Kader Khan’s Movie,”Parichaye “ Which Was To Be Directed By Him Was All About The Images We Create Of Ourselves And The Consequences Thereof
Although he has had a long and eventful career in Hindi cinema and could not be grudged some R&R,
Kader Khan is not content to put his feet up yet. He is planning his next venture as director with the film, ‘Parchayee’. “No one can really see themselves. We have to always look for our own shadow either in the mirror or in water. We have to create our own image. If from this image of ourselves we take out all evil, what is left is a good human being. But if we live with a fabricated image of ourselves, we will soon dwindle into nothing,” says Kader Khan explaining the premise of ‘Parchayee’.
Chasing shadows, we delve into the past of the actor, script writer, and director. He remembers his acting days at Ismail Yusuf College and his entry into films from there… “Dilip Kumar wanted to watch this play of mine. I told him he would have to be seated five minutes before the play began and he could not leave the theatre before the play ended, unless, of course, he did not like the play. He agreed. He liked the play so much, he asked me to write the script of the films that later became ‘Sagina Mahato’ (made in Bengali and later remade in Hindi as ‘Sagina’) and ‘Bairaag’. He offered me Rs15,000 to write the two films. I couldn’t say no, simply because not only was I getting an entry into the film industry but my salary would go up from just Rs 350 to Rs15,000. I am not materialistic, but I needed money to exist,” Kader Khan reminisces.
During his early days in the industry he tried to hold on to his job as a professor at H. Saboo Siddik College of Engineering, but found he could spare little time for his students. They were very accommodating, however. He recalls, “I would finish my work at RK Studios late in the night. My students would be waiting for me to teach them. They would apply balm on my head and offer me tea and in return I would teach them until the wee hours of the night.”
He continues, “During my filmy career I have worked with many female actors and I shared a good rapport with one and all. But I never believed in carrying any relationship beyond the sets. I worked with one and all, enjoyed it, and after the shoot of the film was completed, that would be the end of our friendship. Unlike today, when actors go a step ahead and start sharing live-in-relationships which are meant to be broken.”
His remembrances include fond mention of Rekha, who remains his favourite. “In the film, ‘Natwarlal’, I would often yell at Rekha. While enacting a scene in ‘Natwarlal’ she would love to go close to the lion being used in the scene and touch it. I would always yell at her saying, ‘Tujhe kat lega ya phir panja marega toh kya karegi… pagal ladki uske paas mat ja’ (What will you do if it bites you or claws you… foolish girl, don’t go near the lion).
She would retort ‘sab se takatwar ek pathan hota hai, jab mere paas pathan hai toh sher ki kya jurat ki mujhe panja mare’ (A pathan is the strongest of all, when I have a pathan near, the lion wouldn’t dare to claw me). She is a cool actor. Even today when our vehicles pass each other she halts, shakes hand with me or gets out of the car and greets me. Isn’t that great?” says Kader Khan with a smile.
A pious man, Kader Khan is well versed in the Quran and in Hindu scriptures too. “I have been teaching the law of the Quran to people for some time now. I believe knowing the basics of Islam is important. Without knowing the basics of the Quran one cannot be a true Muslim. I have also appointed learned men to write the ‘shlokas’ from the Bhagavad Gita and Ramayana and bind them in a book which will soon be available for sale in the market. Unless people know the true meanings of these shlokas how will they bring piety in their feelings? For instance, people only worship Laxmi. Little do they know that without Saraswati, Laxmi is incomplete? She refuses to be accommodated all alone in your house. She is childlike at heart. She craves for her jodidar. People should not forget about worshiping Saraswati because without her Laxmi will refuse to remain in your homes.”
We wonder what else is in the pipeline for Kader Khan. He divulges, “Another film/play titled ‘Ansari’ will see me play the protagonist. You will see the life of the real Kader Khan as ‘Ansari.’”
Alas! This was our last interaction with the Iron Man’ none other than Kader Khan who went ahead in life to make a name for himself with sheer hard work and his intelligence in dialogue writing as well being par excellence in acting too.
Today, though he is not with us but his teachings and his films will always remain with us.
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