Mumbai: While several theatre personalities gathered here today to remember distinguished character actor A K Hangal, Bollywood bigwigs failed to attend the meet.
The actor passed away yesterday, aged 98, due to a brief illness aggravated by a fractured thigh.
The meeting, held this evening by the Indian People's Theatre Association (IPTA) at Prithvi Theatre, was termed as a "celebration of Hangal's life and journey" rather than a condolence meet.
Incidentally, no prominent Bollywood personality had attended Hangal's last rites yesterday.
Those from Hindi filmdom present at today's meet included Shabana Azmi, Javed Akhtar, Kabir Bedi, Ila Arun, Anupam Kher, Raj Zutshi and Pawan Malhotra.
Theatre and TV actor Anjan Srivastav performed a scene from IPTA's longest running play 'Shatranj Ke Mohre', in which Hangal had played a role.
Others shared their fond memories of the late actor. "I first saw him on the sets of 'Bawarchi' and I was impressed by his acting. He was very particular about his work and role," noted writer-lyricist Javed Akhtar said.
Shabana Azmi said, "He was very enthusiastic about his work. He was a very dedicated actor. We hope to see more people like him around us."
Hangal is survived by his 74-year-old son Vijay as his wife Manorama predeceased him.
"I remember when he was to undergo an operation he asked me if he will be alive or die... I did not have any answer to that. It was when he was in ICU I wrote a poem for him," an emotional Vijay said.
Actor Kabir Bedi said he felt sad that he could not meet Hangal before his demise. "He was not keeping well and I never got an opportunity to see him and I feel sorry about this. I feel sorry as I couldn't see him," he said.