AK Hangal's condition serious, admitted to hospital

Sholay’s Rahim chacha is in critical condition. Avtar Kishan Hangal aka AK Hangal, 95, is in ICU, at Asha Parekh Hospital, Santa Cruz.

Hangal was admitted there after he fell down in bathroom on August 14, injuring his thigh bone. Initially he was treated at home, but as his condition deteriorated, he was shifted to the hospital. The surgery however could not be done, as his doctors found he had some respiratory problem. Dr Vinod Khanna, orthopedic surgeon of the hospital said, “During examination, we found he had severe chest complications and admitted him in the ICU. His condition is still critical. He is under constant observation.”

His son Vijay, who is 75 years old himself, said, “His condition is deteriorating but he is a fighter though there is little chance of his surviving. He suffered a hip fracture but we brought him to the hospital as his condition became serious. He was put on life support but two days later, the ventilator was removed as it wasn't helping him in any way.”

A veteran of over 225 films in Hindi Film Industry, Hangal had worked with almost all the big names of his time. Hangal was born in Sialkot, Punjab, now in Pakistan. He spent his childhood in Peshawar and was involved in the Indian freedom struggle. Due to which he was jailed for 3 years. After partition he came to Bombay and started taking part in theatre, where he met immortal artists such as, Balraj Sahni and Kafi Azmi.

He started his career at the age of 50 with Basu Chatterjee’s ‘Teesri Kasam’ in 1966. He impressed us with his positive meek characters on the screen. There are many notable movies of his to name a few, like ‘Sholay’, ‘Namak Haraam’, ‘Saukeen’, ‘Bawarchi’, ‘Guddi’, ‘Chupa Rustam’, ‘Chit Chor’ and ‘Kora Kagaz’ , only to name just a few.

A K Hangal had continued to act in movie till 2005, till his health didn’t allow him. He was back on set for a TV series ‘Madhubala-ek ishq ek junoon’. Hangal had said then, “I have lived my life on the sets. And it was exciting to go back to one.”

Perhaps actors are remembered only after they are gone, as Bipasha Basu recently said, “An actor's life is very sad. The biggest of superstars in our country fade away after some time and are remembered only when they die. But what to do? It is very vulnerable, very sad, but that is the way it is. Nothing is permanent in their life.”