Kader Khan was a father figure to me, says Gulshan Grover | Bollywood - Hindustan Times
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Kader Khan was a father figure to me, says Gulshan Grover

Hindustan Times | By
Jan 02, 2019 12:04 PM IST

Actor Gulshan Grover goes back in time to recount his long association with late Kader Khan. He reveals how the actor was more like a guru, guardian and a father figure to him; Kader Khan passed away on Monday.

Kader Khan was a multi-talented actor, writer and thinker, much ahead of his times. The first thing that comes to my mind every time I remember him, is his smiling face. Just a few days back, [actors] Anupam Kher, Satish Kaushik and I were talking about him, how jovial and loving he used to be on film sets and even otherwise. We even thanked the almighty that the news of him no more was false. But I guess, it was time for him to spread some happiness in the other world.

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More than [being] a co-actor and a senior, Khan was like a guru, guardian, a father figure to me. Every time I would face a personal or professional issue, I would reach out to him and somehow he always knew how to deal with it. He was a patient listener; “Never ever run away from your worries, face them with all your heart and mind” is something that he would keep saying. When things around would get a bit grave he would be the first one to say, “Never stop smiling at the world...”

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Kader Khan died in Canada on Monday. (Hiten Mehta/HT Photo)
Kader Khan died in Canada on Monday. (Hiten Mehta/HT Photo)

I had the great fortune of working with him in a bunch of films, travelling to various places while shooting for them. While shooting, if somewhere we would get wrong, he would softly reprimand us “kya kar rahe ho, aise nahi, aise karo...” and then to lighten up the mood he would crack jokes and would often treat us with home-cooked food. Apart from facing the camera, he was also writing films.

While, at times, we would be busy preparing our lines on the set, he would finish his shot and then sit down to pen the dialogues. Amidst all the chaos on the set, he would just concentrate on writing, completely detached from everything that is happening around. There would be times when the filmmakers or actors would request him to change lines and he would do it. This quick and successful dissociation from one role to the other was something unique that only he could manage.

He was very fond of taking walks and I would not let the opportunity to give him company go. We would discuss about everything, family, work, what’s happening in the world and more. These were my learning sessions. After such walks, he would bathe and sit down to write again. During those times he would be a completely different man.

The fact that he could make all of us laugh our heart out, would often make me request him to not do that when I am playing a negative character. I remember, in Kasam (1988), I was playing a menacing dacoit. He and Umesh Mehra (the director of the film) were great friends and the film set was like a happy space for all of us. Since Kader ji was also a part of the film and I had scenes with him, I would often tell him to not do or say anything that would have me in splits because I had to maintain this demeanour of a dangerous man.

 

I just enjoyed watching him on the big screen. He was good in every film, especially when played an emotional father, I would connect with him the most. May be because this side of him was the closest to me. I enjoyed the most working with him in films that Govinda were also a part of. Be it Dariya Dil (1988), Jaise Karni Waisi Bharni (1989), Baap Numbri Beta Dus Numbri (1990) or Apmaan Ki Aag (1990), Aag (1994) and Chalo Ishq Ladaaye (2002), our chemistry worked quite well.

Many often raised the concern that he was never conferred a National Award or the Padma awards for his contribution in the field of cinema. Though he definitely deserved these honours, he remained untouched by such things. I never saw him feeling sad about it at all. He knew what he was doing, so do we.

As told to Shreya Mukherjee

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