Legendary Bollywood Writer-Actor Kader Khan Passes Away In Canada On New Year’s Eve


‘Hum jahan khade hote hain, line wahin se shuru hoti hai’: Engineer, scriptwriter, actor, dialogue writer — Kader Khan died in Toronto at the age of  81.


TORONTO – ‘Peeche nahi jaane ka. Peeche jaane se guzra hua waqt laut ke nahi aata’  — Agneepath


The consummate actor and prolific writer Kader Khan has passed into a zone from which he can’t be called back. The veteran, whose filmy career spanned nearly half a century, succumbed to a rare disease in Canada on the last day of 2018. However, Khan’s contribution to film industry is not only worth recalling, but also reinstated.


His was a stellar presence in more than one iconic film. The cerebral highbrow may scoff at his brand of humour for which he became famous in the final chapter of his career, with films like Baap Numbri Beta Dus Numbri, which also won him the Filmfare award for Best Comedian.

But before Kader Bhai’s comedic innings began, he was a character actor of calibre and a writer of immense mettle who wrote dialogues for over 250 films in a language that was relatable, colloquial and impactful. Legend has it that he got a princely sum of Rs 1.21 lakh for writing the dialogues for Rajesh Khanna-starrer Roti and it was the romantic hero who got him the plum remuneration. Interestingly, he made his acting debut in yet another Rajesh Khanna film, Daag.


Khan’s long tryst with tinsel-town saw him in myriad roles — uncle, father, villain, comedian, sidekick. He would melt and mould into any role he was asked to essay.


In a hero-driven world of Indian cinema, he was an imposing figure and enduring influence. With a filmography that reads over 350 films as an actor, he was seen as recently as in 2017 in Masti Nahi Sasti, which also starred his jodidaar Shakti Kapoor. With Kapoor, his paring in film after film brought the house down. If Kader Bhai and Shakti Kapoor were inseparable in several films, he was also an integral part of David Dhawan’s ‘laugh out loud’ cinema. Both he and Govinda, with whom he had a long running onscreen partnership, made Dhawan’s slapstick humour tick and stick.


If Khan was known for his immaculate comic timing, deadpan expression and effortless emotive range, his forceful dialogue delivery too won him many ardent admirers. Most cinebuffs are more likely to remember his comic punchlines. Yet few would also laud his rather unsung contribution in shaping the course of others’ careers, including Amitabh Bachchan, who rightly tweeted, “Writer of eminence in most of my very successful films.”


“Hum jahan khade hote hain line wahin se shuru hoti hai” (Kaalia) is just one of Khan’s many memorable one-liners that Bachchan delivered with panache.


Born with a wooden spoon, Khan believed in writing for the last man in the auditorium. Today single screen theatregoers may have given way to more evolved multiplex audiences, but mass entertainers which he wrote as well as acted in would never lose its relevance. Nor would Kader Khan, who would be seen for the last time in the hit comedy series Hera Pheri 3.


His swansong might be once again in comic vein, but cinephiles must not forget that he was much more than a funny man.

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