Bollywood biggies were absent at veteran actor A.K. Hangal’s cremation here, but Javed Akhtar and Anupam Kher were among those who turned up at a condolence meet organised by the IPTA here Monday.
Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA) here Monday.
Hangal died Sunday morning at age 97.
No big names from tinsel town made it to his cremation Sunday afternoon. But celebrities like Shabana Azmi, Rohini Hattangadi, Kabir Bedi, Ila Arun, Raj Zutshi and Pawan Malhotra marked their presence at the Prithvi theatre Monday.
They said the event wasn’t a condolence meet but a celebration of Hangal’s life.
“I was associated with him for a long time. When I joined IPTA (Indian People’s Theatre Movement), he was already there,” actor Aanjjan Srivastav told IANS.
“He taught me so much about acting and characterisation. He specialised in acting and also social work. He used to go to remote places to look for actors and he took me along with him as well,” he added.
“When he was not well, IPTA was in regular touch with him. It was only in the last one year that the government started to help. He led a very simple life,” he added.
Srivastav performed a scene from IPTA’s longest running play “Shatranj ke Mohre” at the event where Hangal’s 76-year-old son Vijay was present.
Hangal was actively involved in IPTA and acted in many of its plays.
Popular lyricist Akhtar says he was always impressed by the dedication and talent of Hangal, who worked in films like “Sholay”, “Shaukeen” and “Bawarchi”.
“I first saw him on the sets of ‘Bawarchi’. He was very particular about his work,” he said.
Actor Kabir Bedi said he regrets not visiting Hangal in his last days.
“He was not keeping well and I never got the opportunity to see him once. I feel sorry about this. I feel sorry as I couldn’t see him,” he said.