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Farooq Sheikh: Common Man's poster boy leaves our Saath Saath...

December 28, 2013 01:29:53 PM IST
By Enkayaar, Glamsham Editorial
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Today when a monumental achievement would be made for the common man when a government of the common man takes office in Delhi, the face of the common man, Farooq Sheikh leaves for the heavenly abode and the void he would leave behind would be difficult to fill for long times to come. Farooq Sheikh was geniality personified, gentleman to the core and was a living epitome of a culture which was characterized by respect for all and sundry.

Right from the time when he made his debut in GARAM HAWA, he had carved a niche for himself as the boy next door or the man next door who had the ability to endear with his gentle face, and the quintessential smile on his face, shot through and through with vulnerability which perhaps was the by-product of the culture which he epitomized. No wonder, he appeared out of sorts in a film like YEH JAWAANI HAI DEEWANI where he appeared as father of Ranbir Kapoor or even in SHANGHAI where he enacted the role of a wily bureaucrat.


Farooq Sheikh was in his elements when he enacted the role of a common man, be it in the film like CHASHME BADDOOR, or SAATH SAATH, or even a BAZAAR where he enacted the role of a rickhshaw puller or an UMRAO JAAN where he was a nawab, refining the role of the nawab that he had enacted in Satyajit Ray's SHATRANJ KE KHILADI and brought a sense of conviction to the role, not allowing it to veneer to exaggeration as it is normally done when a character of Nawab is enacted in a film. Even in KATHA where he had played the role of a conman who was interested in fun and frolic and not seriousness in relationship he was not that convincing, as he was when he enacted the role of common man suffering at the hands of the system and the society, but stoically waging the battle and he brought a sense of conviction to his performances in such roles and those which can be included under this category would be NOORIE, ANJUMAN etc.

Farooq Sheikh was perhaps fortunate enough that he got such directors who understood those times, which he created through his performance, included in this list were Muzaffar Ali, Shyam Benegal, Sai Paranjape, Satyajit Ray, Saagar Sarhadi etc., and they allowed the artist in him to blossom out with her performance. His was also among the most successful cases of transition from films to television when he hosted a show- 'Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai', which brought about perhaps for the first time film stars face-to-face in a television channel and through his sense of humor and humility created a show that was awaited with anticipation and for those who have missed it out (happened about a decade ago) Zee TV perhaps would re-telecast them to tell the world what a fine performer he was.

He also came into his elements through his successful debut on the stage along with Shabana Azmi in 'Tumhaari Amrita' which re-created the era of letter writing and drove home the point that it was one art that needed revival. His illustrious career ultimately got recognition nationally when he was conferred the National Award as Best Supporting Actor in 2010 for LAHORE.

Farooq Sheikh was the star of parallel cinema, but his parallel cinema was not arty type but it was cinema that underlined the pain and pathos of the common man, the urban common man living on the fringes and with Deepti Naval, with whom he had most successful paring in this genre of cinema, he could indeed bring about a conviction in performance in all the films in which they acted together. No wonder when they were paired after more than a decade in LISTEN AMAYA they could bring about the same sense of romance that they had depicted when they were paired together in their heydays. The chemistry of pairing indeed was amazing and neither of them could have the same chemistry when they acted opposite each other.

If one were to sum up the outreach of his persona, nothing would best encapsulate it than the lines from his film BAZAAR-देख लो आज हमको जी भर के कोई आता नहीं फिर मर के, but in case of Farooq Sheikh while he may come back after having passed away, the rich repertoire of performances that he has left behind would continue to endear the fans and aficionados of cinema for all times to come.




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