In 2020, Indian cinema lost a jewel – legendary actor and comedian Jagdeep. The actor who has appeared in 400 films has touched our lives either with his work on screen or with his words. We know him to be an incredible artist, but in this conversation with his son, Jaaved Jaaferi, we got a glimpse of the late actor’s personality, him as a father and the lessons he taught his children.
Speaking to indianexpress.com, Jaaved said his father Jagdeep didn’t have a childhood. From the age of 9 he was the breadwinner of his family.
“From the age of 9 he was just thrown in. Jaise hota hai na samundar me phenk diya aur bola jao ab swim check. It was literally like that. After the division, everything was wiped out. He was in the streets. He was with his mother on a footpath in Mumbai. He had to start from scratch,” Jaaved said, adding, “He didn’t have a childhood. He only had responsibility. He didn’t have time to play because he had to take care of himself and his mother. When he saw us as kids, he obviously tried to give us everything.”
He continued, “Growing up, he was very busy working. We have spent some time. If we were on vacation and he was filming in another city, we would accompany him as part of the vacation because that was the only way we could spend time with him. Those were the only holidays we had. Once filming was over, we stayed together for a week or more to spend time together.”
As the conversation continued, Jaaved spoke about the love Jagdeep had for the country. He said the actor has always celebrated India for its inclusivity.
“I learned a lot from him. The people he worked with, people like Guru Dutt Sahab, Bimal Roy Sahab, V Shantaram Sahab, Mehboob Sahab and others, they are like encyclopedias and my father took a lot from them and passed it on to us. The way they approached their work, their life and their whole approach to this amazing country and the inclusiveness of this country grew up with it and passed it down to us. But unfortunately I see that there is a litter today, but we can only hope for better times,” commented Jaaved.
Jaaved said the Sholay actor taught him to “have hope”. He said his father always told him that ‘Khuda ki rehmat se kabhi maayoos nahi hote.’ “He always called it a crime. He taught us to be thankful for everything. He would teach us to approach work as worship. He would tell us not to be careless with work. ‘When you’re on a set, don’t sit down and entertain people,’ he would say.”
Jaaved went on to say, “If journalists would come to the sets, he wouldn’t interact with them. He told them to meet him during his lunch break or after the shoot. He never distracted himself from his work. He was totally lost in it. He would understand and observe the scene and think about how to add more. I’ve also seen this with Dev Anand Sahab, Nutan ji and some other actors I’ve met or worked with. They were on the set and observed what was happening around them. Nutanji sometimes read a book or something. You were present in the moment. Today I miss that. I see a lot of people with cell phones in their hands while the recording is going on. My father taught me differently. So those are some lessons that mean a lot to me and I’ve tried to pass them on to my kids.”
Jaaved himself has three children – Meezaan Jafri, Alaviaa Jaffrey, Abbas Jaffrey. Meezaan has already marked his entry into Bollywood. When we asked him to share more about his bond with his son, Jaaved made it clear that he is closer to his mother.
“My father was much more formal but friendlier. Meezaan, he’s kinder to his mother. He discusses his life more with her. We have a formal and respectful bond with one another. But we definitely don’t share a buddy bond. He definitely wouldn’t come to me for relationship advice,” Jaaved laughed.
Jaaved Jaaferi is excited for the release of Never Kiss Your Best Friend Season 2. He will also be starring in Disney + Hotstars social thriller Escaype Live.
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