The gentle actor of serious roles is no more. A flair for doing serious roles with natural ease as well as light comedy films with his own brand of comic timing, this soft-spoken, mild-mannered, true gentleman of films bid his farewell on the 27th of this month in Dubai following a massive heart attack while on holiday with family.
Bollywood was in a state of shock following the sudden demise and condolence messages and tributes poured through micro blogs from all quarters of Bollywood. Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Boman Irani, Shaan, direct
ors, producers, heroines of his time and current poured accolades and put in their words of condolence for this gentle soul.
The suddenness in life is best described by two blogs. Shaan who said that he and Farooque had been on the same flight to Delhi just the week before and spent the time well, while Boman said that they were to shoot together on the day he passed away.
I am sure his FTII pals and other close friends like Deepti Naval, Saeed Jaffrey, Ravi Baswani, Rakesh Bedi,
Amol Palekar and the likes who shared a common bond with him in doing off beat films in parallel cinema would definitely remember their good times together with him much more.
Starting his Bollywood journey in movies with films like Shatranj Ke Khiladi, Gaman, Noorie where he had notable contributions, he went on to do lighter roles as a male lead in films like Chashme Baddur, Kisi Se Na Kehna where he displayed his talent for lighter romantic stuff and comedy. His pairing with Deepti Naval was fairly successful and the two did several films together like Saath Saath, Chashme Baddur, Kisi Se Na Kehna, Katha, and a few more.
He also had a fairly good run after 1988 on the small screen for a few years in serials like Chamatkar, Ji Mantriji, Srikanth and as host of the well-liked talk show Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai. He returned to the big screen to Saas Bahu Aur Sensex and Lahore, for which he received the Best Supporting Actor’s award. Club60 which he did in 2013 was his last film before he was snatched away.
In real life he actually came through as the philosopher and shaayar that his films showed and his talk show was marked with a lot of profound and meaningful sayings, shaayari and the light Farooque brand of humour which kept the crowd entertained and enlightened.
Even today his play with Shabana Azmi called Tumhari Amrita which did a successful run for 12 years including international audiences is well-remembered. The sequel to the play Aap Ki Soniya with him and Sonali Bhendre was to Indian audiences and received well.
Unnati salutes this gentle-hearted soul who always had a genial smile, an earnestness about his face and that melancholy deep-thinking look in his eyes which said a lot. He will always be fondly remembered for his roles on-screen and his good-natured self outside it.
May his soul rest in peace!