Zakir Khan: Tathastu (2022) - full transcript

Tathastu starts off with a recap of moments from Zakir's life. Starting from his early school days, the performance is a ride where the audience gets a peek at the family he was born in, the characters he grew closest to and his y...

Ladies and gentlemen,

please welcome on stage Zakir Khan.

(audience cheering)

Who is sure to win?
Ronnie will!

Who is sure to win?
Ronnie will!

Oh stop!

How are all of you?

- By God, you guys look gorgeous.
- You too.

Well, I did lose weight.

Thanks, I said it so
that you would compliment me

Get married!

Did the marriage idea come from here?

Well, I won't marry you!

Get married it seems!

Are you married?

Then why wish the same for me?

Why aren't you married?

-After you.

After me?

I'm also waiting for Salman to marry.

Your upbringing is pivotal
in shaping your future

and it depends on whether you're from
a nuclear family or a joint one.

This is the real divide not religion,

or regional direction.

Joint family Vs nuclear
family is the main divide.

That defines your character.

People from joint families,
give me a cheer.

I don't care if I seem biased,

when I start a company, I won't
hire employees from nuclear families.

Only people from joint
families will be hired.

I'll tell you why.

When you're raised in a joint family,

you develop a slavish streak.

In my home,

nobody gives pointed instructions.

What's your name, brother?

Sanidhya. Nobody will say Sanidhya,
get me some water.

Everybody speaks in the air

Well, get me water.

Everyone in the room looks at each other

to find who is the youngest

who waits with his
head bowed incase others

want something too so
he won't have to get up again.

Every joint family

has an alcoholic uncle

whose drinking is denied
by the entire family.

He did drink once as
a child and dad thrashed him.

He never drank again.

But the guy drinks every day!

He spoils the ambiance at home.

Then there's a woman

in the house

who's disliked by all.

She's the main villain for them.

The whole clan thinks
she's into black magic!

Reality. No ifs and buts about it.

She's into black magic, that's it.

Every joint family has a head honcho.

He's the main guy.

You remember Baa from 'Kyunki
Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi'.

Likewise every family has an oldie

who owns huge property

that has the whole family vying for it.

In my family, it was my grandfather,
Ustad Moinuddin Khan.

He was a Sarangi maestro.

And of course,

he was egoistic too.

Human body is made of 70% water,

his was 70% ego!

You've heard of hype men.

He had 8-9 of them,

his students.

Their only job was to

to show undying faith in their ustad.

Guru's word is truth

The guru would talk generic as f**k stuff!

They'd be like,
guru said it'll rain tomorrow.

I was like it's July for God sake!

It's raining all over the country.

My grandpa aka Abbaji was
weak in Math.

He was a well-travelled man

a great artist, with little education

but great confidence.

He'd brag saying I
had a show in some studio.

Big studio!

It was huge.

It was packed.

No room left at all.

People were touching the stage.

There were almost 10-15 people.

Oldies have a set mindset.

Another thing is about
waking up at odd hours.

it's 2 am.

He'd wake up at 12

but say I woke up at 2 am!

It wasn't 2!

Once he was called as the chief guest

on 15th August.

The entire family helped
him learn the speech.

Abbaji, memorise the speech.

He'd ask the one telling
him to say it himself.

He didn't learn it but every child...

We were around 65 people!

That's how joint families are made.

Every child had memorised it

We're from Rajasthan.
Get the picture.

Our forefathers were from Rajasthan.

We're Muslims from Rajasthan.

Imagine how subjugated our women were!

It's better with my generation.

We're pretty open.

Folks like my dad would be glad

if women wore burkha under veils!


My poor aunt

never saw the sun given her long veil!

She too learnt the speech on freedom!

She'd repeat it in the kitchen
while someone memorised it outside!

Today we

got freedom from the British

but we need to ask ourselves

are we really free?

Are we freed from poverty,

starvation, discrimination,

and casteism?

Freedom from these things is real freedom.

So, we took Mr Khan

to give his speech on 15th August.

He was unstoppable with his confidence!

We were fine with that.

He memorised the speech in bits
and pieces.

What he didn't remember was "freedom"

"Independence Day"

the occasion.

But he went ahead anyway.

Kids, it is 15th August today

and it is not.

Kids were like what?


we were 15th August from the British

but we must ask ourselves

are we really 15th August?

Kids were confused as hell.

Imagine I faced this torture

at the age of 11.

I'm playing sitar since the age of 4.

By 11 I got slightly better.

He woke me one night and told dad

he wants to hear me play.

Dad said okay.

He was happy with my performance.

He said my hands were steady.

He needs an ustad.

I asked who.

He said someone who'd be loving

and teach you well.

I wondered who that could be.

He said there's one such great ustad.

I asked who.

He said the one who lives upstairs!

I couldn't believe it.

I asked dad if we had some guest.

He's like, it's me, silly!

It's me

I was in tears.

I wept right there.

He's like those are tears of joy.

I didn't want to be with him.

I'm yet to experience my youth

while he's at the end of his life.

Childhood and old age are poles apart.

What kids find funny
is normal stuff for oldies.

For example, if someone breaks wind

a kid would go awwww!

He farted!

But this is all these guys talk about.

I had gas.

I'll get gas.

It'll cause gas.

They break wind anytime at all.

That's called swag.

Swag is not

funky gestures.

