Veteran actor-writer Kader Khan passed away due to prolonged illness at the age of 81 on December 31. The Kabul-born Pathan, who made his acting debut in 1973, with Rajesh Khanna’s ‘Daag’ had featured in over 300 films and was at his peak in the 1980s-90s.
Out of the 300 films he appeared in, 100 were alongside hit comedian Shakti Kapoor. In a recent interview with Hindustan Times, Kapoor spoke at length about how lonely Khan was in his last days and how the industry’s ignorance contributed in his illness.
“I have spent half my acting career with Kader Khan – we did over 100 films together, the maximum any two co-stars have done together. Now that he is gone, the film industry has been thinking about him. Why do people remember an actor when they are not alive? Why can’t they say something nice when the person is working or when they are sick or when they are struggling? They only start talking about an actor when they are no more and they are not around to hear it all,” Shakti said.
“When Kader Khan was not working for the last decade and was suffering, nobody was very concerned about him. Why was he left so lonely? And why are actors left so alone when they are sick or not doing too well? Kader Khan was financially very secure but very lonely because when he was sick, not many people visited him or spent time with him. He was left alone with his family,” the actor added.
Shakti Kapoor further revealed that the actor had plans of making a comeback. “…Whenever I spoke to him, he would say, ‘I will come back very strongly in the film industry for only one reason; I have to teach this new generation about zubaan, what is dialogue delivery and how every word coming out of your mouth should be like a rose and a butterfly. Today, when actors speak, you can’t understand half of it. So, I want to teach this generation of actors the language.’ “
“I always believed he is going to stage a comeback because knowing such a strong man, I thought he could easily fight it out. I believed he will come back to Mumbai and we will work together again. But it didn’t happen.”
“I used to call him a messiah; I used to call him a man sent by God…I always told him that he was my guru; I used to touch his feet. We were the best of friends…He only spoke of knowledge, of truth, of life and how to face sorrow. He wanted peace, happiness, family and people to be good. I want the world to remember him as a good man, an educated man, a man who believed in hard work.”