Sagar Sarhadi, ‘writer of the masses’, no more


When the film ‘Bazaar’, Sagar Sarhadi’s debut directorial venture, released in the early 1980s, several pre-established boundaries were challenged — not just been art and mainstream cinema, but also characterisations. There were no black and white characters, only humans with multiple shades. Tragedy was not an explosion but a series of daily upheavals. And suicide could be an act of self defence.

Sarhadi, who passed away at the age of 88 on Sunday night after age-related issues started his writing career with Urdu plays and short stories.

Born near Abbottabad (now, Pakistan), he migrated to Delhi at the age of 12.

Entering the Hindi film industry with a bang by writing dialogues for Yash Chopra’s 1976 ‘Kabhie Kabhie’, starring Amitabh Bachchan and Raakhee, he also wrote the screenplay for ‘Silsila’ and dilogues for ‘Chandni’.

In the 90s, he also wrote dialogues for Shah Rukh Khan’s debut ‘Deewana’ and Hritik Roshan’s ‘Kaho Na Pyaar Hai’.

Actor Shabana Azmi wrote on her Twitter handle, “Deeply sorry at the passing away of Sagar Sarhadi. He will be remembered by his work both in theatre and films notable amongst them Tanhai and Bazaar. He drew his inspiration from life, travelled by bus and train because he was a writer of the masses. We at IPTA have lost a family member.”