This is swag.

Kids these days have no patience.

They don't practice- *fart noise*

Nobody acknowledges it.

Nobody at all.

The conversation continues normally.

Usually the one who farts seems sheepish.

When we're in grade 9,
we have older friends from 11th or 12th.

Likewise an 80 year old

would have 90 year old friends.

I hadn't seen such ancient people.

He took me to one such person's house.

Mr Verma was a singer.

Two-planked door.

Grandpa said they were close.

I knocked the ancient
door locked by a chain.

He said he'd called so I needn't knock.

He'll be here running.
He really loves me.

The door didn't open for 10 minutes.

I was like who could run so fast!

The door opened and
an archaic man emerged.

I was petrified.

I was like is this allowed?

A lean man,

bag of bones,

a match stick.

Just a layer of skin on a skeleton.

He looked exactly like that.

And he did come running!

He was thrilled on seeing Abbaji.

My dear friend!

He literally rattled.

His skull banged his knee.

I was like what a flexible oldie!

Then he pulled out the harmonium.

He was a singer.
He began singing.

I was wondering where
the voice was coming from.

You have no nerves nor muscles,

how can you sing?

He started singing!

I was like stop with the shakes.

You don't have much scope

lest your neck snaps and falls
on my lap!

I don't want a head on my lap!

That's not the head I'm looking for!

I knew he'd ruin my youth!

I enrolled in a music college.

I had no reason to be humble for,
music was in my family.

You know how kids taking Math lessons

don't respect the Math teacher in school.

The ones preparing for IIT.

That was me but in music.

I'd enter the class and say,

Sir, come in?

He didn't reply initially but
at last asked how he should respond

at least ask for permission

Like saying may I or can I.

I said yeah you're right.

One day I was with
a friend and got a call.

I had a friend named Neha.


What's wrong?

I didn't even sound romantic!

I said in a flat tone I had a friend
named Neha.

What's so thrilling about it?

Why do you enjoy doing this?

What now?

-Don't melt.

Don't melt? I'll manage.

One more thing, buddy,

I lead a normal life.

I get by just fine.

Don't die single worrying about me.

I've had too many crushes
before I became unwavering.

So, I met Neha at a debate.

You know the girls who sit in a corner

the pretty ones with glasses and
speak to nobody.

She called me and I wondered why.

I said hello Neha.

She's like hi, Zakir. How are you?

Such warmth!

She's like

are you related to Ustad Moinuddin Khan?

I said what

Why is Abbaji being discussed here?

I asked her why

and she was like first answer me.

I said I'm his grandson.

Then she's like you guys
are coming to Bhopal day after.

I said yes.

She said, my dad liked to play sarangi

and he was a photographer,

a famous one. He died in an accident
two years ago.

He had autographed photos

of famous sarangi players

except your grandpa's.

His autographed photo
isn't in his collection.

Can I meet your grandpa?

I want to complete my dad's diary.

I said of course.

I agreed.

I'm a good guy.

I considered myself great, amazing,

helping a girl and got home.

My cousins had gathered for some family

We're a mischievous lot.

Mischief and cricket are our forte.

Cricket? This way please.

The oldies sat at one side chatting.

We were playing with a plastic ball.

The heavy neon green ball.

It's really heavy.

We were playing with that.

Abbaji was sitting to the left.

I was okay with leg by.

I was bowled a full toss.

I hit it hard.

I hit it so hard

it swung in the air.

I definitely had hit on the off side

It swung and hit Abbaji's bald head!

I dropped the bat and
planned my future right there.

I was sure to get kicked out.

I'll have to do odd jobs to survive.

I didn't return home till 2 am.
Dad called to check on me.

I asked if Abbaji had
slept and he said yes.

He had to leave for Bhopal next day.

I couldn't tell him about
the girl who wanted to meet him.

I couldn't for he was in
a bad mood but didn't remember why.

He didn't remember but his mood was off.

Sit properly.
I obeyed.

What more can I do?

I was holding the handle on the window.

He scolded me.

Are you on a bus?
Put that hand down.

I said okay.

Is this a rickshaw?
- No.


We got off at an inn and he met some

They greeted him.

They exchanged pleasantries.

He ill-treats me

and greets others lovingly!

I didn't like it. I told him sarcastically

I should learn this from you, Abba!

I heard an evil voice in my head.

Abbaji got excited.

He mistook the sarcasm for a compliment.

He started explaining his lifestyle.

You see, son, we're artists.

We don't touch people's hands

or cheeks, right?

Our music reaches people's ears

and they feel elated.

That's God's blessing.

It's God's grace.

It's his magic that he showers upon all.

People experience his
magic when they meet us.

They aren't meeting us.

If you tell me about your aches and pain,

you're insulting his grace.

We mustn't ever do that.

Understood? This is magic.

Not sure about the magic,
but it sure is hypocrisy!

Of course, I didn't say that aloud.

I kept quiet.

The main thing is I needed him.

I hadn't told him about
the main agenda in Bhopal.

So I told Abbaji softly,

no wonder everyone loves you.

Trust me, men are gullible as hell!

Such an innocent race!

Sing fake praises and they'll fall for it.

You can make them jump off the roof
with fake praises.

I praised Abbaji.

Abbaji, there's no one like you.

No wonder everyone wants to meet you.

