When the camera starts humming, I forget who the other actors are, who the director is. I’m just talking to the camera. I love the camera, says actor Farruh Jaffar, 88, who liked himself in Gulabo Sitabo, Shoojit Sircar’s latest film, which went online last week.

It was a pleasure to watch a movie at home with an octopus actress. Farrukh glowed every time her character, Fatima Runaway, appeared on the screen, and she didn’t think about stealing a couple of flashes during a scene that might have been a little creepy.

Their reaction to the media comments the day after the release of the film was no less interesting. She thinks that before the release of the film it was planned to make the audience believe that they were Amitabh Bachchan and Ayushman Hurrana. The promotional scooters featured two Indian movie stars fighting on screen, such as the famous string puppets Gulabo Sitabo, rival daughters-in-law of a popular traditional puppet show, who performed on the streets of Lucknow.

Today Farrukha is amused by the fact that the media has highlighted and elevated her performance, making her a famous hadee kebab maine for Bachchan and Hurrana.

Movie car

Farrukh Jaffar has never had fun in his life. At one point she realized that the funniest thing in life is to look the camera in the eye. So she went for it and hasn’t looked back since. In the beginning, the sensation was only felt when watching films. When she was offered a role in the film without looking for it, she decided not to refuse the offer because no one in her conservative family had ever dared to be so shameless.

Her passion for cinema began in 1939, when she saw her first film, Pukar. She was about seven years old and was visiting family in Lucknow with the elders of her village in the Yunpur district.

She watched Pukar with her whole family at the local cinema. The cloth has caught its breath. She had no choice but to dream of Nasim Bano, who played the leading role in Pukara. Back home she looks forward to leaving the village and returning to the cinemas in Lucknow.

By praising her to heaven, Farrukh Jaffar finds that the media have made her a notorious My Hadi Kebab between the performances of Bachchan and Hurrana.

Farrukh didn’t have to wait long. She got married at the age of 16. She had no idea what her duties as a wife would be, but she was looking forward to living in Lucknow and going to the movies.

When she heard music on the main street, she dropped her homework and hurried to the terrace. From there she looked out onto the street, where a loudspeaker in an open jeep announced the release of the latest film. At that time, Nargis and Raj Kapoor were often seen in the film.

Her husband, a journalist, spent most of his time in the office of a newspaper or in a café with poets, politicians and writers. He didn’t have time to watch movies with her. So she used her indifference as a good excuse to watch other movies and keep dreaming about Dilip Kumar. She obviously waited her time.

Farrukh with Shojit Sirkar, directed by Gulabo Sitabo.


The common room with Amitabh Bachchan in Gulyabo Sitabo is now a matter of arrival. For Farrukh, this is the highlight of his career. She has worked in the film industry for over half a century with some of the best in Indian cinema, from Reha to Shah Rukha Khan, from Aamir Khan to Salman Khan, from Nawazuddin Siddiqui to Nawazuddin. She did all this without leaving Lucknow in Mumbai and without promotion as manager or agent.

Imagine! I used to be a fan of Amitabh Bachchan, but now I share the screen with the actor, says Farrukh, surprised.

The secret of their usual success on the big screen is simple. She likes the light and the camera so much that the actions are rarely far behind.

Mehru Jaffer is a talented writer, and Farruh Jaffer’s daughter…

From 21. June 2020