interview Life & Style

Jaaved Jaaferi: He’s different

Jaaved Jaaferi

Jaaved Jaaferi   | Photo Credit: G_RAMAKRISHNA

Jaaved Jaaferi walks in with his trademark swagger and greets us with folded hands and says ‘namaste’ as we catch up with him at the coffee shop in Radison Blu, Banjara Hills. “I was in Hyderabad a few months back at Ramoji Film City shooting for Sooryavanshi; It was a long schedule.Idhar ke log bahut maze ke hote hain; The best humour is found in Hyderabad followed by Bhopal. I have always felt there is an undercurrent of pathos to their comedy. People hide their pain and poverty through humour,” observes Jaaved.

Dwelling on this ability to laugh even during the dark times, he comments on the current scenario. “Although negative things are happening around the world, I speak for my country when things have become one-sided. I don’t like that a lot of hate has grown because of that. This kind of feeling was prevalent in some people after partition; It has come up now and is not the India I grew up in.”

A section of the audience

A section of the audience   | Photo Credit: G_RAMAKRISHNA

He shares that he grew up in Bandra andhis best friends were a Sikh, Christian and Sindhi. His father, renowned comedian Jagdeep used to live in Datia in Madhya Pradesh while his two brothers lived in Karachi. During partition, he witnessed massacres and started his life on a footpath in Mumbai. “He never spoke about the painful past instead told us stories of what he got from the wonderful people like Bimal Roy, Guru Dutt, Mehboob Khan, Shantaram and K Asif. He gave us this attitude and we pass it to our children.”

Creative stints

Jaaved has worn different hats with his creative stints for 35 years. An actor, dancer, anchor, reality show judge, singer, dubbing artist and even a director. He did his first commercial in 1980 for a t-shirt-brand with ad filmmaker Prahlad Kakkar. This year, the duo celebrate 40 years of friendship with their latest campaign #BimaHaiZaroori. The friends have done 200 ad films including their best ‘It’s different’ for Maggie hot chilli sauce. In fact, Javed has endorsed the brand for 30 years with Pankaj Kapoor, Manoj Pahwa and Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Calling Prahlad Kakkar, a mad genius, he says, “We got this great working relationship and he became a friend after my first ad. We did many shows together and now Prahlad is focussing more on his diving school in Andamans; Since I am also an advanced scuba diver, I sometimes go there.”

Jaaved entered showbiz during the final year in college when he got a call to act in Subhash Ghai’s Meri Jung. Since then it has been a roller coaster ride. “I love entertaining, (It was genetic), dancing and worked on it on my own.” The versatile actor is also known for bringing India’s first dance reality show Boogie Woogie with his brother Naved and Ravi Bahl. Considering himself lucky to have done the show, he says the show kept the child in him alive. “It was one-of-its kind-show in India and came from our heart. Our love for dance, children and creativity brought us all together. Even in the worst of situations, these budding dancers were smiling and enjoying the moment.”

Sharing the story behind his love for Urdu, he says he would not study the language as a child as he went to a convent school but picked it up later as he started reading the Koran, (“The Arabic alphabet are similar and much harder to pronounce.) “My parents and grandmother spoke Urdu very well and we used to speak Hindustani (a mix of Urdu and Hindi where the ratio of Urdu is higher). Words often used are in Urdu such as Pyaar, Duniya, Zamaana and Mohabbat.”

Jaaved dabbled in politics too for a brief stint. “It was a knee jerk reaction. I didn’t want to be a politician but I liked what they (AAP) were standing for. We put our own money behind the campaign. I was not thick-skinned so opted out of it.” He is vocal on social media on issues that disturb him. “I do talk on things which pain me. You tend to get apprehensive seeing the hatred that’s there within the system. We have to fight it and take drastic measures to flush it out of the system.”

Besides Sooryavanshi and Coolie no.1, he looks forward to Karan Johar’s Takht where he plays a prominent role and Maska on Netflix. Also coming up is a untitled movie on four 50+plus friends featuring him, Sanjay Dutt, Madhavan and Sunil Shetty and their bonding.Finally, he recites a sher — ‘Kya hai aapke jawaani ka raaz? Mere bachhe mjujshe boodha hone nahin dete’ to reveal his secret to stay young.

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2020 9:56:22 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/jaaved-jaaferi-reveals-why-he-sees-humour-even-in-dark-times/article31098107.ece

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