You know, someone from Bhopal

died. He was Ramlal's student.

He left behind a daughter.

Can't trust the man. He'll spread rumours.

She's someone's daughter after all.

I asked him if he'd meet her.

He agreed.

Fake praises and he'll agree to anything!

We went to Bhopal, had food

and he slept at 5-6.

He woke up only at 7.

The poor thing came
to meet him and apologised.

He was like it's okay, bless you.

He met her affectionately.

I was like he's so fake!

The information I gave was paraded
blatantly before me!

Was he Ramlal's student
and she was like yes!

I met him in Ujjain.

He gave her the location and programme!

She said had they met,
they'd click a picture. He said there is!

I said there is no photo.

I had to intervene.

Let's take a photo now!

Let me click your picture.

Abba, please sign this.

He will take 10 minutes to

to scribble his name.

I left him to it.

What's up, Neha?

She's like all good.
I was planning to come to Indore.

But I don't know what to do there.

There's a lot you can do in Indore.

She asked what and I said malls have
come up there!

Describe a mall.

I said it's fully air conditioned.


We were conversing leisurely

and he disturbed us.

I wanted to snap

but he owned a lot of property!

He was also my guru!

I went to him and he pulled me closer.

What? - He pulled me closer.

He wanted to speak in my ear.

That means it's a secret.

He yelled in my ear

everyone around heard it!

He pulled me closer and said

look carefully.

Is it my bank's signature?

We somehow made it back from Bhopal.

He received an award and we came back.

All good?

I was watching TV.

I was alone and it was great fun.

Dad came and smacked my head.

I was foxed.

What happened?

He's like mend your ways.

Dads are always vague.

Mend what?

The way I do long jump?

Or high jump?

Or my studies, shooting?

I have great scope.

At least be clear.

What do you mean mend your ways?

Stop messing around?
- Meaning?

Your habit of chasing girls.

When did I do that?

You know exactly what I mean.

You better confess.

Am I crazy to confess?

You have to try your luck everywhere

until you get lucky.

Even that fails at times.

I can't confess lest
we're on the same page.

I won't get thrashed for the wrong girl.

You get away with things with me around.

But you should behave with my father.

What did I do?

Aren't you ashamed to call girls
in your room at 2?

- Because he wakes up only at...
- 2 am.

What a terrible man!

I was at a friend's place once.

We were fooling around
when my aunt's husband called.

Why would he call me?

Aunt's husband never calls!

I found it strange.

I greeted him and he said, hello,
aren't you ashamed?

What happened? He said I know everything.

He's a reputable man

and you had sex with a girl
in his room while he slept!

How did that get out so soon?

I lost it and I headed
home for confrontation.

I barged in and asked
Abbaji if he is asleep.

He said yes!

Then came his instructions.

Mosquitoes are biting.

So I brought out...

We'd run out of evaporator

so I chucked it.

I brought out the mosquito repellent coil.

The spiral one.
How many haven't heard of it?

Anybody who hasn't seen it?

Oh! I'll explain.

It's a

It's a chemical war weapon for mosquitoes.

But it's spiral,

you know of essence
sticks for aura cleansing?

When your aura gets purple,

for the better vibe in the room.

Exactly that but for mosquitoes.

Well explained?

I brought out the stand.

Those things are tricky.

It broke

but such is life.
You win some, you lose some.

My ego was hurt.

Guys, now this is war.

I took a long eraser

and made 6 holes.

I broke the coil

lit 6 pieces and buried them.

It looked like a birthday cake.

6 pieces all lit up
Then came in the mosquitoes.

I was ready.

Wait and watch.

They buzzed around
my ear.

The moment I blew

they fell like a defeated villain

saying this is cheating!

So far so good.

Mosquito problem resolved.

I slept.

I woke up an hour and a half later

and saw the room was filled with smoke.

I hadn't lit a bomb as such.

Then I realised Mr Khan used a blanket.

He must've changed sides
and it landed on the table.

The blanket caught fire.

It took me half hour to douse
the fire with water. Mission accomplished.


All well.

I woke up after a long nap

and found Mr Khan all
ready with his bags packed.

He's like I won't live in this city.

I asked him what happened.

He said I can't live here.
Water repels fire.

They're bent on killing me.

That's not true, Abbaji.

I took it for an old man's rants.

People are bad, they're jealous of me.

Nobody wants me to be alive.

I tried to convince
him things will get better.

It's all that sorceress' doing.

My aunt lived next door.

She's the designated one.

He dragged me upstairs.

She cast a spell on me

and my blanket caught fire.

Did anyone enter my room?
I said no.

Then explain this ash.

Look at the burnt blanket.

Let alone that,
how come there's water here?

Does that seem odd?

Isn't this sorcery?

I said yes.

Couldn't help it. People still talk
about my aunt!

My aunt is also not a nice person.

Just adds up to the narrative.

Once she threw a lemon at my uncle.

They got into an argument during meals.
She had a lemon in her hand

and she wanted to aim it at the trash can

but she aimed it at him!

That uncle got typhoid two months later

and you know how family
Whatsapp groups work.

They put two and two together.

That man wore a shirt she didn't like

so she picked up a lemon

and chanted some spells
and threw it at him.

He passed out right there.

I still defend her.
I was standing right there.

And they'll be like

what about the spell she cast on Abbaji?

That was real sorcery guys!

