The one and only Fimfare Award winner for #Sholay, dies in penury #RIP


 

Sholay

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PTI

MUMBAI: Film editor M S Shinde (83), who edited over 100 hit films, including Sholay, died in penury here on Friday, at the PMGP Colony in a tiny 160 square feet room where he stayed with his youngest daughter Achala.. “It was old age and lack of enough finances to take care of my father in his old age.” said Achla

Shinde’s daughter Achla, who has been taking care of her father for nearly a decade, said, “It is sad the film industry forgets people once they retire. Even after the media wrote about my father’s financial and health condition nobody from the film industry came forward to help.”

Until six months ago, they were living in Parel, in central Mumbai. But the building collapsed and they were forced to shift to the slums after the building’s owner reportedly refused to help them.

“We had to shift here because the building had collapsed and there was no help as such,” Prerna , his elder daughter said.

He was keeping unwell for quite some time and was unable to pay his medical bills. The cine wing of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) had offered to help him financially.

Back in his younger days, Mr Shinde used to work on a monthly payroll of Rs 2,000 with Ramesh Sippy. He has edited most of Ramesh Sippy’s movies like Seeta Aur GeetaSholay and Shaanamong others.

The veteran also worked with producers like I S Johar and Sanjay Khan, F C Mehra and others. Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Zamanna Deewana was his last film in 1995. He had bagged the Filmfare award for best editing for Sholay in 1975.

 Sholay was nominated for nine film fare awards but it was only M S Shinde  film’s editor, and the only person to win a Filmfare award for  Sholay. He has edited over 100 movies over the years, including ‘films like SagarSeeta Aur GeetaBrahmachari and Ram Jaane. Shinde had fallen on hard times and had been living in PMGP Colony in Dharavi for the last two years. He was forced to shift there after the building he lived in Parel collapsed and the owner refused to help. Achla said, “There are so many producers who have not paid my father but he had too much self-respect to go and ask for his dues.”

Shinde did not like to talk about his condition. It was the late Dadasaheb Phalke‘s great grand daughter-in-law Mrudula who found about his condition and approached the cine wing of the MNS which has now offered to help.Veteran actor AK Hangal, who passed away last month, too had needed financial help. Bollywood came to Hangal’s rescue but Shinde and his family were left to fend for themselves.

Shinde lost his wife Prafula to cancer in 2006 and is survived by three daughters — Prerna, Achala and Renuka.

His last rites were performed in the evening at around 7.30 pm at Shivaji Park.

 

The curious case of A.K. Hangal- (1917-2012 )- Communist, tailor, actor, purveyor of senescent charm


 

ZIYA US SALAM

 
In this March 20, 2006 picture, the then President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam presents Padma Bhushan Award to veteran theatre artist A.K. Hangal, in New Delhi. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt
The HinduIn this March 20, 2006 picture, the then President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam presents Padma Bhushan Award to veteran theatre artist A.K. Hangal, in New Delhi. Photo: Rajeev Bhatt

A.K. Hangal — 1917-2012 – Communist, tailor, actor, purveyor of senescent charm

Like Benjamin Button, Avtar Krishan Hangal seemed for generations of cinemagoers to have been born old.

It didn’t matter whether it was in landmark films such as SholayNamak Haraam and Lagaan or somewhat offbeat ventures such as Shagird andShararat. Never mind whether he was called Rahim chacha, Masterji or Imam sahab. A.K. Hangal, whose roles often demanded a careworn fragility and a gentle but unwavering righteousness, was the very embodiment of senescent charm. He was cast in roles that demanded piety, playing characters that carried the burden of their virtuous poverty with a quiet and kindly dignity. That these roles mirrored the ups and downs of his own life made their portrayal all the more easier.

Perhaps it had something to do with his face that filmmakers were loath to offer him a villain’s part. Yes, of course he did break the mould sometimes, as inShaukeen, where he played, along with Ashok Kumar and Utpal Dutt, a lecherous old man. That he acted with conviction is reflected in the following anecdote. Hangal, well into his 90s then, had finished a leisurely dinner at a five-star hotel in Delhi and needed to be dropped off at a friend’s place. A girl in her 20s was assigned the task of driving him. She whispered in trepidation to her boss: “Sir, I have seen Shaukeen!” Finally, a man had to be commandeered to drive Hangal where he wanted to go.

If the girl was guilty of mixing reel with real, the film industry did no better. While everyone wanted to cast him in the role of a kindly old man, nobody spared a thought for the old man himself. Not even when he did Gurudev Bhalla’s Shararat, a film about old age home inmates, did it strike anyone that Hangal could be facing a crisis himself. It was only a couple of years ago, when his son Vijay announced there was no money for the treatment of Hangal, who suffered from multiple medical problems at the time, that the film world awakened from slumber. The industry rose like one, with Jaya Bachchan, who had acted with Hangal in BawarchiGuddi and Sholay, offering to pay for his treatment. So did others such as Mithun Chakraborty and Riyaz Gangjee, who incidentally, got Hangal to ‘walk’ the ramp on a wheel chair a little more than a year ago. Earlier this year, Hangal made a comeback of sorts, shooting for the serial Madhubala on Colors.

That was one of the rare times Hangal occupied the centre-stage. For the most part, he was on the sidelines. He did a number of films with Rajesh Khanna, a few significant ones with the Bachchans and many others. When this correspondent reminded him of his roles in a variety of films such as Tapasya,Avtaar and Sharaabi, he seemed dismissive. “Bahut role kiye hain. I have seen only 50 films of mine.” (He did 225 in all.) But he did remember Sholay. “I researched for the role, learnt Islamic hymns and tried to perfect the body language for the role of an imam,” he said.

It wasn’t an easy life for Hangal. He spent three years in jail in Karachi before coming to Bombay in 1949 with all of Rs. 20 in his pocket. Left-leaning, a member of the Communist Party, he spent many years working for the Indian People’s Theatre Association. Such were the vicissitudes of life that Hangal at one time had to take up a tailoring job to make ends meet. Like everything else, he excelled at it. Born in Sialkot in 1917, he was a late comer to the film industry. He signed Shagird when he was almost 50. But he had done plenty of theatre by then.

Films brought him stability and a degree of respect. It did not, however, translate into a comfortable house or a bank balance. His origins would haunt him now and then. Once he was dubbed anti-national by right-wing forces in Mumbai for attending Independence Day celebrations at the Pakistan Consul-General’s office. He was boycotted by filmmakers and remained out of work for two years.

Although things returned to normal, the incident left him deeply hurt. He complained: “I had come to India leaving behind everything in Karachi yet was dubbed a Pakistani!”

A lifelong Marxist, he renewed his membership of the Communist Party of India earlier this year. “I clearly remember the day Bhagat Singh was arrested, and the day he was hanged. Pathans cried and everyone walked the streets chanting ‘Bhagat Singh, Bhagat Singh’,” he told Open magazine, speaking proudly of his earliest associations with the Left.

In his autobiography, Life and Times of A.K. Hangal, he lamented Bollywood’s tendency to ignore the “complex social fabric of society” and make stereotyped films. “[Honestly] speaking, even after working in about 200 films, and getting name and fame, I often feel I am a stranger in this world because of my ideological and political background, sensitiveness and social commitments.”

On Sunday, the realities of his age finally caught up with the old man of Hindi cinema.

A.K. Hangal, actor, died on August 26 aged 95. He was born in Sialkot, now in Pakistan, on February 1, 1917.

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