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Khalid Mohamed



Writers are desperate people and when they stop being desperate, they stop being writers. As a writer in the making we’ve been taught that the pen is always mightier than the sword, but the question is how long can it sustain that power?

The son of yesteryear actress, Zubeida Begum Khalid, was weaned on films. They had an impact on him since the beginning of his life. He believed that cinema had its own world. This love for watching movies and observing characters evoked the passion inside him to become somebody whose life was always revolving around the film fraternity. In the early 90s, Khalid joined the editorial team, Filmfare, and soon gained immense popularity among the masses. His sharp words weaved with his genius about the core of the movie world made him a favorite. During his rise he did not shy away from making friends with the Filmdom’s- whether they were the Bachchan’s or the Kapoor’s, he got them all. He can be reflected as an opportunist as he used the connections to venture into his ambition, which was from editing movie reviews to writing his own scripts.

He began by working under the master himself, Mr. Shyam Benegal, as he scripted his 1995 film, ‘Mammo’, which was based on the life of a grand-aunt who comes to live with her friend and his grandson. Before Mammo, he had written a heart wrenching piece about this aunt who had been deported from Pakistan. Benegal was impressed with the young lad’s skills, and thus, resulted in a collaboration among the two. Mohamed wrote the screenplay for Benegal’s ‘Sardari Begum’, in 1996, and ‘Zubeida’, in 2001, which was based on the life of Khalid’s mother. In the year 2000, he made his directorial debut with ‘Fiza’, starring Karisma Kapoor in the lead. The story was one of its kinds as it was based on the riots of 1992-93, which were awakening due to the destruction of Babri Masjid. It displayed the Muslim community being the minority in the country. He followed it up with ‘Tehzeeb’, in 2003, and his last venture was ‘Silsiilay’, in 2005. In an interview he stated that he could never show a woman in a weak role and this was the reason why all his concepts were based on strong female ideologies. He could have directed more, but everything came to haul when the Times Group stepped back from supporting his ventures and claimed his “reviews” as more of “judgments”. Since Khalid was backed by his opportunist’s friendships he thought he had managed to sail away, but with the release of Fiza, he faced criticism from the rival magazine, ‘Stardust’, as it read that he was reviewing films when he himself knew nothing about them.

Today, Filmfare is in the hands of the youth and the man whose careers is a decade old still is thriving and enthusiastically reviewing movies.