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    Feb 2010


    Default TV stars say alvida to Hangal saab

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    We have been constantly writing about the observations of people from Bollywood on the demise of veteran theatre and film artiste A K Hangal who died when he was 98.

    In this piece, we speaks to a few TV actors about what they have to say about the thespian who played in important role in formation of The Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA).

    Besides having done more than 200 films, Hangal saab was also part of the TV world, having done shows like Life Line, Hotel Kingston and the ongoing show Madhubala.

    Avers Amit Verma, who acted with Hangal saab in Hotel Kingston, “I was sad to hear about the demise of Hangal ji. He had played a very interesting and important cameo in Hotel Kingston, in which he turns a hero because he saves Hotel Kingston from getting sold. Incidentally, he shared a fatherly bonding with my character Vish.

    I was the only one he interacted with during the entire shoot. I consider myself very fortunate for that. I easily recall what a wonderful person he was by the interactions I had with him. I still remember the time when we were shooting for a very emotional scene where I'm confessing my love for Shelly (co-star Sonal Sehgal). So much did he get involved with the scene that after the shot, he actually was full of tears. I regard that moment as one of the most flattering scenes of my acting life.”

    Observes veteran actor and IPTA colleague, Anjaan Srivastav, “Hangal saab played a very important role in re-starting IPTA after partition. He taught me the values of back stage work because normally, we only get to be in front. But I learnt that staying behind one gets a much wider exposure. IPTA, under Hangal saab and other veterans, has really spread our organisation to all corners of the country over the years.”

    “As an actor, he never boasted for once. In fact, when, once, I asked him how to essay a particular character he had been playing over the years, he plainly asked me to play the character as I wanted. It was years of experience working with Hangal saab that made me learn the importance of under-playing a character. This very method of acting made my character such a huge hit in Wagle Ki Duniya.”

    Observes Nauseen Ali Sarrdar, “Veteran actors like Hangal saab are like an acting institution for almost all next generation actors. I have seen his films like Bawarchi, Namak Haram, Khoon Bhari Maang and Shaukeen and have always been impressed by his work. Who can forget his famous dialogue in Sholay ‘Itna sannata kyun hai bhai? It is said that he had to face problems towards the end of his life.

    This unfortunate situation has also happened with several other veterans as well. I think the time has come that we all get together and create a fund that will help our seniors to tide them through the sunset of their lives.”

    Dimple Jhangiani, currently seen in Amrit Manthan says, “Today’s India needs to learn the values of nationalism and secularism from Hangal saab. Being a staunch leftist, he always worked for the upliftment of the weaker sections of society. The TV industry should work with IPTA to make a series of films on plays which Hangal saab was a part of. For, sadly after so many years after independence, the basic issues of poverty and social inequities have remained the same.”

    Raza Murad was very disappointed at the absence of big names at the funeral. “These big actors and producers did not have 50 minutes for somebody who gave 50 years of his life to the industry. This just goes to show that the emotions they show are false. What can you do about it for feeling can’t be bought from the market. I guess, they feel that Hangal saab was a small person who did not deserve their attention. Sadly, this is the way the world goes on.”



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