Mumbai: Satyadev Dubey faced indescribably hard times in his later days, actor Rajit Kapoor has revealed, adding that the late theatre veteran used to ask: "I need money. Why doesn`t anyone give me work to do?"
"I was his greatest admirer and to see him this way was unbearable for me. Satyadevji had no money in his last days. When I met him recently, he told me. He asked: `Why doesn`t anyone give me work to do.` The anguished question left me feeling helpless," Rajit said, adding that the blunt and honest quality in Dubey`s character often put his friends off.
"Satyadevji was so candid, he left you feeling naked under his scrutiny. That`s because he was himself a completely naked man. Hence anyone and everyone hurled stones at him. He took the brickbats on his chin, never flinched from being true to his art," he added.
All of Rajit`s interactions with the Dubey took place at the Prithvi Theatre`s cafe.
"That`s where our bonding began and cemented. I was barely out of my teens when Aakash Khurana took me to meet him at the Prithvi Theatre. He surveyed me so closely, I felt naked. He told me to join his group from the next day if I could afford the bus fare to the theatre. I never went back. I was totally intimidated.
"Though I remained bonded with him, over the years I didn`t have the courage to work with him. He was harsh and diffident. But he was also vulnerable and emotional in his unguarded moments. In his later years, his sharp tongue and no-nonsense attitude to life and art isolated him from his colleagues," said the actor.
Rajit, who worked in off-beat films like ‘Suraj Ka Satvan Ghoda’, ‘Sardari Begum’, ‘Mammo’ and ‘Zubeidaa’, said that he got is first big break in mainstream Hindi film on Dubey`s recommendation.
"I will never forget Satyadevji recommended me for my role in Vikram Bhatt`s ‘Ghulam’. Because of him I got the important role of Aamir Khan`s brother. It was my first foray into commercial Hindi cinema. I wouldn`t have known whom to approach and how to start in mainstream cinema. He was a true inspiration and my hero in theatre," he said.