Director Kundan Shah bids adieu…


Parallel or alternative cinema had its set of stars — more directors than actors who rose to fame in that era, earmarked by strongly-worded films that entertained and taught simultaneously. On Saturday morning, director Kundan Shah, a National Award winner, passed away at his Bandra residence following a heart-attack, which his daughter confirmed to us. The 69-year-old filmmaker, known for films like ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro’ (his debut film that achieved cult status), ‘Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa’ and ‘Kya Kehna’, and TV shows like ‘Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi’ and ‘Nukkad’, was planning a sequel to his first social satire.

Naseeruddin Shah, one of his closest friends and oldest colleagues, believes that he had given his all to ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro’, which to this day, continues to evoke laughter and thoughts aplenty about our social fabric and its lopsided dynamics. Sudhir Mishra took to social media to express his sense of loss, given that it was Kundan who held his hand as a 22-year-old rookie and guided him through his journey of self-discovery. The filmmaker’s industry colleagues bid him a teary-eyed farewell:

Naseeruddin Shah : Kundan was one of the very few honest guys in that pretentious lot of the 1970s and 80s alternative filmmakers. He spent himself completely with ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro’ which is why he didn’t do anything close to it again. He will be missed.

Neena Gupta : It was a wonderful phase where we were all learning together. The last time I met Kundan was at a screening of ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro’ at Nehru Centre a few years ago. He was working on putting a sequel together. I don’t know what happened, because I remember he mentioned to me that he wanted to change the script around. After him, the sequel will only remain a thought, I guess.

Shakti Kapoor : I’ve worked with him a few times and that is a huge learning for any actor. I’ve known him since my FTII days. He was a sharp filmmaker with a great sense of humour and a lot of wit and understanding of a common man’s life. He knew how to extract performances with absolute ease. He was a simple man who didn’t have a fancy lifestyle. He always wore a pleasant smile on his face. I have so many memories of working with him. Today, it suddenly feels empty. The industry hadn’t ever forgotten him and will never be able to forget him.

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