With prayers on their lips, friends and family members bid a tearful adieu to distinguished character actor A K Hangal at his funeral here.
Incidentally, none of the prominent Bollywood personalities attended Hangal’s last rites, performed by his son Vijay at the Pawan Hans crematorium in Vile Parle, Mumbai, at around 1 PM.
“It’s a great loss… I am saddened by his demise. He was very happy and lively about his work and life. I can’t talk much now,” Hangal’s son Vijay told PTI.
Character artists including Rakesh Bedi, Raza Murad, Avatar Gill, singer-actress Ila Arun and a few others were seen at the crematorium uniting in grief at the demise of the man who played the role of grandfather, father, uncle or friend to various actors.
Hangal passed away early this morning due to brief illness aggravated by a fracture in his thigh bone at Asha Parekh Hospital in suburban Mumbai. He was 98.
“Though he was out of sight as he was not working in movies, he was not out of mind. He was my guru… he was an institution… I have learnt a lot from him,” Raza Murad said.
“He has worked with all superstars but it is sad that no big star from the industry came here today,” he said.
“He lived like a king. He was very active. He was never disheartened when he was out of work and money. He was not only an actor… he was a freedom fighter. It’s a great loss,” Ila Arun said.
Hangal is survived by his 74-year-old son Vijay as his wife Manorama predeceased him.