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Jagdeep’s memorable scene from Kaalia is still taught in acting institutes, shares Rumy Jafry

The filmmaker, who directed the veteran actor in his last film Gali Gali Chor Hai (2012), recalls his comic timing and ability to transform the impact of a scene during dubbing. 

Keyur Seta

Veteran actor Jagdeep, who died yesterday at 81, acted in almost 400 films in a career spanning more than six decades. The last film of his career turned out to be Gali Gali Chor Hai (2012), starring Akshaye Khanna in the lead. Rumy Jafry, who directed the film, tells us that Jagdeep had also acted in his previous film, Life Partner (2009). He feels fortunate to have had the chance to work with the veteran actor.

“The world already knows how good an actor he was. He was brilliant and so spontaneous. He could give 10 different expressions in a flash with those eyes and face. His example is given in the industry when it comes to giving expressions,” said Jafry.


The writer-director shared that Jagdeep always used to do his own dubbing, no matter how small a role he had in a film. “Because his dialogue delivery and comic timing was such that nobody could do his dubbing,” he said. 

Jafry revealed an interesting fact about Jagdeep. He said that students in acting institutes are still taught the late actor’s scene from Tinnu Anand’s Kaalia (1981). Jagdeep had just one scene in the film but he made it memorable with his comic timing. It’s the scene where Amitabh Bachchan’s character test drives a car and the showroom manager, played by Jagdeep, sits beside him. 

Rumy Jafry

“Amitabh Bachchan drives at full speed and different parts of the car start falling out. Jagdeep ji gives hilarious reactions. The script only said that he had to give reactions to this and thats's how the comedy would happen. There were no dialogues. It was all up to him,” said Jafry. 

However, Jagdeep had put forth a condition that even though he did not have proper dialogues, he would dub the scene himself. The importance of this was seen later.

“Jagdeep ji himself created the scene during the dubbing by uttering lines like, ‘Arre kya kar raha hai? Arre pagal khaane se aaya hai? Agra se aaye ho kya? Arre darwaza gaya bhaiya!’ In acting institutes, students are told that a good actor has the ability to change the whole impact of a scene during dubbing,” added Jafry. 

The writer-director was thinking of having a detailed conversation with Jagdeep but that won’t happen now. “Jagdeep bhai used to narrate old incidents related to Guru Dutt, Bimal Roy, etc. He did so much work with all these people. Just last week I told a friend that we should meet him and record these incidents because nobody is left to narrate these old stories,” said Jafry. 

Jafry was very happy when Jagdeep’s son, actor Jaaved Jaaferi shared the late actor's fondness for him during the shoot of their upcoming film. “His son Jaaved Jaaferi is working in my next film Coolie No 1. He told me that his father is fond of me. I remember he agreed to work in my films on the phone itself,” he added. 

Looking back, Jafry is glad about the recent honour bestowed upon Jagdeep. “I was very happy when he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at IIFA [International Indian Film Academy] last year. Otherwise they only give it to heroes instead of supporting artistes,” he said.