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AK Hangal: Forever old man of Hindi cinema passes away



August 27, 2012 11:21:48 AM IST
By Enkayaar, Glamsham Editorial
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A K HANGAL
A K HANGAL
The other night SHOLAY was coming on one of the movie channels and on another channel SHAUKEEN was being shown. Both were the films where A K HANGAL had a role to play and though the films must have had a time difference of more than a decade between themselves, in both the films A K HANGAL appeared to be of the same old age. Indeed AK HANGAL the character actor whom everybody would remember for the enactment of the role of Rahim Chacha in SHOLAY bid adieu to this world yesterday.

He was a product of Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA) and born in Peshawar he made his debut in the Hindi film industry rather late at the ripe young age of fifty years in Basu Bhattacharya's TEESRI KASAM. May be, it was the age at which he made the debut, that perhaps slotted him as the old man of Hindi cinema for all times to come, and he continued to accept such roles with dignity, as he did in the magnum opus LAGAAN as well.

AK Hangal was humbleness personified and played small but significant roles in the films between seventies and early nineties like GUDDI, PARICHAY, BAWARCHI, NAMAK HARAM, ABHIMAAN, CHITCHOR, NARAM GARAM, KHOON BHARI MAANG, KRODHI, MERI JUNG, KHALNAYAK etc. In all these films he had a small role but they formed an important part of cinematic construct. Incidentally AK Hangal acted in scores of hit films identified with Rajesh Khanna. As a matter of fact he had acted in 225 films in his career spanning over more than three decades, but sadly enough in his last days he did not have enough money to eke out survival and at that point of time he was helped by Jaya Bachchan.

In his acting career a time came when he was boycotted by the film industry as he had attended the Independence Day celebration of Pakistan and this incident left him hurt somewhere from inside.

May be he was taken in most of the films on account of his ability to enact the roles offered to him in a very natural manner. Apart from the role of Rahim Chacha in SHOLAY, Hangal's enactment of lecherous old fellow in SHAUKEEN along with Ashok Kumar and Utpal Dutt was one of the high points of his acting career. But as there was no hint of cunning in his face, he never was offered to enact the negative characters.

In his death indeed, Hindi cinema has lost one of its most recognizable old man. May his soul rest in peace!


 
 

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