If Farooque Shaikh were alive, he'd have disapproved of what i'm going to write. Not because it's false but because of his nature. The endearing actor cautiously stayed away from accolades and made sure he was as stardom-free as humanly possible. However, interestingly enough, he cared about his films and how they turned out in their essence compared to box-office figures. And this is from what i know of him. Having met him twice and having spoken on phone more, i'm pretty sure that there are very few actors around who ponder about the kind of work they are doing than the consequences it's going to have. With him gone now, that precious number has dwindled further. Remember that climactic scene in Shanghai where he's unable to enjoy his food after Abhay Deol's rebellious character has left him with no choice? Or throughout Club 60 where he balanced Sarika? Well, these are instances from his second innings (although he denied ever going back to the pavilion) and there are a lot more from his younger days. The range he exhibited was par excellence—be it the so-called middle-of-the-road cinema, theatre or television. Come to think of it, his Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai brought us closer to Bollywood stars long before KJo's caffeine did. He kept moving from one platform to another. The most impressive thing about him was he didn't take himself seriously throughout and admitted that he was painfully lazy. Always the first one to poke fun at himself, i remember him telling me "Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani did so well despite me being in it!" with deadpan expression. I don't know about others but these are the kind of folks i look forward to in my day-to-day existence. They don't own a car but are happy doing what they love. On top of that, they don't harbour bitterness for the boats they missed. They address you with warmth and respect unseen in most of their contemporaries. They are a rare specimen and it's an utter shock to wake up to rude news of their departure. I can only wish him a peaceful second innings.