By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: One of Indian cinema’s finest actors Farooq Sheikh, on a holiday with his wife and two daughters in Dubai, suddenly died of massive heart attack.
At the time of writing , his wife Roopa and daughters Shaista and Sanaa were desperately struggling to bring back the actor’s body to India.
Devastated by the tragedy Shabana Azmi, Farooq’s co-star for 21 years in the play Tumari Amrita, said, “I can’t believe he’s gone so suddenly and so cruelly! Farooq was in Dubai with his wife and daughters when he suddenly suffered a massive heart attack. He just collapsed! Just like that. Is that any way to go? And those poor girls, his wife and daughters trying desperately to get him back to India, not knowing how to cut through the international diplomatic rules…it’s so unfair.”
Shabana, who did some of her best films with Farooq including Sagar Sarhadi’s Lorie, Kalpana Lajmi’s Ek Pal and Muzaffar Ali’s Anjuman, not to mention the play Tumhari Amrita directed by Feroz Abbas Khan, couldn’t believe the enormity of the tragedy. “We were close friends from before we worked together.We were in college together. I can’t believe he’s gone.”
Farooq, who began his illustrious film career with M S Sathyu’s Garam Hawa, went on to do some of the most iconic Hindi films, including Sai Paranjpye’s Chashme Buddoor and Sagar Sarhadi’a Bazar. He was last seen last month in Sanjay Tripathy’s Club 60 which Farooq was very excited about.
Incidentally, Farooq’s father too had died in his 60s of a sudden massive heart attack. Farooq had gone to receive his father at the airport when his father passed away.
A shocked Amitabh Bachchan said on Twitter, “God! Farooq Sheikh passes away. A true gentleman, a wonderful colleague. A quiet honesty about him. Very very sad.”
Shahrukh Khan tweeted, “My biggest regret (is) that I never got to spend time with you, Farooque sahib, as I had requested. Should have done it earlier. I feel so sorry.”