In his passing away, Kader Khan has left the world of powerful script writing & comic genre poorer by miles.
The most original of Khans, Kader Khan was a prodigious writer, someone who scripted some of the best of box office hits like Shahenshah, Muqaddar ka Secondary, Coolie no. 1 Khoon Bari Maang & others. Besides script writing, he was a comedian actor who had a supreme comic timing. His instant repartee would evoke a terrific laughter inside cinema halls & his dialogues are still remembered as epic expressions. Kader Khan was a man of many talents and anyone, who has grown up gorging on Hindi cinema through the ’70s till 90s, would know the meaning of what is being said about him. Alas, in his death, he has left a huge void, in the entertainment industry & also left a grateful nation speechless.
A man of many shades & abundant talent, Kader Khan would easily wear any hat & be absolutely confident in all his avatars. Even though he was said to be carrying a weird screen persona, he would make a conscious effort to evolve into a mature actor & a feisty character on screen. So while you could see him a dapper villain or his menacing aide in one outing and soon after, he could leave you in splits with his atrocious comic timing & impeccable straight faced fun. He was a director’s delight just like he became a darling of his producers overnight. He had more friends than critics across the Bollywood & Southern cinema too.
“Zinda hai woh log joh maut se takrate hai … murdon se bhattar hai woh log joh maut se gabrate hai.”
While we may have seen a growing crop of Khans in the film industry, he was in more than one ways the first Khan of consequence in the world of Hindi cinema. From Yusuf Khan (Dilip Kumar), Shah Rukh, Salman Khan, Aamir, it was the irrepressible, Kader Khan who wore his individuality & different’ identity on his sleeves. It was he who lent ferocity, fame & voice to the dozens of actors by his fascinating & powerful dialogue writing. He is vastly considered to be the man, who made Govinda the actor, he became eventually with his path breaking story writing.
“Duniya mera ghar hai, Bus stand mera adda hai, Jab mann kare aa jana, Raju mera naam hai… aur pyaar se log mujhe bulate… Coolie No.1.”— Coolie No. 1.
Not to forget the fiery dialogues Amitabh Bachchan mouthed in his movies like Shahenshah, Muqaddar Ka Sikander etc. In fact the angry young man persona that Amitabh played had Kader Khan contributing in a big way. Only few morons would debate that?
“Duniya ki koi jagah itni door nahi hai jahan jurm ke paon mein kanoon … apni faulaadi zanjeeren pehna na sake.” — Shahenshah.
In an expression of wonderful poetry, wit & charm he wrote for Kabir Bedi in Khoon Bhari Maang, leaving us unsure whether to love or hate, this towering personality ” Qatl bhi kartein hai aur haath mein talwar bhi nahin?”
And who would like to ignore the nerve wrecking Muqaddar Ka Sikander dialogues, if it were not for Kader Khan & his wizardry at his sublime best. “Sukh toh bewafa hai … chand dino ke liye aata hai aur chala jaata hai?” Giving his own theatrical twist to the ever-present class divide in Hum, Kader Khan lent this, “Kya ishq ka khoon kisi sahukar ke paan ki pichkari hai … kya tumhari zindagi zindagi, hamari zindagi bimari hai … tumhara khoon khoon, hamara khoon pani hai … tumhara naam naam, hamara naam gaali hai … tum karo zulm toh woh sarkari hai … aur hum kare fariyad toh woh gaddari hai?”
Take any film, any song or a rendition; you would hear Urdu poetry flowing effortlessly into your ears. Kader Khan made this language his own. He gave his own twist, lent it his own flavour & interpretation to this wonderful, sweet language that Urdu continues to the day. It no longer needed to be romantic or elite; it could now be witty, humorous, and as sharp as a whip. And it could be cool too. Kader Khan, the genius, made Urdu cool.
Imagine if there existed a medium other than 70 mm cinema during Kader Khan’s life & times. He would sure have had followers in millions on social media & he & his art would have never gone out of fashion. He was such an affable easing going character with no qualms or pretensions. A story goes that he fell out of Amitabh Bachhan’s favour after an incident on a film set, where he addressed him, as always, as Amit, much to the chagrin of the actor himself & to the film director, helming the movie. So while he may not have been blessed with a fan base like that of Bachchan, but Kader, in a sense, was the first pop culture icon of Hindi cinema saw. By his spontaneous outbursts & witty dialogues he could make any ordinary script or a movie look better, just by the power of his pen. He & his poetry travelled alongside & on the forefront of a film in the making. Kader Khan was the quintessential anti-hero who could kill with his sense of humour rather by a bullet or a sword.
“Auron ke liye gunaah sahi … hum piye toh shabaab banti hai … arre sau ghamo ko nichodne ke baad … ek katra sharaab banti hai!”