'Salaam Bombay' fame short-lived

Syed played “Chaipao” in the film that launched Nair’s international career as a filmmaker. The movie went on to win 25 international awards.

However, 20 years have passed since then and Syed, now 36, looks back not without bitterness. After “Salaam Bombay”, for which he was paid Rs 15,000, his perspective on life changed.

His hopes soared, but life failed to keep up.  Things were really terrible four years after the movie experience. He could not find work and with no fixed address – he lived at the Cross Maidan with eight other kids – any more roles in films were out of reach.

Syed had a National Award, but he also turned suicidal, making two attempts to take his life, he told Deccan Herald. Life moved on, and so did Syed eventually, making his way back to Bangalore from where he had once runaway.

He now works as a sound recording technician with a film company in Bangalore. “What little I have now is of my own making. I was not educated, but I taught myself to speak English.”

In his hand is the script of his own story that he has been working on for a long time. Someday, he thinks, it will become a documentary.

Comments (+)