Mumbai: The inimitable Sai Paranjpye, who now lives a secluded life, remembers her 'Chashme Buddoor' actor Farooq Sheikh as a sweet wonderful person who wouldn't even mind flirting with her.
"Farooq was an angel. He was god's child. One always says nice things about the departed. But honestly, even if Farooq were alive, I wouldn't have a single bad thing to say about him," said the 75-year-old.
"I'd say, 'Farooque, kuch toh sharam kijiye. You are flirting with me and you're flirting with my daughter, just because your mother is not here to see what you are up to.' He was so sweet, so wonderful."
Farooque died of a sudden cardiac arrest in Dubai late Friday. He was 65.
"What a way to end the year! The news of Farooq's death in the (Saturday) morning was devastating. This was no time for him to go. Farooq was such a sportsman. And this was most unsportsmanlike exit. His death has taken us all by shock. It's terrible," she said.
Paranjpye recalls her association with Farooq with much pleasure.
"I was very fortunate to have worked in two films 'Chashme Buddoor' and 'Katha' with Farooq. And I cannot tell you how wonderful he was to work with," she said.
Paranjpye recalls how Naseeruddin Shah and Farooq played a mock game of one-upmanship throughout 'Katha'.
"During 'Katha' the banter and the playful one-upmanship between the two of them, the teasing and ribbing between these two stalwarts was so precious. Farouque would say, 'If Naseer and I are in a shot, then it would be Naseer's back to the camera.'
"To this Naseer would retort, 'Yes, of course, because my back is more expressive than your face.' And they would go on like this. It was such a pleasure to see them together."
Farooque and Naseer also clashed playfully on their religious beliefs.
Said Paranjpye: "Farooque was very religious. Every Friday we'd have to relieve him of his work so he could go and pray. But Naseer was not at all religious. Yet he took his mother on a Haj pilgrimage. Farooque would tease Naseer about this."
Sai feels a more generous and kind hearted human being than Farooque would be hard to find.
"During the shooting of Chashme Buddoor in Delhi one of our light boys fell from the roof. He had to be hospitalised. Farooque would quietly visit the injured lightman and pay for his treatment. He said nothing about his generosity to any of us. He was a silent doer."