Top Bollywood actor falls in love with Doha on first visit

December 06, 2013 - 5:13:38 am
Raza Murad speaks to The Peninsula yesterday. Shaival Dalal

DOHA: A popular Bollywood actor who is known for his trademark baritone and several blockbusters, Raza Murad, is here on a brief visit.

His latest top-grossing movie, Ram Leela, is screened in theatres all over, including here, but that’s not what has brought him to Doha.

He was chief guest at Founder’s Day celebrations of India’s Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) last night organised by AMU Alumni Association.

The actor has more than 500 films behind him, many in languages other than Hindi, including Russian. In all, he has acted in films in 18 languages.

His father, Murad, was a famous actor, too, and is remembered by Indian movie buffs even to this day for his shining snow-white hair and his roles in most old Hindi films as a judge in court scenes.

Both father and son have over 1,000 Indian films collectively to their credit.

Raza Murad seems a little upset that the much-famed online encyclopaedia, Wikipedia, gives incorrect basic information about him.

“They have made me four years older. I was born in 1950, not 1946, as mentioned in Wikipedia,” the actor said, albeit in a lighter vein.

He said he was born in Mumbai on November 23, and not on July 2 in Gorakhpur in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh (UP), again, as recorded by Wikipedia.

“I have never even been to Gorakhpur,” said the veteran actor, who, though originally does hail from UP — but from another, faraway district, Rampur. At 19, he entered the Film and TV Institute in Pune and after passing out from there two years later, joined the film industry in 1971. “I haven’t looked back ever since.”

Raza Murad said he was on his own in the fiercely competitive celluloid world of India from day one and sought no help from his father.

“Real success came 14 years later with the legendary film-maker and actor Raj Kapoor’s film Ram Teri Ganga Maili in 1985.”

For the first time in Qatar, the actor said he simply fell in love with the place and hoped to be here with his family soon. The shining blue Gulf waters and the West Bay towers mesmerised him.

“It’s a highly tourist-friendly country.” 

Among the places he visited yesterday with his host, construction industry magnate M S Bukhari, was the Katara Cultural Village which he said he found impressive.

Full interview to appear in Plus later

The Peninsula
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