Christopher Reeve once said, ‘a hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles’. The life story of Kadar Khan was no different from this. Whether its writing, direction, acting or academics, he excelled in everything. Though he made everybody laugh through comedy, his early years were very tough. He was born in Kabul on 22nd of October, 1942. When he was a child, his parents emigrated to Mumbai and started living in the slums of Kamathipura.He was raised there amidst drug addicts and prostitutes. Due to poverty, his parents got separated and his mother was married to another man when he was four. His unemployed and abusive step father always tortured him and often left him hungry. This scarred his childhood but he strongly faced all predicaments at such small age.
The domestic condition was so horrible that they used to eat only four days a week. Nonetheless his mother always told him that only through good education he can escape the vicious cycle of poverty. Seeing his mother working hard, young Kadar used to be very sad. At one point, he met some boys from the street and thought of working in a factory. He threw away his books and bunked school. But his mother motivated him to study. Since that day, Kadar Khan never looked back and decided to focus on study. He completed his diploma, bachelors and masters in civil engineering and started teaching in a college. During the period, he faced many problems and struggled a lot but never gave up.
Meanwhile, he sustained his hobby of writing. He wrote plays and acted during college days. And one day his hard work paid off. There was a drama competition in which his drama titled, ‘Local Train’ swept off all the awards and Kadar got 1500 Rupees. The legendary Dilip Kumar was a judge there and he was mighty impressed with fresh talent of this young man and signed him for two films, Sagina Mahato and Bairaag. This crucial break launched his career. And rest, as they say, is history. This was his prime period when he wrote dialogues for blockbuster movies like Jawani Diwani, Amar Akbar Anthony, Coolie, Sharabi, Muqaddar ka Sikandar and so on. Many famous producers like Narendra Bedi, Manmohan Desai, Prakash Mehra approached him for their films. Kadar Khan acted in almost 300 films and did variety of roles but he was best known as a comedian and villain. He won awards like Filmfare, Padma Shri, Best Comedian, Best Writer throughout his career. Despite of weakening health, he never cut off himself from film industry. Finally, he died on 31st December, 2018 in Canada. There are very few artists like Kadar Khan who are so loyal and dedicated to their work. Kadar Khan’s life story will remain a perennial source of inspiration for the youth as it teaches the importance of hard work and dedication.