Nobody can question that.
I saw it.

A burning pot appeared

and a burning ball emerged from it

spreading flames all around.
Grandma walked in

and conjured water to douse the flames.

The family was gripped.

Did you see her?

Dad and uncles were like you saw our mom?
I said yes.

She conjured water and they were aghast.

Mom always offered water to everyone.

Mom always did that.

There's more, guys.

Guys, focus on the story!

Don't get emotional.

She conjured water and doused the fire.

Then she asked me to take care
of her husband.

He'll bequeath the property to you.

Right then they go into denial.
This is not possible!

I'm like guys!


Abbaji moved to Ahmedabad.

It was my first day at college.

First day.

You see,

I came from a huge family.

We're used to crowds!

The doors can't fit us all at home.

I went to class and convinced them
to form a group.

And those fools were convinced.

I was their best friend and leader
by third class.

I said, guys, we'll bunk classes.

I egged them and they obliged.

The gang leader took
25 boys to the canteen.

It was pouring heavily in July.

The canteen is usually empty.
Just us and another fool.

He dabbed his mouth and approached us.

He tapped a friend
who was talking to someone.

What's your name? Why?

One tight slap.

I'm your senior. Introduce yourself.

Ragging was banned by then

but he was in denial.

He slapped him and I had
experience from school days

to give back with full force.

He was like how dare
you not introduce yourself?

I slapped him hard three times.

He went down!

First you introduce yourself.


we went to the principal.
I was unstoppable.

We learned later that
the guy was a trustee's son

I had anyways slapped him.

He asked me what my father did.

Things had escalated by then.

It was unseemly to
say dad was a music teacher

in a girls' school.

I said my dad is a butcher.

Care to meet him?

He'll get here with a knife any minute.

He was like no it's okay.

There was a man named Pawan.

Pawan proposed a truce.

Fine. We called him Pintu.

Pawan proposed a truce.

That's how Pintu became my friend.

Pintu was yielded great influence,
he was in the security council.

I had decided to stick
with this character.

Nobody should know we're musicians.

got it guys?

I won a gold medal in the university

and my best friend saw it.

My name was on the notice board.

He's like there's another
person with your name.

I said ignore it.

Everything is hunky dory.

Hoardings are up on birthdays
and my parents are clueless.

I was riding a scooter with dad once.

Dad rode the bike

and I was the pillion rider.

An Alto car stopped besides us

the windows were rolled
out and Pintu looked out.

"Oh hey Ismail!"

Dad took off his helmet
and said Pintu you!

Pawan spotted me.

He went like hello Mr Khan!

I asked how are you Pintu?

Dad looked at me and I looked at Pintu.

Pintu looked at dad.

I looked at dad.

Then Pintu and dad looked at each other.

I saw them exchanging glances.

Then they looked at me and I looked down.

Then dad asked me to get down.

Get off.

He tapped me.

I got off.

Dad and Pawan were speaking on the side.

Pawan praised me.

He said good things.

He knew how to speak.

He said you have a dynamic son.

Great start.

Don't be scared in case
of police case or court case.

Dad was so impressed

that he slapped me twice right there.

Don't even ask about
the thrashing at home.

The whole family learnt of
it because Pawan couldn't keep calm.

Dad addressed him with respect

which means he was friends with someone
in the family.

Dad changed my college.

He thought location will solve things.

Two years... I'm like water.

I take any form.

Dad parked the scooter

and two first year boys saw me

said hello brother Zakir.

Dad turned around and they said
hello brother Zakir.

Give us your blessings.

Brother Zakir's dad saw that.

Brother Zakir's dad took off his slipper

and graced Zakir's face endlessly.

I cycled to my friend's
at night and stayed there.

My aunt's husband called me.

Why would he?

He called and I answered.

He said aren't you ashamed?

What have I done now?

Ustad Moinuddin Khan was
revered by All India Radio.

And you spent a month in central jail

just 0.5 kms from that radio station!


He didn't stop at that.

I'm sure you're smitten with money.

The world of crimes tempts with money.

I'm sure you enjoyed in jail.

You're pleased with dealing powder

I'm selling powder in jail?

I said uncle,
nothing remains hidden from you.

Disconnected the call.

By morning, the whole clan was talking
about selling powder.


Throw him out!

He's a goon.

He is a bad influence.

I told you he'll bring us shame.

The police are a dangerous lot.

I said it's nothing like that.
Don't fret.

No, you can't live here.

You better leave.
Artists are not like you.

They went on and on about artist behaviour

and I said I won't become an artist.

I won't play the sitar
and they were aghast.

It's like a jeweller's
son refusing to be a jeweller.

What do you mean by that?

I won't play the sitar.
I said it casually.

What will you do then?
I said I'll do something else.

You don't have a degree,
you're still in second year.

I thought and said I'll be a radio jockey.

I loved tomfoolery anyway.

My uncle had just learnt to take prints.

He got two prints of radio jockey course.

He'd get prints of any and everything.


Look at this.

He'd carry prints as evidence.


There's a course in Mumbai.

Let him go, brother.

Joint families are crowded.

Let him go and destroy himself.

He'll come to his senses when he starves.

I said fine I won't come back.

My ego was hurt already.

I was bent on going.

Where will you go? One is in Mumbai
and one in Delhi.

Go to Mumbai.

