M6 A LEGEND, INTERRUPTED
Arey arrey. Yehkya hua ( What just happened)? What a way to end the year! The news of Farouque’s death was devastating.
This was no time for him to go… His death has taken us all by
shock. It’s terrible.
I was very fortunate to have worked with him in two films —
Chashme Buddoor and Katha — and I cannot tell you how
wonderful he was to work with.
During Katha, the banter and playful one-upmanship
between Farouque and Naseeruddin Shah was so precious.
Farouque would say, ‘If Naseer and I are in a shot, then it
would be Naseer’s back to the camera.’
To this Naseer would retort, ‘Yes, of course, because my back
is more expressive than your face.’
And they would go on like this. It was such a pleasure to see
Farouque and Naseer also clashed playfully on their religious
Farouque was very religious. Every Friday we’d have to relieve
him of his work so he could go and pray. But Naseer was not at
all religious. Yet he took his mother on a Haj pilgrimage.
Farouque would tease Naseer about this.
A more generous and kind-hearted human being was hard to
During the shooting of Chashme Buddoor in Delhi, one of our
light boys fell from the roof. He had to be hospitalized.
Farouque would quietly visit the injured lightman and pay for
his treatment. He said nothing about his generosity to any of us.
He was an angel.
One always says nice things about the departed. But honestly,
even if Farouque was alive, I wouldn’t have a single bad thing to
say about him.
I’d call him a big flirt. I’d say, ‘Farouque, kuch toh sharam
kijiye. You are flirting with me and with my daughter, just
because your mother is not here to see what you are up to.’
He was so sweet, so wonderful.
— Sai Paranjpye remembered Farouque Shaikh in a rare
She spoke to Subhash K Jha
Iknew Farouque from our days in the aviation industry. Both of us worked for Air India — he as a flight purser and
I as a part of the ground
We shared a mutual passion
for cinema which, we didn’t
know at that time, would
become such an integral part
of both our lives.
I worked with him in three
of my films — Gaman, Umrao
Jaan and Anjuman. I cast him
in those because I needed a
certain kind of vulnerable
quality in the characters and
he seemed to be the only one
who could portray that perfectly.
Gaman turned out to be the
first break as a leading man —
before that, he had played a
part in M S Sathyu’s widely
acclaimed Garam Hawa. I saw
him in the film and cast him
in Gaman immediately.
Farouque was pitch-perfect
as the migrant from a village in
Uttar Pradesh earning a living
in Mumbai by driving a taxi.
He actually mingled with taxi-wallas for his role in the film.
In Umrao Jaan, I cast him as
a Nawab. Though the role was
culturally far removed from
Gaman, he excelled in the role.
In Anjuman he played a
naive man free of a manipulative streak.
He was like that in real life
Was he trapped in playing
only a certain kind of roles? I
wouldn’t know. I could only
see him within the parameters
of the characters that he
played for me. We had a wonderful time working on all
— Muzaffar Ali directed
Farouque Shaikh in Umrao
He spoke to Subhash K Jha
for him to
India’s best cine stars mourn one of their
own — the legendary Farouque Shaikh