CUR­TAINS FOR ALL BUT FAREWELLS FOR FEW!

Stardust (English) - - COVER STORY - Words SAN­DEEP HATTANGADI

We have of­ten heard in film­lore that grand fu­ner­als were ac­corded to the ti­tans of the in­dus­try like Bal­raj Sahni, Mo­hammed Rafi, Kishore Ku­mar, Am­jad Khan, Raj Kapoor, Pan­chamda. But the glar­ing end of the queen of tragedy, Meena Ku­mari who died in penury and was be­queathed a sad rainy farewell is also an­other tale. Different peo­ple, different strokes... For in­stance su­per­stars Ra­jesh Khanna, Vinod Khanna, Shashi Kapoor and now Sridevi were ac­corded grand fu­ner­als with a large turnout and their chau­thas too had a lot of celebs who came to pay their last re­spect. But what about ac­tors like Om Puri, Reema La­goo, Shammi ji and direc­tors like Kun­dan Shah and Neeraj Vohra who made peo­ple laugh with their films? Their end was tragic and tear­ful and not many in the in­dus­try came to pay their grand re­spect. It’s in­deed a sad state for lesser known ac­tors and peo­ple be­hind the cam­era and tech­ni­cians. Poor Neeraj Vohra had to be sup­ported for his hos­pi­tal bills by the largesse of pro­ducer Firoz Na­di­awala. But such dariyadil pro­duc­ers are very few in the in­dus­try! Su­per­stars and big­ger stars in B-town ex­cept for Big B never seem to at­tend pub­lic fu­ner­als. We spoke to a cross sec­tion of the in­dus­try to know more.

Anu­pam Kher says, “There isn’t any such bias on the part of the stars and no such in­stance of any­body from the in­dus­try be­ing ig­nored de­lib­er­ately after pass­ing away at the fu­neral or a chau­tha. But some­times a per­son is busy, is im­mersed in ur­gent work or hard pressed for time, so he can’t make it for a fu­neral but it doesn’t mean that the per­son is show­ing a dis­re­gard for the per­son who has left us.”

On the con­trary, pro­ducer di­rec­tor Me­hul Ku­mar rues, “It is the sad plight of the film in­dus­try that to­day, ev­ery­thing is about money or busi­ness, and there are no emo­tional at­tach­ments like be­fore. If you have money or you are ac­tively mak­ing films, ev­ery­one will join the band­wagon but if your film fails at the Box of­fice on Fri­day, all your so-called friends will dis­ap­pear and you will be stranded alone. It is the stark truth but one with which we all have to rec­on­cile. I can give you the in­stance of star ac­tor Jaani Raaj Ku­mar, with whom I worked in three films- Marte Dam Tak, Jung­baaz and Ti­ran­gaa. He was widely con­sid­ered as an ec­cen­tric star but he knew the ways of the in­dus­try and he told me that upon his death, no one from the in­dus­try should be in­formed and only close fam­ily and friends should be in­formed.”

If your film fails at the Box of­fice on Fri­day, all your so-called friends will dis­ap­pear and you will be stranded alone.” — Me­hul Ku­mar If one can’t make it for a fu­neral, it doesn’t mean that the per­son is show­ing a dis­re­gard for the per­son who has left us.” — Anu­pam Kher

Su­per­star Bachchan al­ways makes it a point to at­tend fu­ner­als and pay his re­spect to all the peo­ple who have passed away in the film fra­ter­nity.” — Sudha Chan­dran

Vet­eran artiste Aruna Irani dis­misses such an ar­gu­ment, and says, “It is the pre­rog­a­tive of the per­son who wants to come and pay his re­spect rather than it be­ing a forced one. It’s re­spect for the per­son who has passed away that will be the cri­te­ria for him or her to come to their fu­ner­als or chau­thas. There is a thin line be­tween the stars, char­ac­ter ac­tors and direc­tors. Stars will al­ways be given a large fu­neral and there is a clear line of de­mar­ca­tion be­tween them. Any­way, what dif­fer­ence does it make for a star or an ac­tor who doesn’t get re­spect after he is dead. But yes, if in his life­time he hasn’t been given the due re­spect, the per­son will feel bad.”

Dancer-ac­tor Sudha Chan­dran sec­onds Aruna Irani, and opines, “By and large, the film fra­ter­nity has al­ways been there for the in­dus­try peo­ple who have passed away and if there is any lack of pres­ence, it might be be­cause of work re­lated pres­sures. In my opin­ion, Reema La­goo too was given a very re­spect­ful farewell by big stars like Rishi Kapoor. But the big­gest in­stance of re­spect is from su­per­star Bachchan him­self who al­ways makes it a point to at­tend fu­ner­als and pay his re­spect to all the peo­ple who have passed away in the film fra­ter­nity.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.