Actor Farooque Shaikh laid to rest

Written By Unknown on Selasa, 31 Desember 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: A colourful world turned to monochrome as the sun went down on Monday. Farooque Shaikh, one of the finest actors and human beings in the entertainment industry, was laid to rest, two days after he passed away of cardiac arrest in Dubai.

Grave no. 175 in the Four Bungalows Muslim Kabrastan became the final resting place. Shaikh was buried in the shadow of his mother Farida's grave. Poet Kaifi Azmi rests in the adjacent plot.

The ambulance bearing his remains arrived home to Highland Park in Lokhandwala Complex at 5.40 pm. Around 5,000 people, some of whom mirrored his taste for white, kept a respectful distance.

Every mourner was there to celebrate the life of a man who had lived up to his name. 'Farooque' means 'the discerning one'. It is the title of Hazrat Umar, the second caliph of Islam.

Shaikh's wife Roopa (Ayesha) and daughters Shaista and Sanaa stood with folded palms as they accepted condolences. They were comforted by Shaikh's siblings. Not a single camera was allowed to enter the hall, not a single hand raised a mobile phone to take pictures.

Scores of artistes from the 70s and 80s filed past his remains. Shabana Azmi, Deepti Naval, Satish Shah, Javed Akhtar, Supriya Pathak, Govind Nihalani, the teams of 'Tumhari Amrita', 'Noorie' and 'Saath Saath', all came. From Uday Chandra to Lilliput, Madan Jain to Ram Sethi, they all came.

There were politicians, neighbours and servants. The congregation later offered the 'namaz-e-janaza' (burial prayer) at Millat Nagar Masjid before heading to the graveyard.

Around 75 villagers had arrived from his native Hansot and Amroli in Gujarat. Each heart ached from having lost the smiling figure dressed in familiar kurta-pyjama, wearing a simple watch with black strap and grasping two mobile phones in one hand. Shaikh was an avid texter, he seldom called.

Deepti Naval and Shabana Azmi received an equal number of condolences as the family. Deepti often joked how Shaikh was never romantic towards her in real life -- he merely teased her to death. Now even that consolation prize was gone.

Shaikh's Hansotia clan of uncles, cousins and nephews recalled his monthly visits to the village. Nephew Mohammed Tariq said, "The reason that his old aunt who cannot walk without support, women in purdah and respected community leaders have arrived in strength is a testimony to Shaikh Sahab's golden character.

He owned paternal property spread over vast lands, farmyards and stables. But never did he raise an eyebrow in arrogance or anger." Shaikh's old uncle simply said, "Kya kahoon? Aisa koi hai hi nahin." The past tense did not apply. Hundreds of obituaries that continue to stream in within the real and virtual world have been praying that Allah grant Farooque Shaikh a place in 'Jannah' (paradise). Heaven's own angel will hardly be denied.

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