New Delhi: AK Hangal had worked with most of Bollywood's top stars during his lifetime; yet after his death, they failed to show up for his last rites. Hangal passed away on Sunday, August 26, 2012.
The man who immortalised the character of Rahim Chacha in 'Sholay' lived a solitary life of illness and penury up to 2008 when his son Vijay appealed to the industry to help the veteran actor financially. Vijay, a retired still cameraman in Bollywood, appealed for help after failing to meet Hangal's medical expenses.
A handful of stars, such as the Bachchans, producer-director Vipul Shah, and actors Mithun Chakraborty, Aamir Khan and Salman Khan came forward to help him. Vijay said in an interview to IBNLive that Hangal's economic condition had improved after that.
Hangal had worked with most of Bollywood\'s top stars during his lifetime who failed to show up for his last rites.
But on Sunday, apart from a smattering of television stars, none of Bollywood's A-listers were present to give Hangal the last send-off he deserved. Best known for his one-liner from blockbuster Sholay - 'Itna sannaata kyun hai bhai' (why so much silence is there), Hangal made his entry in Bollywood when he was in his 40s and went on to act in over 200 films.
Avtaar Veenit Kishan Hangal was born in a Kashmiri Pandit family in Sialkot (Pakistan) and came to the city of dreams Mumbai - at the age of 21, with Rs 20 in his pocket. He initially worked as a tailor and had customers like the Nawab of Pataudi and Britishers and was paid Rs 500 per month.
Apart from singer Ila Arun, actors Rakesh Bedi, Raza Murad, Raj Zutshi, Mushtaq Khan, Sulbha Arya, Avtar Gill, Gajendra Chauhan, Arun Bakshi, Javed Khan and Aanjjan Srivastav, none of Bollywood's celebrities were present at the crematorium.
But they were the first on Twitter to post condolence messages. A flood of 'RIP' messages flowed in on Sunday soon after Hangal's death.