We have acquaintances there.
They'll feed you if need be.

We have no contacts in Delhi.

I said send me to Delhi.

They paid the fees!

My friends and family are here.

I haven't left home ever.

This was my first time

that too unwillingly.

When it comes to your home,

whether you leave it willingly or not,

when you do,

you never part ways easily.

Like an over stretched fabric,

you get torn away from it.

Those loose threads
never remain torn forever.

You'll wear those wounds on you forever

reminding you of being uprooted.

I came to a new city.

I tried to get a hang of it.

How people here live and behave

and get by.

By the time I understood things,
my course was over.

I thought I'd get a job soon.

Then came recession.

People who had jobs, lost their jobs.

How would I get a job?

My family members were thrilled.

Each one called taunting, got a job?

Want to come back and play the sitar?

After 4 months of harassment,
I said I got it.

They stopped sending money.

I was anyway jobless

now I was poor as well.

I had a roommate Vishwas.

He'd left after the course.
He called 6 months later.

He asked where I was and I said in Delhi.

What are you doing there?

Got a job? I said no.

How do you survive?

I told my family I got a job.

What about food? I don't eat.

Okay, I'll join you.

I told him I'm starving.

He said don't die starving alone.

We’ll starve together, atleast we won’t feel bad.

Since then we're together.

Started from the bottom
and now we're here.

As for Vishwas...
This is being recorded in your presence.

I say this on record.

I want to get married

I don't want to marry Vishwas

but I want a girl like him.

Married people in the
house give me a cheer.

You'll get this.
Vishwas and I are almost married.

We genuinely live like married couples.

We don't talk or have sex.

Yes, Vishwas and I live together.

We both live dirtily.

We were both broke.

We'd eat only once.

We'd roam around Delhi.

We travelled on foot and were fit.

We were skinny as hell.

My family understood I won't go back

and that I'd gone astray.

So they sent their best agent.

The one and only,

the leader of all


9:30 am

I get a call and I'm petrified.

Why is he calling?

I said hello.

I asked who's calling by mistake.

It just came out.



Who is this?

I'm your father's dad!

Yes, Abba.

Was your luggage stolen in Delhi?

Of course not.

Then who stole your manners?

I fumbled

and greeted him.

Where do you live in Delhi?

I said Haus Khaz Village.

Does the rickshaw come to your doorstep?

No, only till the mosque
near the railway crossing.


I said people call me and I go fetch them.

So come.

I woke up Vishwas and said Abbaji is here.

Why now? I said he's my grandpa,
I have no say.

We had no pillow.

We crumpled a bed sheet

and used it.

But we'd have to spread
the bedsheet for Abbaji.

We tried but the bedsheet wouldn't open.

It was crumpled for 3 months!

I thought we'd get it ironed.

Vishwas and I

gave it for ironing,

he said this is beyond


I asked him do it somehow.

Manage it while I fetch Abbaji.

I brought him and he saw the room.

It was in bad shape.

Cobwebs all over.

Abbaji looked around

then at us malnourished boys.

He asked if we'd eaten.

I said we just woke up.

We haven't eaten yet.

I mean last night.

I said

yeah we eat at nights.


Come, you too.

After 2-3 years,

we tasted good food.

Such good food.

Our mouths were salivating.

We were spitting all over.

Our mouths were watering.

We couldn't eat bread, just hogged rice.

We forgot what food felt like.

Abbaji said eat all you like.

No, I'm done.

He said eat and I did.

My cousin went to Delhi.

My cousin left for Ahmedabad.

Vishwas went to the room leaving me
with Abbaji, the dreaded part.

Abbaji called dad.


I got him here.

I'll feed him all right.


I'll talk to him.

Talk is going to happen.

Do you play sitar?

I said what?

I didn't get you.

Do you play sitar?
Yes, I do.

Show me your hands.

Your fingers will show if you practice


My fingers were white.

Clear as glass

showing your reflection.

Abbaji shunned my fingers with no marks.

Abbaji was lying down like this

He said

three things immortalise people.


behaviour and his progeny or disciples.

If you impart knowledge to someone

and he's using that skill

to earn a living,

it immortalises you.

I thought you'd immortalise our family.

It's said the third generation
either makes it or breaks it.

Now I realise our third
generation ruined it.

I invested in you of all my grandsons.

But you wasted my efforts.

You hurt me deeply.
You'll never be happy.

I felt terrible.

I hadn't succeeded in 2.5 years.

Am I on an ego trip?

Have I taken the wrong decision?

What he said made me cry

and that man

started snoring within 3 seconds.

What a terrible person!

I started respecting Abbaji thereafter.

What a great man he is!

Abbaji did a lot for us
and we did nothing in return.

That's how I feel about Abbaji.

Okay? And that man is
spreading rumours about me.

He said he won't come back.

He has kept a woman.

He has a little girl too.

He asked me to hold her and I said
f**k off!

Great! Mom is like you're drinking too!

Who told you?

I somehow managed to get a job.

I wanted to be a radio jockey.

I didn't get to be on air.

They said you're talented
but you can't speak.

You can write ads for us.

That's not done.

How will I seek revenge from my family?

That won't do.
I have a never die attitude.

I looked for talking vacancies.

They said try poetry, comedy.

So I tried my luck

with whatever humour I could muster.

My comedy took off.

Where there is a will, there is a way.

