Mereko kuch nahi pata, mein to kal hi mulk se aaya. Bol na be
~ Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s first lines in Hindi cinema

Even a glimpse is enough to know a good actor from remaining 95 per cent and 139 seconds of Nawazuddin Siddiqui from 14 years ago was enough for me. The man has delivered such astounding performances that the National Film Awards jury thought it appropriate to honour him with a Special Jury Award for his roles in four films – Kahaani, Gangs of Wasseypur, Talaash and Dekh Indian Circus in a single year.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui's 139-second long Bollywood debut in Sarfarosh (1999)

Back in 1999, in a police lock-up scene that, as I mentioned, lasted for about 139 seconds, Nawazuddin hinted with his bit performance that he was destined for bigger and better things. I didn’t know his name then, but after watching Black Friday in 2007, my memory went on rewind and paused at Sarfarosh. I rewatched the VCD from my collection to verify. “But the best is Nawazuddin, playing the role of Asgar Muqadam (Tiger Memon’s secretary manager),” I said in my review of Black Friday.

Such is he that even in a little role he overshadows the lead actor, observed someone during an office discussion on the actor. There are only a few like that.

And here’s where the Nawaz phenomenon began. Watch.

Watch: Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Sarfarosh (1999)