Jeena isi ka naam hai!

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SummaryThe sudden passing away of Farooque Shaikh leaves an unrepairable void

Who can forget the serene face of Farooque Shaikh as he sang these poetic lines of love to his co-star Deepti Naval in 'Saath Saath'? The profound lines made an impact on every loving heart, but on the morning of December 28, Shaikh’s fans woke up to the unfortunate news of his passing away in Dubai.

The 65-year-old actor, who had gone there for a holiday with his wife Rupa and two daughters, Shaista and Sanaa, succumbed to a massive heart attack.

Coming from a family of zamindars from Naswadi village in Gujarat’s Baroda district, Shaikh who is best known for memorable performances in films like 'Chashme Buddoor', 'Garm Hawa', 'Shatranj Ke Khiladi', 'Umrao Jaan', and made a name for himself in the world of parallel cinema.

He had started out with theatre; doing plays with Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA).

In his debut film Garm Hawa in 1973, he was directed by none other then the proficient M. S Sathyu and he got to play the younger son of stalwart Balraj Sahni. This film is considered to be a pioneer in new wave of Hindi art cinema.

Shaikh then went on to experiment with film-makers like Satyajit Ray, Shyam Benegal, Sagar Sarhadi, Sai Paranjpye, Muzaffar Ali and Hrishikesh Mukherjee in a career spanning four decades.

Though a shy and self-effacing man, the actor has played the romantic leads with heroines like Rekha, Shabana Azmi, Poonam Dhillon and others.

He and Deepti Naval formed a successful pair in films like 'Chashme Buddoor', 'Saath Saath', 'Kissi Se Na Kehna', 'Katha', 'Rang Birangi', 'Faasle' and most recent, 'Listen Amaya'.

When films were slow to come his way, Shaikh diverted to television and acted in serials like 'Chamatkar', 'Ji Mantriji' and 'Shrikant'.

'Jeena Issi Ka Naam Hai' was a popular TV shows where he interviewed Bollywood celebrities.

He also created a record of sorts for having performed the famous play Tumhari Amrita with Shabana Azmi and directed by Feroze Abbas Khan.

The play, an unrequited love story read out through reams of letters, had a successful run for almost 20 years and the duo also performed on the international stage.

A sequel to this play titled Aapki Soniya had Farooque Shaikh and Sonali Bendre as main leads.

He also forayed into direction with a play, Azhar Ka Khwab, an adaptation of Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion in 2004.

Though an immensely talented actor, Shaikh won his first National Award for Best Supporting Actor for Lahore in 2010.

Some of Farooque

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