“My meeting with Singh Saabwas unreal because unfortunately, I met him when he had lost vision in both eyes due to some disease.He used to live with his daughter and he was confined to home obviously because he couldn’t see. After 15 years, somebody from the film industry was speaking to him. So, at first, he didn’t believe that I wanted to interview him and why. So, I told him, ‘You’re a legend. You need to be talked to.’ He was overwhelmed by this and thanked me.
I found him to be a well-versed and educated person. He spoke very well in Urdu and English. Because he couldn’t see, he didn’t understand the concept of a TV interview. So, we told him that we were doing the interview for Zee TV which is a renowned TV channel. He was overwhelmed with the fact that we acknowledged his contribution to cinema.
He told me that he didn’t like to depend on anyone because his daughter would go to work in the morning and come back home in the evening. The food used to be kept in the fridge. He had kept a count of footsteps – how far were the kitchen and the fridge. He would get his food himself, eat it and keep the utensils back. He didn’t want to be a burden to his family. It was touching to hear all that because at that age too there was pride in him.
I simply can’t forget the one thing he told me. He asked, ‘Kya iss interview ke liye mujhe kuchh paise milenge?’ (Will I get some money for this interview?) I told him that we generally don’t pay for the interviews. He said, ‘I’m not asking for money because I need it. But if you pay me then I’ll feel great that after so many years, I worked and earned some money.’ That touched me and I told him, ‘Sir, come what may, we will pay you for this.’
We had a nice one-and-a-half-hour chat. I think that was his last interaction with anyone from the entertainment world. He used to stay in Matunga and I met his daughter with whom he used to stay,” Ranjan shared with ETimes.