Sonil Dedhia in Mumbai
After a long hiatius, Kadar Khan is back to entertain us.
But this time, he's not goofing around with Govinda on the big screen. Instead, he's featuring in a television show called Hi Padosi Kaun Hai Doshi.
Known for his superb comedy and dialogue, Kader Khan has acted in more than 300 films, and done all kinds of roles.
A few years ago, he moved to Dubai, and became a professor.
Khan talks to Sonil Dedhia about the movies, and his Dubai move, and how he missed Bollywood.
What made you quit Bollywood and move to Dubai?
I was not enjoying my time here. Most of the directors I had worked with, and who had supported me through my good and bad times, like Manmohan Desai, had suddenly passed away. People were not interested in working with me. There was nothing left for me to do, so I decided to move to Dubai.
Did you miss Bollywood?
A lot. I always think of the good old days. I have spent almost all my life doing films, and don't think anyone can take me away from it.
I kept myself updated, and would talk about films with my close friends and family in Dubai. It's because of them that I have returned to acting.
'I wanted to set up K K Institute of Arabic Language and Islamic Culture'
You have become a professor in Dubai. Can you tell us something more about it?
I remember teaching civil engineering at the MH Saboo Siddik College of Engineering in Byculla (in south Mumbai) (Kadar Khan was a professor before he joined films). It was fun.
When I shifted to Dubai, I saw many people, who had shifted from India and other countries for studies or jobs. They were keen on staying in touch with their language and culture. So I started teaching Urdu and Arabic languages.
I wanted to set up the K K Institute of Arabic Language and Islamic Culture.
What I teach is the language and more importantly, the grammar. Grammar in these languages is not as simple as in English. In the Arabic classes, I taught students to read, write and also translate.'I do help the writers of the show'
Image: The trailer of Hi Padosi Kaun Hai DoshiWhat made you take up Hi Padosi Kaun Hai Doshi?
I have always loved Sahara, as a corporate house, and the Sahara One channel. It has always tried to do something different. I loved the team and the concept of the show. That's why I took it up. It's a pleasure to work with such young, budding like-minded individuals.
Tell us about your character in the show.
I play Ram Bharose, the owner of a buffalo shed. He is actually dead. My ghost comes back to find that my son has razed the shed and a building has come up in my name.
The show is satirical comedy about the lives of two families, who have similar surnames which creates a lot of confusion and comedy.
Do you help the writers of the show with the script?
Yes, I do help them. But that does not mean that I am the writer of the show. I just help them improvise on certain things and get the comic timing right.
'Nowadays, everyone wants to become an actor'
There were reports that your health was not supporting you.
Yes, I had to undergo a lot of surgeries on my legs. It is still painful. It is difficult to act for long hours or even sit or stand at a stretch. The recovery is slow but it's on.
Don't you think Bollywood needs writers like you?
Times have changed. Nowadays, everyone wants to become an actor. No one wants to be a writer. There are hardly any independent writers in the industry today. The film director is also the writer, or the actor is the writer. Anybody and everybody has become a writer. Why would someone come to me?
I had a team with me: Govinda, Karisma Kapoor, Asrani and Aruna Irani. We all worked together and gave a lot of good films. I was the leader of the group. But I don't know if I can do it again because to be successful, one needs a team. I don't know if anyone would be interested in working with me.
'Cinema has become a money-making business'
How has cinema changed through these years?
Films have become like business today. People don't go for a film to enjoy it. They go to enjoy themselves. It's more like a family picnic, where people go shop, eat, watch a movie and then come back.
I am not against multiplexes but they have made watching movies expensive. Today, tickets in multiplexes don't cost less than 300 bucks. Cinema has become a money-making business rather than a source of entertainment for the common man.
Any plans to get back to writing films?
Yes. I want to write, and even direct a movie. I hope it happens this year.