Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 15 August 2020

Jaaved Jaaferi pens tribute to father Jagdeep's Bollywood career: 'What a man, what a journey'

'The word legend is thrown around freely these days but in his case it is justified,' says the actor of his father

Jaaved Jaaferi has penned an emotional tribute to his father Jagdeep. AFP
Jaaved Jaaferi has penned an emotional tribute to his father Jagdeep. AFP

Last week, Bollywood lost one of its most loved stars, Jagdeep, who died at home in Mumbai, India, on July 8, aged 81.

The comedy actor is survived by six children, including Jaaved and Naved Jaaferi, both of whom have gone into showbusiness, as an actor and director, respectively.

Bollywood actor Jaaved has written a tribute to his father's career, which dates back to the 1940s and spans more than 400 films. The 56-year-old actor shared his tribute on Twitter.

"My heartfelt thanks to all those who shared the pain of my father's departure with so much love," he wrote, with a link that led fans to the full passage.

"From 10 to 81, all he breathed and lived was film. After losing his father at 7 and losing everything else that existed of a good life after the partition, it was a head-to-head combat with poverty and survival on the footpaths of Mumbai," Jaaved says in his emotional tribute.

At 10 years of age what destiny chose for him, as the light at the end of the tunnel, was cinema

"An 8[-year-]old with his mother thrown head first into the ocean. It was either sink or swim. So he swam. From working in small-scale tin factories to making kites, selling soap to walking behind a Maalishwala holding his canister of oil and shouting ‘Maalish, tel maalish’.

"At 10 [years] of age what destiny chose for him, as the light at the end of the tunnel, was cinema."

He then recalls his father's cinematic journey, starting with BR Chopra's Afsana, which he explains was shot in 1949 and released in 1951. He says: "There was no looking back. His father figures and guides were the likes of Bimal Roy, Guru Dutt, Mehboob Khan, Kasif.

"From the most natural child actor I have witnessed in Hindi cinema to a sensitive leading man, to the craziest improv comedian with impeccable timing in latter years, he never failed to entertain and amaze," he goes on to say of his father.

Jagdeep was a beloved comedy actor, known for his work in Bollywood movies. 
Jagdeep was a beloved comedy actor, known for his work in Bollywood movies.

He then listed co-stars, producers and directors that Jagdeep had worked with, including Amitabh Bachchan, Anil Kapoor and Rishi Kapoor, saying they "were and are, full of love and praise for him".

"The word ‘legend’ is thrown around freely these days but in his case it is so amply justified."

The emotional tribute goes on to impart some of the values that Jagdeep instilled in his son.

"A father who taught me the values of life, the lessons of poverty, the importance of dedication and the finesse of craft, with innumerable stories of positivity and inspiration," he says.

"[You were] always smiling, with words of encouragement for all, and reminding me that true success is gauged by what one ‘is’ and not what one ‘has’, and by ‘what’ one knows and not ‘who’ one knows.

"What a man, what a journey," he concludes in English. "To the man I called ‘papa’ and who the world knew by his various avatars, salam."

Updated: July 14, 2020 06:06 PM

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