As I met Sardar Paramjit Singh Sohi nay Sardar Sohi on the locale of local shoot of Punjabi Film Atte Di Chidi, in Surrey BC, I saw him at ease with all the artistes and others- the distinguished few.
As I settled for deliberations with, Sardar Sohi, the first impression came to my mind was that this artiste felt settled and satisfied about his forays in his chosen field. As I walked the talk, Mr.Sohi, a 69 years young Scorpion, is in original was born in a village named Tibba in Sangrur Distt. He was born to parents Dr.Shivdev Singh (father) and Sardarni Saroop Kaur (mother).
Once an artist performs or does a piece on the stage, he/she becomes or get known for thatpiece. I think that’s why some artists have stage names as you know. Towards an ocular proof, Gabbar Singh is a character being made immortal via Hindi film Sholay. Likewise, Paramjit was given the title name “Sardar Sohi” by his mentor Harpal Tiwana-who was one of the most prominent Punjabi playwrights of all time.
As they say coming events cast their shadows before; because one pursues his passion unknowingly. He did theatre for 12 years in succession. As a teenager he used to copy various roles played by actor Dharminder and Dara singh in front of a mirror Jagga Daku-a Dara singh film, was his first film he watched in a theatre.
As they say, one is known by the company one keeps, he learned theatre in the company of Nasserudin Shah, Amrish Puri, Raj Babbar, Girija Shanker, Om and Gurdas Mann to quote a privileged few.
In theater artists make use of everything — gestures, sounds, words, love, hate anger, crying, screams, light, darkness –and rediscovers themselves, precisely at the point where themind requires a language to express its manifestations. This is how theatre and films touch human lives and thereby create or recreate all existing and possible characters in the society.
To cap it all, he understood the nuances of playing theatre from doyens of Pollywood, husband-wife duo, Mr. Harpal Tiwana and Neena Tiwana. Both loved him from the core of their hearts; courtesy his passion for the craft, his constancy to the purpose and honesty of commitment.
Towards his achievements, in early years of his life he did play prominent roles in
• Loung da lishkara- a Film by Harpal Tiwana
• Diva bale saari raat– a Film by Harpal Tiwana
• Loha kutt– a play by Balwant Gargi
• Chamkaur di garhi-a play by Dr. Harcharan
Taya Naara- a character played by Sardar Sohi in Loung da lishkara was a remarkable one, which is still fresh in the minds of the viewers. In 1980-81 he played Maha Pandit and Lord Hanuman in a theatrical performance named Punjabi Ramayan. With alacrity, poise, pride, love and respect he repeatedly quoted the name of Tiwana duo as thearchitects of his career in theatre and films in Punjabi as well as Hindi. As a mark of respect, he owes his success to Tiwana’s.
When I asked him in how many films he has worked; he was now quickly rummaging his chequered journey down the lane of time i.e. over 4 decades; and with a deep breath quoted that,” May be in over 100 films. I do not remember the exact count.”
In 1987 he shifted to Mumbai and remained there till 2011. Then compelled by the love and affection for Punjab and her denizens he shifted back to Punjab again. During his stay in Mumbai spanning over 24 years he worked in various Hindi films and serials. To quote, a few, he worked in:
• Elaan with Akshay Kumar
• Divya Shakti with Ajay Devgun
• Mirza Ghalib (serial) made by renowned lyricist, producer and Director Gulzar Sahib
• Tehkikaat (serial) by Goldy anand
At present he is passing through the best part of life. He is single, not ready to mingle. No family baggage. His passion is his profession He is moving like a free bird and is very friendly. Looked like he left his ego back home in India.
Tiwana duo’s two ventures into film making Long Da Lishkara and Diva Bale Sari Raat became landmarks in Punjabi cinema. Sohi worked in both films, because as an artiste he ranked very high in their eyes.
When asked in the next five years, where he see himself, calmly he stated,” I am there in every 2nd Punjabi film and want to work in succession and be very high in my area of specialization.”
Long Live this lovely character!!!!
Prof. Surinder Kochhar (Shaun)
LPN, FCN, M.Com, CAIIB, DIM A freelance writer with 36 Years Exp. A Health Coach of University of Victoria