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Sorry To Disappoint The  Vultures, Naseeruddin Shah Is Alive & Well



Naseeruddin Shah

They wanted  Naseerudin Shah dead  too, so that they  could have  a trilogy of tragedies  to  play up on . But sorry, Naseer refused to play ball. He  isn’t ready  to  die  as  yet.I connected  with Naseer Saab, one of the most straight-talking artistes and  undoubtedly the most brilliant actor since  Dilip Kumar, and he told me the health issues were all the  inventions of  media  stormers out to get hits  by hook or crook.

The sloppily written articles on the terrible trilogy of tragedy  would just have to be cancelled. Unless God obliges the  vultures by killing one  more acting stalwart. If , God forbid, that happens, let’s hope the hospital staff spares  the dying  artiste the  indignity  of shooting his death.
What are we coming to? Have we  lost our  humanity completely? A  lot of  optimists out there  thought  this lockdown would  change  civilization’s  growing descent  into self-interest. But no  such luck.

Witness  the gleeful video conferencing after we lost the Irrfan Khan and  Rishi  Kapoor within 24  hours. Everyone wants  a soundbyte and  there is  no dearth  of   bored stars at home willing to oblige.  Hence  actors who  had never worked or even met either  Irrfan or Rishi were  giving  their two-bit expert comments on the actors.

91-year old  Bharat Ratna Lata   Mangeshkar  ,who  was recently  pulled  from the jaws  of death,was not spared either. She  had  news channels hounding her  for her reactions to Rishi Kapoor’s .  One enthusiastic  correspondent wanted  to know if Rishi Kapoor had any favourite songs  by Lataji. That’s when she  hung up the phone.Shouldn’t that questioned  by Rishiji who, alas,  is  not available  to aswer anything anymore.I dialed his  number this morning hoping  to  hear his gruff voice telling me the  death news  was  all a hoax.

But  he’s really gone.And there is really no sense  in asking everyone in your phonebook to comment on a death.I respect Raakhee Gulzar(Raakheedi for me, but let’s stay  professional in these  times  of unprofessional journalism)  who has done  important  films with Rishi Kapoor(Doosra Aadmi and Kabhi Kabhie) for  telling me, “Subhash, let me  be silent”. I  quietly  withdrew.

Shabana Azmi also requested me  to  let her be as the  shock of losing a dear friend(Rishi) was yet to be processed in her  mind.

Or   I like  Taapsee Panu for telling me, “I don’t comment on people  passing away”. Fair enough.

I wish  more of   those  who are pulled  out for comments  on  a death  show some degree  of restraint. Unfortunately  the  era of  social-media impact has  robbed even the biggest  of artistes  of their self-restrain. It was shocking and  disgusting to see names that I respect rushing to be the first to tweet  about  the recent deaths  of  actors who cannot die. Unless we kill them with virtual  kindness.

Take  a break from trying to project a digitally  driven sensitivity. Try feeling real feelings again. You will like it.

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