I quit after 4 years.

I thought comedy was working well.

I wasn't in touch with
my family or my parents.

Then AIB called me.

They wanted a writer

who did Hindi comedy.

When I started comedy,
there were few Hindi comedians.

They wanted a writer

with Hindi writing profile.

I was the only one in this Venn diagram.

Harivanshrai Bachchan wrote,
great if your desires come true,

if they don't, even better.

God works in strange ways.


I reached Mumbai and met Ashish Shakya.

Let's discuss the money.

I was earning 30k a month.

So 30k

for a 6 month project.
How much?

I thought I'll quote 200,000.

I'll say 200,000.

I'll need a place to live in.

A room.

A small one will do.

I'll rent a place and get a laptop.

How else would I write?

Shakya called.

I went with a professional attitude.

Hey man Zakir, I've heard a lot
of good things about you. Thanks.

Yes, sir, how much do you expect for a
6 months project?

I said 200,000 rupees

and a house.

The room we lived in was our house.

Vishwas and I would say let's go home.

Room equals house.

I didn't know they're different things.

For us scooter equals vehicle.

It's a vehicle if you don't own a car.

If you have only a scooter,

you'll call it a vehicle.

You don't decide the nomenclature.
Our feelings do.


I said I need 200,000 rupees and a house.

Ashish literally passed out.

Bro, that is too much.

We won't be able to pay you.

200,000 rupees is too much.

How can I pay you 200,000 rupees?

Give me your best number.
I have margin of 20k!

Stop crying and tell me.

He said, bro, trust me, I can do 1.5

That's 25k.

I won't have food at month's end!

I've been told Mumbai is expensive.

This guy's office and home is in Bandra
yet he won't pay!

I said house. He was like
a house is something we can do.

We have a 2BHK flat.

It's a service apartment with a servant.

He'll take care of
you so you can live there.

How many people?

He said 2BHK

but will someone be sharing
the room or something?

He said no, just you.


You don't want servant? You want privacy?

We can remove the servant.

2 BHK... I didn't linger on

and played along.

I was like instead of a flat pay me!

Will I walk to the
2 BHK flat?

The money...
Zakir, trust me,

I'm already pushing too much.

That's not even our budget.

1.5 per month is the last what I can do.

So On Air with AIB

will air on Star Plus in Hindi.
I've written it.

There are other writers too.

One episode was aired

and we were to write
and shoot the next day.

It was Diwali and nobody wanted to write.

I offered to write.

Give it to me.

Same joint family problem.

They spoke in the air,
who will write the Diwali segment?

I offered to write it.

Later I realised I shouldn't have.

Why won't the others do it?

Anyway, I'll do it now.

I wrote the material and all the writers were sitting around.

Many comedians.

These four and a few more.

I read it out.

I read the Diwali segment.

Everyone laughed except Tanmay.

Tanmay is nasty that way.


Guys, look here.

Tanmay Bhat is an asshole
with a golden heart.

Tanmay was busy on the phone.

Everyone except Tanmay laughed.

It won't get approved unless he laughs.

He'll make me rewrite it.

I asked Tanmay.

He said read it again in your style.

I did that.

Like how I'd do it.

He shut me up rudely.

He was like enough.

He'll keep me here till 4

while I had promised my
girl I will call in 10 minutes.

He'll make us break up!

He shut me up and made a random call.

Yes, Nikita?

You've seen Zak? That writer?

So he'll be doing one segment.

Yeah, so get a costume for him.

Okay. You'll be doing this segment.

You could've said that nicely.

You could show some warmth.

Some affection.

Zakir, you're doing good.
You'll do this.


I called dad.

Dad, I'll be on TV.

Do you know what he said?

Is it you or news about you?

He thought I'll be on a crime show!

Is it you or news about you?

I explained I do comedy

and I guess he understood some of it.

On Star Plus?

Comedy? Nothing else, right?

I said yes it's a comedy show.

Wait, I'll call Abbaji.

We called him on conference call.

I'd called Abbaji when I'd got a job

saying I work for Hindustan Times Radio.

He said you're distributing papers!

Dad and I risked it again.

We called Abbaji.

Abbaji, Zakir will be on TV.

He'll be on TV on Friday at 10.

Abba said it's a great day.

Imran also joined a call center!

He refused to be impressed by me!

I will prove it to him!

Delhi Girl video made
the rounds 6 months later.

It became way more famous than I imagined.

That fame was beyond my imagination.

Every single ex-friend tried to reconnect!

My break-ups were all circumstantial.

They were like you're terribly poor!

I own a Levis franchise
and you can't buy a pair!

What's the guarantee

you'll get by just fine in life?

So I just shrugged it off as

good old days!

We were so naive!

Now I do shows all over India

except Indore and Ahmedabad

because I feel ashamed.

People will mock saying Mr Khan's grandson
cracks jokes!

Finally, I planned a show in Ahmedabad
after months. Abbaji lives there.

I thought I'd confront him for once.

I called Abbaji.

Hello your highness!

He was just insulting me!

He'd never get impressed by me.

Your highness!

Abba, I'm in Ahmedabad.
I see.

Many people come here.

Can I come over?
No problem, this is where I live.

He was in his daily attire.

It was cold so he had
wrapped a blanket around him.

It was in January 2017.

What's up, Mr Khan?

