Manoj Bajpayee on Padma Shri honour: Got it without being close to anybodyhttps://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/bollywood/manoj-bajpayee-on-padma-shri-honour-5556102/

Manoj Bajpayee on Padma Shri honour: Got it without being close to anybody

Manoj Bajpayee's family, by his own admission, had been waiting for more than five years for this honour to come his way.

manoj bajpayee photos
Bollywood actor Manoj Bajpayee opens up on being conferred with Padma Shri (Source: Instagram/manojbajpayee)

Manoj Bajpayee’s family, by his own admission, had been waiting for more than five years for this honour to come his way. The actor has finally been conferred with the Padma Shri and he is filled with a sense of validation for his 25-year-long journey.

In a conversation with indianexpress.com, Manoj shared, “All other awards are given for excellence in a role or a film. But Padma Shri is given for excellence in your journey. It’s not just about a film you have contributed to but through your art and craft the contribution you have made to the society. So, that’s a huge comment on the achievement of an artiste like me.”

Also read | Mohanlal conferred with Padma Bhushan; Padma Shri honour for Kader Khan, Manoj Bajpayee and Prabhudheva

He added, “I am not feeling any different from anybody, whose journey has been long and hard-earned. So, when you get such a civilian honour, you definitely get quite happy. You feel you did something good somewhere that you got it without being close to anybody.”

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It all began for the National Award-winning with a special appearance in a film in 1994, and the same year, Bajpayee made his presence certain and his hunger evident with his performance in Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen.

It was only a matter of years and soon, the country woke up to the star Manoj Bajpayee as Ram Gopal Varma’s Satya hit the screens. As the inimitable Bhiku Matre, Bajpayee earned applause and whistles wherever the film played, proving that he had arrived. Just when people expected him to cash in on his newly-acquired stardom, Bajpayee made it clear his choices were independent of his star status, and what followed were works like Shool, Zubeida, Aks and Pinjar.

The Padma Shri was announced on Friday evening and the congratulatory calls from friends and colleagues have not stopped since. He says it feels as if people around him have won the honour and that is the ultimate honour for him.

“All the calls and messages I have been receiving since last night from friends, colleagues and fans… I feel people are very happy with this. They feel that they have won. So, each and everyone, who is associated with me, feels they are validated and that’s the biggest honour for me,” Manoj said.

As for his family and friends, who felt the award came in a little late, the actor laughed and said, “As we say it in Hindi, ‘Der aaye durust aaye.’ So, this is not the time to crib or complain. Now, it’s finally given, I am doubly happy about it.”