One of India’s finest actors, Farooque Shaikh, passed away on Saturday due to massive heart attack. The veteran actor was on a holiday with his wife and two daughters in Dubai. Shaikh leaves behind numerous critically acclaimed films to his credit, along with memories which will always be cherished by people around him. Film fraternity talks about the acting stalwart...
What a way to to end the year! The news of his death was devastating. This was no time for him to go. Farooque was such a sportsman. And this was most unsportsmanlike exit. 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 the playful one-upmanship between the two, Naseeruddin Shah and him, the teasing and ribbing between these two stalwarts was so precious. Farooque 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. During the shooting of Chashme Buddoor in Delhi, one of our light boys fell from the roof. He had to be hospitalised. Farooque would quietly visit the injured lightman, pay for his treatment. He was an angel.
I am feeling numb... Farooque sir was my constant inspiration, guide and teacher. He plays a father figure in the film Youngistan. After every shot, his critical feedback helped me better my skills as an actor. I cherish his one particular message after a crucial scene, where he praised me for growing as an actor from the time the film shoot started. He met me a day before and gifted me a pen.
My God! I can’t believe he’s gone. After the death of Bhupenda I rapidly seem to be losing all my friends. Farooque was one my closest friends, an absolute sweetheart and an angel of a man.
He wanted me to see his new film Club 60. And now he’s gone. I’ve seldom come across anyone as well-read and erudite as him. He was a political liberal and an absolutely simple unostentatious man. He never owned a car and lived in a rented home all his life. He never drank or smoked and yet he died of a heart attack!
I can’t believe he’s gone so suddenly and so cruelly! Is that any way to go? And those poor girls, his wife and daughters trying desperately to get him back to India, not knowing how to cut through the international diplomatic rules... it’s so unfair. We were close friends from before we worked together. We were in college together. We did the play Tumhari Amrita together for 25 years.
I am so shocked to hear of the demise of Farooque saab, I had the honour to be his co-star in Accident On Hill Road. He was so soft spoken and humility was his second name, he was a class of actors which was in a league of its own ...such a loss to our film fraternity.