I'm remorseful.

About what?

I have some wicked disciples!

So stingy!

Free loaders.

Abba, they serve great biryani here.

Abba, they serve this and that here.


I was like I got it, Mr Khan.
Spare me the mimicry.

What do you want? Nothing from
you as you don't even play the sitar!

Even so, you did teach me.

Tell me what can I get you.

Get a suit stitched for me.

A suit is symbolic

of money offered in gratitude.

He said 35,000.

I'll pay you after I have tea.

He's like tea causes gas.

I'll give you in some time.
The ATM is right there.

I withdrew money.

Dad called me right then.

Yes, dad. Are you in Ahmedabad?

Did you meet Abbaji? Yes.
Don't give him money.

Why? Just don't.

I had committed so I just said I won't.

Abba won't tell anyone.

I offered the money with reverence.

Mr Khan, I owe my success to you.

I offered it with joined hands.

Very respectfully.

He took the money and
didn't even offer me tea!

He asked me to leave lest I get late.

You better leave.

He wanted to see me leave.

I finished the show and
saw 40 missed calls from dad.

I answered yes dad?

I told you not to give money to Abbaji.

What happened?

Do you know what he is saying about you?

Zakir has become so arrogant.

He came with a bundle of cash

and threw it on my face.

He asked me to get a suit
and stop wearing pathetic clothes!

I took out my phone and saw my
aunt's husband calling me!

What now?

Feels like I'm a criminal.

I answered the call and greeted him.

He said hello, aren't you ashamed?

My father-in-law is a respected man.

You alone carried his
legacy of fame forward.

Son, your sister loves you.

I was like which one?

She's getting married
and you have to come.

You only have one aunt.
She has only one daughter.

You must come.

Your sister refuses to
get married as she misses you.

But I don't even remember her.

We were little kids when I last saw her.

I didn't even carry
her as her nose was running.

Let her play in the mud.
I won't touch her.

I'm not fond of kids anyway.

I got a call from a laughter show.

I reached there to meet them.

The place was filled with MBA holders.

I know

things are already fixed.

I know that for sure.

I told them I want to go to the finals.


I want to reach the finals.

They were like...

You will be there for the finals.


Such is my life!
Even unimagined dreams were coming true.


You keep reaching new realms

and keep aspiring for more.

Just a little more.

and then you ask for some more.

One should always ask for more.

I've reached the finals.

Will you make me the winner?

How's that possible?

That title is sold already!

I knew it.

This always happens to me.

But you're the judge!

They have made me the judge!


People used to taunt me to
make it to the ** challenge!

I did!

As a judge!

But I shielded my excitement.

Flat, boring.


I said I'm not available
on 14th September.

Zakir, what happened?

I'm not available on 14th September.

Let's talk in the other room.

I was cornered by a group and a
guy with a moustache.

He was literally spitting on my face.

Zakir, look at me.

I am doing that.

I don't need a shower.

Speak from afar.

A woman walked in dressed like a magician,

a suit with a long shrug.

The brocaded one.

She came to me holding
a Star Bucks coffee mug.

Zakir, I especially brought
this for you from LA.

I said it's available locally!

What rubbish is this!

Zakir, look at me. Just trust me.

This will change your life.

The show must go on. You know how it is.

You know,
I didn't go for my brother's wedding.

Whose getting married?
My sister.

Real sister. No, a cousin.

C'mon, Zakir.

The show must go on.
This will change your life.

It'll turn around, it'll change your life.
Trust me.

First, she wore the wrong make-up.

She had an oily T-zone.

The rest was dry.

She was wearing a cream based foundation.

To mattify that,

she applied powder.

That gave her flaky skin.

She stood so close to me,

her flakes flew right at me.

I literally coughed!

My family kept calling and I felt terrible

because no matter how
much you dislike your people,

it's still your family.

I really wanted to go.
Weddings are adventurous in my family.

We're a huge family. Notorious cousins.

We don't respect our guests.

We hardly get time to catch up with each other
leave alone tending to random guests.

Right? Who cares about random guests.

Cousins have so much to discuss already.

They call us fools.

With a heavy heart, I didn't go.
The show must go on.


This was on 10th September.

I was on a call

and was speaking like I usually do.

You know fuchsia pink?

You know rani pink?

Zara made a sweater in that shade.
It's horrible.

7,000 bucks for a sweater!

Fuchsia pink sweater for 7,000!

I checked the cart but
they didn't have small size.

Then why did you add it to the cart?

Why did you when you didn't like it?

They want everything in their cart.

Whether or not they buy,
sizes should be available.

That makes them happy.

I'm thinking if I should buy it.

We were talking and
Abbaji called at 11.30 pm.

I told her and she went
why is he calling this late?

He's my grandfather, he can.

I wanted to hang up and she went...

Hold on!

I answered and greeted him straightaway.

Hello, your highness of Mumbai.

So how are you, Mr Khan?

Why are you awake at 2 am?

Yes... He didn't refute the time.

He continued.

You're coming to the wedding, right?

I said I can't.

I'm the judge.

Son, please come.
I want to

but can't help it. I'm the judge.

Do you have to shoot?

Come a few days prior
or after the wedding.

I really want to meet you.
It's been too long.

How can I come only for
pre and post wedding rituals?

I'll need a buffer as I'm the judge.

Abba said I understand

you're the judge.

