mallah of 'Bandit Queen" or the two-timing Adi of 'Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin". He took our breath away as he stood out as the only man to not shy away from portraying the role of a pariah hijra in 'Daayraa".
Certainly this is a loss to mourn, as a unique actor is snubbed into nothingness with only memories to linger and some unsaid grouses. Bollywood and television personalities come forward with their condolences for this star who shone in his own sky…
Shahrukh Khan: I will miss Nirmal Pandey. He was a great talent. May his soul rest in peace. He was a simple and a nice guy and a wonderfully quirky actor. I wish I had worked with him more often after 'One 2 Ka 4". Shekhar Kapur: Nirmal Pandey was a terrific actor and human being who had yet to achieve his full potential.
Seema Biswas: I hate the thought itself that Nirmal is no more. I am unable to accept it. We started our film career together with 'Bandit Queen". Apart from being a fantastic actor, one thing which I liked about him was his protective and caring nature, especially towards women. For me, he will always be alive in my memories. I always want to remember his smile and his lively nature.
Raza Murad: Nirmal was like a son-in-law to me, for he was married to the daughter of good friend of mine. His early demise is not just professional, but a personal loss as well. I wonder how can a person like him, who was health conscience, very particular about fitness, die of cardiac arrest? I"m running short of words for a wonderful human being like him.
Nafisa Ali: Though I didn"t get to interact with him much during the shoot of 'Lahore"; I must say we have lost a young life and an extremely talented actor. It"s tragic to know about the sudden demise of a wonderful person like Nirmal. Nobody can replace a talent like Nirmal Pandey.
Tara Deshpande: Nirmal was one film old ('Bandit Queen") when I began my career with 'Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin". I found a more mature actor in Nirmal which never looked one film old. He was simple, gentle and an amazingly talented man. I remember, he had to play a transvestite in Amol Palekar's 'Daayraa" where again we shared screen space. I remember he was so reluctant to shave off his hair initially and we continuously teased him, but finally he did it and gave a commendable performance. I met him a long time back and would regret not seeing him anymore now.
Shiv Sagar: We, at Sagar Arts, were shocked to hear about the sudden demise of Nirmal Pandey. Nirmal was a great actor; he played an important negative role in 'Hatim". We shared a wonderful association with him. His death is a huge loss to film and television fraternity.
Sunjoy Waddhwa: His sudden and untimely death came as a shock, for just a few days ago we were in talks for another show. I remember after giving 100 percent to his work during shoots, he would keep musical evenings for us. He would sing and entertain us for hours; it was such a nice gesture. An international face like him representing India… I feel it"s a huge loss…
Mayank Anand: Nirmal Pandey was a phenomenal actor. I had a wonderful experience working with him. The best thing I learnt from him is the word 'humility". He would preach as 'no matter how far you go in life, be kind to people". I still remember those words and follow them.
Rahil Azam: It was a rude shock to hear the news of Nirmal Bhai"s death. He was like an elder brother to me. I admired his simplicity and down-to-earth nature. Interestingly, he was quite different in real than his on-screen portrayal. He had a strong personality. I remember while we were shooting for 'Hatim" in Gujarat, he would travel with us in trains despite being given the option of air travel. Till date he used to travel by trains and would say, 'I am not special; everyone should be equally treated". The incident had touched my heart. He was a man of dignity and great talent, his death is a great loss.
'Na Dard Theherta Hai…Na Aansu Rukte Hain…Tumhe Dhund Raha Hai yaar…Hum Kaise Karen Ikraar…Ki Haan Tum Chale Gaye...Chithi Na Koi Sandesh Janne Who Kaunsa Desh Jahan Tum Chale Gaye..."