Nana Patekar Opens Up About Personal Tragedy and Career Decisions

Veteran actor Nana Patekar, known for his riveting performances and distinctive voice, recently sat down for an interview where he delved into some of the most challenging and formative experiences of his life. In a candid conversation with The Lallantop, Patekar opened up about the loss of his young son, who was born with multiple disabilities and passed away at the tender age of two. This heart-wrenching experience, along with the loss of his elder brother and his struggles with anger, has profoundly shaped the man and actor we know today.

Nana Patekar’s personal tragedies are as heart-wrenching as any script he has acted in. Reflecting on his childhood, Patekar recalled the harrowing times he faced due to his abusive mother. “My mother was abusive and would beat me regularly. She was unyielding and never showed any sign of sadness, even when her eldest son, my elder brother, died tragically as a teenager after falling from a building,” he said. This early exposure to harsh realities formed the backbone of the temperament that Patekar would later be known for.

In the interview, Patekar talked at length about his son, who was born with a cleft palate and had difficulties seeing through one eye. Despite the physical challenges his son faced, Patekar shamefully admitted that his first thoughts were selfish. “My elder son was born with a cleft palate, he also had difficulty seeing through one eye. The first thought that ran through my mind when I’d see him like this was, ‘What will people think about me, that my son looks like this.’ Imagine what a terrible man I am. My first worry was what people would say about me, not him,” he recalled.

The loss of his son was a significant turning point in Patekar’s life. He named his son Durvasa, after the angriest rishi in Hindu mythology. The name, he felt, was fitting given the anger that had always simmered inside him. “He died at the age of two-and-a-half, but he taught me so much. He’s the triggering point. It happens…” he said, his voice tinged with a mixture of pain and introspection.

Remarkably stoic, Patekar revealed that he has adopted a ‘chin-up’ attitude through the adversities he has faced.

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. “I’ve always had a chin-up attitude. I don’t cry. I cry only in the movies, and I do that for money,” he said. In reality, the actor has channelled his grief and rage into his performances, a therapeutic process that has brought him critical acclaim and innumerable fans.

Patekar’s personal life has also had its share of complexities. He revealed that he and his wife have been living separately for years. She has been taking care of his elderly mother while he has been away focusing on his career. This arrangement, though unconventional, seems to have worked for them.

Turning to his professional life, fans of the ‘Welcome’ franchise will be disappointed to learn that Nana Patekar and his co-star Anil Kapoor will not be returning in the upcoming installment of the popular series. The pairing of Uday bhai and Majnu bhai, characters portrayed by Patekar and Kapoor respectively, became iconic and were beloved by audiences.

Discussing the decision, Patekar credited the success of the 2007 film to its director, Anees Bazmee. He shared that he was initially skeptical about playing Uday bhai and only agreed after Bazmee swore on his mother that the role would suit him. “But it wouldn’t have been complete if Anil and I weren’t doing it together. If Anil and I are there, then only Welcome is possible. If you remove me, then he alone can’t make Welcome and vice-versa,” Patekar reasoned.

The veteran actor’s reflections offer a rare glimpse into the heart and soul behind the stoic exterior we see on screen. His journey, marked by profound personal loss and a unique professional path, continues to captivate and inspire. As he navigates the complexities of both his personal life and professional decisions, Patekar remains a compelling figure in the world of cinema.

With his characteristic mix of raw honesty and emotional depth, Patekar leaves his mark not just through his performances but through the real-life stories that have shaped him. Whether or not he sheds tears only for the camera, one thing remains clear: Nana Patekar’s experiences and emotions continue to resonate deeply with his audience.

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