A sudden whiff of a strange weird thought. But think of it, it’s some thing that affects each one of us everyday in someway or the other – the sense of Loss – Death. A term that takes away from us something very dear, very familiar.
This struck me very distinctly with the news of Farooque Shaikh passing away. Instant reaction, must be someone I don’t know. A second reaction, how? A third and so on and so forth as news kept coming and confirming that it was this actor, whom we always praised both as an actor and a person, but never spoke of it so verbally as we are doing now. Later, i also thought about his family. What the family must be going through. A healthy, hearty person goes to Dubai for a concert, with his family, and a few days later the family returns without him. It’s scary, incomprehensible.
While mulling over the news, I started to think about him in terms of what he did best and was widely known for, Acting. I distinctly remember watching him first in ‘Katha’, which was aired on Doordarshan. To which, I remember my aunt’s reaction to Farooque Shaikh’s character – ‘issh, erom lok hoyeche keno? Onno shob chobi te ki bhalo bhalo paat kore’ (why is he playing such a character, he is such a nice person in all other films.) She was not liking the fact that Farooque Shaikh, an actor with an established image of a next door, well-behaved neighbour, someone who would never go wrong by principle & choice, was playing such a character. This, I’m saying gauging the impact that reel has on real life.
Taking the point from here, I also thought of many such artists who we have known through our parents; and to sit and reflect back, most of them died in the past 4-5 years. People whom we knew and grew up to only to admire & respect, leaves all of a sudden, and that struck.
There were these set of artists about whom my father would selflessly and forcefully pitch for. They were the icons he grew up with. He, given the bleakest opportunity would praise and show his fondness and respect for Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor & Dev Anand over Amitabh Bachchan and Sashi Kapoor, Sachin Dev Burman over Rahul Dev Burman, Md. Rafi & Mukesh over Kishore Kumar and so on and so forth. With progress of time and era, even the lesser preferred artists in the above equation were GOD when compared to the ilk of the modern day artists, who were, the Khans, the Maliks, the Sanus & so on. But, keeping judgement aside, our choice and taste are influenced by the contemporaries, which, as we grow keep changing and evolving to eventually die down.
I’m saying all this because of the number of deaths we have heard in the last five years. We have heard, known and learnt about them from our previous generation, they actually belonged to that generation. Still, we relate to them so much that news of death does leave in us a sense, a realization of irreplaceable, irreparable loss. In that case, how do our parents feel about these losses? What’s the magnitude of void that they experience? How difficult is it for them to hear and accept such news? Do these news create in them a sense of despair and helplessness of having to face an inescapable truth – sooner or later! Do they long to go back to the times when only the characters died but the players evolved successful!
Sooner or later, such a day would dawn on us too. We would wake up to hear that our screen icons are no more. They have left back only reels of memory and would never ever play a character whom we would get a chance to despise or admire. How will we deal with that?