A melancholy chord strikes through film lovers today, as people forlornly recall the first birth anniversary since the legendary Nayak Raj Razzak's death in August 2017. Had tragedy not struck, the late actor would have celebrated his 77th birthday today. The five time National Film Award winning actor worked tirelessly for four decades, and his contributions in the country's film industry remain to be matched. While his absence will be poignantly felt among his peers and family members, Razzak remains in their hearts in spirit. In a recent conversation, the late actor's son Samraat and popular film actor Farooque express their grief, and fond thoughts for Nayak Raj Razzak.
Farooque: It is a strange feeling to think that even while he is not here, his birthday will continue to roll into our lives every year. Razzak was more than my friend; I feel as though I have lost a brother. Together, we have weathered through a lot in life.
His birthdays were grand, festive occasions; large get-togethers would be hosted at his house, and Razzak loved nothing more than catching up with his friends. His 75th birthday was an especially happy event; most senior actors of the industry were present at his estate, and the stories exchanged that day were unforgettable. I remember being filled with emotion as we all embraced him and gathered for photos. Our paths crossed regularly when we were younger and active in films, but that changed with age and deteriorating health. However, he was always on my mind, and I shall relive the moments we have been through together for the years to come. For now, I wish him a very happy birthday, and I know a man of his measure and generosity is faring well in the afterlife.
Samraat: We all made sure his birthdays were special, and nothing made him happier than to see us filled with joy and excitement. This may sound rather surprising, but we never extended invitations to his friends and acquaintances; everyone flocked to him at their own accord. Each year, we would order a large cake shaped into the letter “R”, after the first letter of his name. Before his birthday, I would always ask him what he would like as a present. In the years past he received mobile phones, shawls, watches, panjabis, and even a car from us.
This is the first birthday we are unable to share with him, and I cannot put my grief into words. It has been months since he parted from us, and I have not been able to get over the sadness, nor have I been able to return to work. His presence is felt in the most painful of ways; my father would never start a meal without me, and during family mealtimes today, we are seated at the table without him.
For the last five months, I have been visiting his resting place after the dawn prayers. All my prayers to God are for him, and his eternal peace.