If I mention the name Syed Ishtiaque Ahmed Jaffrey, the birth name of the famous actor comedian Jagdeep, it may not ring a bell. However, if the name Soorma Bhopali is mentioned, those not familiar with the name Jagdeep even would also readily recall! In another blog on Mac Mohan, the actor who played Gabbar’s sidekick Sambha in the iconic movie Sholay, I had mentioned that seldom a movie got made that immortalised not only its lead actors but many peripheral actors too! Jagdeep had two scenes in the movie, their running time not even adding up to 5 minutes in all! But the veteran actor stole his moment by etching a permanent memory in the minds of Bollywood fans.
Jagdeep started early as a child actor in early 50s and got some lead roles too; but he had to struggle to make an enduring place for himself in Bollywood that happened post Shammi Kapoor starrer Brahmachari that was a blockbuster hit and Jagdeep’s character in the movie was remembered by viewers. Purists can argue about his acting style to be loud and his comedy, at times, to be crass and vulgar. But audience simply loved it – be it his buffoonery of his special dialogue delivery. His presence came as a whiff of fresh air.
Married thrice and having Javed and Naved Jaffrey, whose dance show Boogey Woogie , the first reality dance show that ruled the roost for several years, among his 5 children, the sons, especially Javed, has demonstrated the comic capabilities of his illustrious father and is a real cool dancer too.
Bollywood has been witnessing a real negative phase marred by complete stoppage of activity and no new releases on one side and death of several of its famous and not so famous members on the other! Jagdeep belonged to a genre that was more theatrical in style – loud and boisterous- rather than current style of understated and restrained performances. But nothing matters as long as audiences love you and lap up all that you dish out! Jagdeep was loved by mass cinema viewers of our country!
RIP – Syed at birth, Jagdeep in lifetime and Soorma Bhopali immortal !