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How we meet & treat a famous comedian in real life - A heart-wrenching instance from MEHMOOD’s life (Articles on Cinema by Bobby Sing)

31 Mar, 2018 | Articles on Cinema

Cinema in India is known to be one of the major lifeline of its general public and we do tend to follow the screen stars and their films quite religiously. In fact that is the reason why we often become too serious relating the actors with their unreal, on-screen image and expect them to behave exactly as per their professional persona portrayed in various films.

Though it happens with every famous actor unconditionally, it actually happens in the most pathetic way with the ones playing the roles of villains, vamps and comedians in particular. For instance, it’s a widely known fact that no child was named ‘Pran’ in those decades when the veteran was seen as a cunning, powerful villain in almost all the major films confronting the leading stars. Similarly, people often expected Johny Walker to speak in his typical on-screen style in his normal conversations too and assumed Keshto Mukherjee to be a person always drunk even in the real life. Had once experienced it personally in a restaurant, when people had all the courage requesting a joke from Jaspal Bhatti, quietly having his dinner in an official meeting. And the same can be seen happening with the present comic-icons like Kapil Sharma, Sunil Grover and more.

The said subject of a stage/screen comedian not considered seriously by the people of the real world was subtly addressed by Raj Kapoor in his MERA NAAM JOKER (1970). And after almost half a century director Nitin Kakkar (of Filmistan fame) wisely presented the same in a more precise manner in his RAMSINGH CHARLIE in 2016. The film had Kumud Sharma playing a Charlie Chaplin impersonator, who finds it hard to face the world when the circus he used to work in is called off. Unfortunately the film still remains unreleased, despite being an outstanding thoughtful work by the entire team.
Sharing a tragic real life instance (as mentioned in the book MEHMOOD- A man of many moods), it happened with Mehmood, when sadly his new-born daughter couldn’t survive and died in the hospital itself despite several efforts made by the reputed doctors. Completing the official formalities, as he was coming out of the hospital carrying the baby covered in a white cloth, a small girl recognised him and smilingly came running for an autograph. Mehmood obliged, kept holding the child in his one hand and gave the autograph with the other blessing the pretty girl.
As he sat in the car, his producer friend asked him with surprise, ’Was it the right time for giving that autograph?’
To that Mehmood replied, ‘I was trying to get my daughter's smile back from the last many days……. at least GOD gave me the chance to make that girl smile!
That’s what actors have to face in the REAL LIFE at times, coping with their famous on-screen image that doesn’t let them behave in their original or any other realistic manner. It specifically happens with comedians as we cannot assume or imagine them without their iconic smiles, laughs and witty dialogue delivery. Or maybe their successful onscreen personality is so strong and impactful that we simply forget that they are also humans and not just mechanical robots with always a smile on.
[Acknowledgement: Mehmood’s life instance as mentioned in the book ‘MEHMOOD – A Man of Many Moods’ – Hanif Zaveri ]
(Note: The article was first published on UC-News Mobile App in March 2018)

Tags : A heart-wrenching instance from MEHMOOD’s life - by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Articles on Cinema by Bobby Sing, Unknown Facts about Hindi Cinema by Bobby Sing
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