By SAEED HAMEED
MUMBAI : Those were the time when Nagpada was hot bed of crimes.Farooq Shaikh went to school in those time , when his surrounding and atmosphere of the area , he lived was not at all conducive for education.Every young man wanted to be a Haji Mastan , or Karim Lala , to earn fast money and wield terror in the area.Farooq Shaikh lived at Memani Building at Nagpada junction .
His father was a lawyer and well known person in Nagpada.But , Farooq and his brothers lost their father in early age .Farooq Shaikh was exposed to theatres in St.Xaviers College , while he was doing graduation.
He had very few friends in Nagpada , and he was seen as a very shy , introvert young man , not interacting much with local boys , most of whom did not set higher education , as their goal.Farooq Shaikh was a gentleman from the core , that is why , when he stayed at Nagpada during his school and college days , the crime infested surroundings of Nagpada did not has any adverse effect on him.
And , when he joined film , tv industry , got fame , he was not adversely affected by the Bolly wood either .He became a film star while he stayed at Nagpada .He used to travel in taxis even as his few earliest films were released in theaters .
He drew respect in the area as he was considered as gentleman .After he moved to Andheri , he did not break the contact with common people of the society .Even being a very busy film and theatre personality , he devoted his time to few NGOs which worked for the economic development of women from poor families from some slum areas of suburban Mumbai .
Farooq Shaikh is being remembered by thousands of Mumbai riots victims of 1992-93.These riots destroyed mostly slum and poor areas of Mumbai .Farooq Shaikh along with many other film stars and social activists organized relief , resue and rehabilitation work on a very large scale .His services to the riots victims mostly went unreported .But those riot victims who knew his efforts for them still remember this film artiste who had a golden heart .
He remained as a good human being , till the last breath.