A Ganesh Nadar/Rediff.com pays tribute to his school mate, Talat Jani, the man behind quite a few episodes of Kyunki... Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi...
Talat Jani, who directed some episodes of the long-running television show Kyunki... Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi... passed into the ages on October 9.
He has also directed television shows like Tujh Sang Preet Lagai Sajna and Khwahish, as well as films like Sannata: The Silence, Jeena Sirf Merre Liye, Heena, Taaqat, Rang and Fateh.
Talat was my junior at Barnes School and Junior College in Devlali, a hill station near Nashik, but the first time I met him was at the school reunion in 2013.
He was friendly and, within hours, we were the best of friends; a bonding only boarders will understand.
He was always the centre of attraction. He would regale us with stories about Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor and various television personalities.
What was endearing about his stories was that he was neither the hero nor the main character in any of them. Like he made stars the heroes in his films, he made others the heroes in his stories.
He always had a funny retort to any comment.
And he seemed to know all the alumni and current students.
Only once, when we were alone together, he seemed sad.
His eyes, which always twinkled, showed a deep-seated pain when he said, “These days I am not working and that is getting to me. I am putting together a story and will be meeting my producers. Inshallah, it will work out.”
Talat had a habit of pre-fixing his statements with Inshallah as if he knew that, without God’s willingness, nothing would happen.
The last time I spoke to him, I had told him I hoped to meet him at the reunion this year.
He had replied, ‘Inshallah, we will.’
But that was not to be.
A close friend of his and fellow Barnes School alumnus Denise Tully D'Silva writes on her Facebook page.
‘When I heard that you had left us
I was simply blown away
How could that be possible?
We were laughing & joking a few days away
Your dry wit and your humor
Your 'grin' and devilish smile
No one knew what you'd do next
You had one unique style!
Oh how I'd anticipate you
Clocking "in" on your witty lines
How I waited for your quips
You had a truly special gift.
Always there for everyone
So dependable, sincere
Kind, gentle and caring
Felt good to have you near.
So, my dear departed friend
I'll think of you each day
Peace and rest and comfort
I hope you've found today.
Your last words to me
Will help my tears to dry.'
Just a week ago, Talat had called Denise on her birthday and wished her.
Talat had a habit of writing verse on Facebook. This was his last post on October 5:
‘Aka ka saya toh saya
Ghumbat ka bhi saya nahi hai
Ek siva sarkar ke mere
Koi Khuda ko bhaya nahi hai
Aisa Nabi aya nahi hai.’
Farewell, Talat. We will surely miss you.