Jalal had a premonition of dying before his death: When he got the film on the recommendation of his father, he rejected it out of selfishness, Jeetendra became a star from that.
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You will remember the song ‘Mehbooba-Mehbooba’ from the 1975 film ‘Sholay’. Helen was there in this song, but actor Jalal Agha, who was seen playing rubab, also caught everyone’s attention. Jalal Agha’s connection with films was connected in his childhood because his father Agha was the best comedian of the 40-50s who worked in more than 300 films. Jalal could have easily made a place in films by taking advantage of his father’s name, but he made a mark on his own.
Jalal Agha remained limited to supporting roles but he did all the work in Bollywood on his own. Even as a supporting actor, he got praise on the strength of his talent. He was so proud and passionate that when he came to know that the first film was received on the recommendation of his father, he refused to work in that film. When he was young and started shooting for playing Salim’s childhood character in Mughal-e-Azam, his father also came on the set. Being nervous in front of his father, Jalal could not concentrate on shooting, so he asked the director to get his father thrown out of the set. The father got irritated by this and got Jalal admitted in the boarding school.
Apart from acting, Jalal, a passout from FTII, also tried his hand at direction and film production. His film journey, which started in 1967, ended after 26 years in 1993 when the film ‘Pehla Nasha’ was released in the same year. Jalal Agha appeared on the silver screen for the last time in this film. His personal life was full of ups and downs. When his wife went to Germany after divorce, Jalal Agha found it very difficult to meet his two children. He passed away in 1995.
Read some interesting facts of his life on the 28th death anniversary today…
got the father out of the set
This story is from the year 1950-55 when K. Asif was making Mughal-e-Azam. They were looking for a child artist to play Salim’s childhood role in the film. He mentioned this to Dilip Kumar who played the role of Salim in the film. Dilip Kumar thought of Jalal, son of his best friend and comedian Agha. He met Agha and said that he wanted to see his son Jalal in the film Mughal-e-Azam in the role of Salim as a child. Agha did not want his son to work in films at such a young age. He wanted the son to concentrate on studies, so he refused Dilip Kumar.
Jalal Agha playing the role of Master Salim in the film Mughal-e-Azam.
Dilip Kumar secretly took Jalal to the set
Where was Dilip Kumar also going to agree? He secretly took his son to the sets of Mughal-e-Azam and got him to shoot. When Agha came to know about this, he did not get very angry, but when the son used to go for the shooting, he used to follow him like a shadow and keep an eye on him even on the set. Jalal was getting annoyed because he was not able to focus on his role. Jalal then complained to director K. Asif and got his father thrown out of the set.
Jalal Agha’s father Agha was a famous comedian of his time, who acted in about 300 films.
Stay away from films so father sent him to Gwalior
Jalal was born on July 11, 1945. His mother’s name was Masoom. Jalal was the only son of his parents and a brother of three sisters, so he was always pampered. Agha studied at a boarding school in Pune and then studied at The Scindia School, Gwalior. The father did not want him to study in Mumbai because he felt that if he stayed here, he would start working in films and not study.
After schooling in Gwalior, Jalal graduated in acting from FTII (Film and Television Institute of India) in Pune. He also told his father that he would make his career in films only.
Jalal wanted to make an identity on his own
Jalal was the starkid but he never showed any interest in taking advantage of it. He did not want to get any work using his father’s name. When Jalal grew up, he was offered the film Farz. He agreed to work in the film but as soon as he came to know that he got this film because of his father, he left the film.
His sister Shahnaz had said in an interview – My brother (Jalal) and I used to get annoyed that we were getting work because of being Agha’s children because we felt as if we had no identity of our own. Jalal’s sister Shahnaz also used to be an actress. He appeared in the 1969 film Saat Hindustani, which also starred Jalal. Shahnaz had two other sisters who wanted to appear in films but father Agha was strongly against it. He believed that girls should stay at home but Shahnaz came to films after persuading him.
After graduating from FTII, Jalal made his Bollywood debut in 1967 as an actor in Khwaja Ahmad Abbas’s crime thriller Bambai Raat Ki Bahon Mein.
Worked in about 60 films
Jalal became a supporting actor in most of the films. He is best remembered for playing Salim in Yaadon Ki Baaraat, Richard in Julie and Mehbooba-Mehbooba in the 1975 film Sholay. Jalal was seen with Helen in this song. Apart from this, he also played supporting roles in films like Saat Hindustani, Thodi Si Bewafai, Dil Aakhir Dil Hai. Jalal had worked in about 60 films in his career.
In 1982, Jalal appeared in Paan Parag’s ad.
Jalal used to make TV shows too
Jalal also tried his hand at direction and screenplay. He had a production house named Maja Films in which he made some advertisements and TV serials. Mr. Ya Mrs. and Kahkashan (1991) aired in 1987 were also produced by his production house.
failed in direction
Jalal’s first film was Nirvana. The film was never released due to a credit dispute with the producers. Jalal Agha’s second film was Goonj, which released in 1989. Its story was based on the riots that took place in the country around 1980. The film was critically appreciated but it flopped at the box office. Jalal also acted in English films such as Bombay Talkies (1970), Gandhi (1982), Kim (1984) and The Deceivers (1984). In 1979, he also signed a Hollywood movie ‘The Crossing’ but it never materialized.
Broken marriage in 8 years
Jalal is married to model Valerie Pereira. Both became parents of two children (Salim Christopher Agha Bi and Vanessa) but the marriage broke up in 1983 after eight years. Valerie remarried after the divorce and moved to Germany. She had the custody of the children too, so she took them along. Jalal found it difficult to stay away from his children. He used to add every penny so that he could go to Germany to meet his children. Growing up, his son Salim returned to India, who is a famous cook and owner of a famous restaurant in Goa. While daughter Vanessa is settled in Chicago.
Had a feeling of dying a day before death
Jalal died on March 5, 1995 in Delhi. He died of a heart attack at the age of 49. After Jalal’s death, his sister Shahnaz told in an interview that Jalal had a premonition of death a day before his death.
Sister Shahnaz had told that she had realized her death. Telling an anecdote, he had said, a few days before his 50th birthday, his friends had demanded a big celebration from him, but Jalal said – ‘Kal kise dekha hai, pehle kal to aane do’. He died the very next day after this.
Jalal Agha appeared in the film ‘Pehla Nasha’ in 1993, two years before his death, which proved to be his last film.
Jalal Aga was very friendly
Shahnaz also revealed that her brother was very friendly. He had so many friends that he had two diaries to note down everyone’s phone numbers. In this, a diary had the names and phone numbers of those friends who are from India. At the same time, in the second diary, he had noted the numbers of friends living abroad. Just three years before Jalal’s death, his father Agha also died of a heart attack.