It was difficult for many to bid adieu to this talented actor who left for heavenly abode a bit too early. Goalpara’s Ashraful Haque who was able to make a space of his own in the film industry in Mumbai was put to rest on Wednesday which left hundreds in tears.
The Mumbai Mirror reported that the 46 year old actor was suffering from a rare disorder called Myelodysplastic Syndrome and was undergoing treatment for the past two years.
The NSD graduate who was associated with more than 30 popular films in Bollywood besides a host of theatres left behind his wife and a nine year old son.
His body was taken to home town by members of All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) after it reached Guwahati airport on Wednesday morning. Hundreds paid tribute to the actor on his way before his last rites were performed in the afternoon.
Ashraful’s friends who gathered at airport to receive his body said that he always preferred to stay silent and to work. “He is not widely known in the state even after working in so many films in Bollywood. I think he is the only Assamese to do 30 mainstream films in Bollywood. He did not know how to market himself. We salute his dedication to his works and making us proud,” said a tearful childhood friend of the actor.
He acted more than 30 films including Company, Jungle, Dil Kya Kare, Calcutta Mail, Deewaar, Black Friday, Delhi Belly, Paan Singh Tomar and Fukrey among others. He also played the protagonist in national award winning film ‘The Lost Behrupiya’ in 2013.
Renowned actor of international repute Adil Hussain who also belong to the same town rued that Ashraful did not get his due recognition.
“He was a very sensitive and talented actor. He could have been just another great actor seeing the kind of talent he had. He did not get the roles which he could have been played in far better way. He also did not get the due recognition,” Adil said.
Adil also remembered the past days in Goalpara. “He was very keen on acting and used to ask me to conduct programmes on acting when he was studying in college,” he said.
In one of the articles written by Ashraful, he had mentioned that Adil Hussain has been extremely helpful in his initial days of acting.
Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi expressing grief at the demise of the actor said that Ashraful’s contribution to the field of art and culture will be remembered in the days to come.
“By dint of his hard labour, Ashraful could occupy a space in Hindi film industry. Since his school days, he has been actively involved with cultural activities. His demise is a huge loss to the state,” said Gogoi in a statement.
Ashraful completed his high school from Baladmari High School, Goalpara in 1987. After completing his graduation from Goalpara College in 1992, he joined National School of Drama, New Delhi in Dramatics with specialization in Acting and completed his course in 1997.
Ashraful’s neighbour and a noted author Atanu Bhattacharyya said his enthusiasm on acting while remembering the actor. “It was a matter of pride for all of us how he established himself in Mumbai coming from a small town, Goalpara. He used to discuss things with me very often. It was painful to lose a dear friend and a brother like him so early,” Bhattacharyya said.
Another actor from Assam who has been working in Mumbai, Mrigendra Konwar said losing him was like end of a source of inspiration. “For me he is kind of inspiration for actors like us who come to Mumbai to follow their dreams. Being an NSDian he is my senior and when I look back to his body works in Bollywood, I must say he was a very powerful actor and every role he depicted whether in films, serials or in advertisements there is always honesty,” Konwar said.