But you should visit the village.

It's your ancestral home.

Family members ask for you.

Be nice to everyone and keep in touch.

Abba, I do that.
No, you're arrogant.

No, I'm...

Abba, that was in the past.

I'm good now.

Mind your manners.

Eat well and sleep properly.

You should do that.
Frequent travel means less sleep.

The mind should be at peace.

Yes, I will sleep, Abba.

I'll come to Mumbai to meet you.

Won't you buy me something?
What do you want?

Buy me perfume.

My first visit to a perfume
store was with Abbaji.

So perfume connects us.

Which perfume do you want?

Something expensive.
Wonder which one.

How expensive?

Really expensive. I'll make a big hole
in your pocket.

I said no worries. Tell me the price.

It should at least cost

150 rupees.

Don't worry,
I'll buy you something for 350 bucks.

You will?
Yes, I will.

She kept giving missed calls.

Okay, Abba, I'll call you later.
Take care.

Okay, make sure you call me.

Of course I will.

I hung up and then she bombarded me,
I gave her my Facebook password!

I somehow settled the matter that night.

I was on a call again the next night.

As always,

every girl should live
in a hostel for two years

because for example

if you want to make
your school skirt look hot,

what you actually do
is you wear a belt over it,

and you tuck it inside.

I pay attention!

We were engrossed and dad called at 2 am.

I'll have to give up
the Insta password too.

I said dad's calling and she's like why?

Dad can.

I answered and greeted my dad.

Son, are you in Mumbai?

I was like

I'll lose my Insta password
for this random question!

I said dad I'm in
Mumbai and I'm the judge.

In Mumbai? Yes and I'm the judge.

Okay, come to the village right away.

Why? I can't come.

Because I'm the judge.

It's an emergency.

What happened?

He said Abbaji is unwell.

You have to come to the village.

I thought it must be common cold.

I said

if Abbaji's unwell,
I'll finish the shoot and come.

No, you have to come now.

Dad started crying.

It's rare when your dad

goes weak seeking your support.
Don't step back.

I wanted to ask

what happened but didn't know how.

It's his father after all.

How can I ask about my father's dad?

I framed the sentence somehow.

They were in a village in Rajasthan.

Hospitals are in Jaipur city.

Dad, will you take him to Jaipur

or take him to the village at aunt's?

Dad said, son

there's no point in going to Jaipur.

It's the village then.

Abba's gone.

What does that even mean?

How can a man just go?

A living person we had
issues with and grudges against

leaves one day and you realise

all the issues and grudges

were fucking irrelevant!

None of that mattered.

None of the problems we faced with Abbaji.

I said dad I'll reach there before you.

Sometimes you should say it.

God is watching.

What you say comes true.

Wishes are granted.

I said I'll reach there before you.

People were saying Mr Khan died.

People gathered in huge numbers.

How to get water in the village?

There's no light.
Only one tanker can be ordered.

Power will be back on at 4.

That's when the tanker will come.

There's a funeral.

Villagers got us pots of water.

That's what a community
does in adversities.

You see random people in your house

helping around.

Where do they come from?

God sends them.

You need help with a funeral.

There's no time for grief.


You're done, next.

Feed that one. Next.

His dead body came.

I held his hand.

He won the world with that hand.

Now that hand was dead.

How can his hand be lifeless?

This is not done.

I wanted to speak to Abbaji.

I wanted to show him so he'd tell me

you're doing well.

I wanted him to pat my back.

You're doing well.

He'd said the third generation

makes it or breaks it.

I made it not broke it.

I couldn't tell him that.

It was left unsaid.

Whatever I learnt

was all thanks to him.

Elders teach you merely
with their presence.

You watch and learn

from their lifestyle and mannerism.

How they greet people

and behave with them and how they

Their mere presence
helps you find solutions.

And I couldn't even thank him.

My huge family was wailing.

Take off the rings and chain.

Who will hold it?

Give it to his only daughter.

Phone? I said give it to me.

I was doing everything.

It was me and my cousins.

Dad didn't have the courage to touch him.

He was our friend not his!

He couldn't dare touch him.

We bathed him.

I unlocked Abbaji's phone.
He'd not lock it anyway.

I unlocked it and saw

the last app seen was YouTube

playing one of my videos.

I felt like the life was sucked out of me!
I fell.

My cousin asked what happened.

I showed him.

Yes, Abbaji watched
your videos all day long.

Meaning? Yes,
he watched your videos all day long.

Do you remember the video?

I had mentioned him in that.

I said Ustad Moinuddin Khan is my grandpa.

He showed it to everyone he met.

That's my grandson, a famous man!

When I came back from New York,

I landed and I thought
of buying a perfume for Abba.

But Abba's gone.

It happens... It was Eid a few days ago.

We came home after namaz.
Dad and I looked at each other

and decided to call
people and said Abba...

We just cried!

Since he left, we begin all festivals

with tears.

You don't value the presence
of elders in your life.

You understand how they
empowered you after they're gone.

That man was our identity.

Until the age of 22,

I'd say I'm Ustad Moinuddin
Khan's grandson, Zakir Khan.

My introduction's gone.

A mammoth of a man left in a jiffy!

The funeral took place at 6.30.

A huge procession.

A huge crowd gathered for Mr Khan.

All the people he'd gather

narrating stories

and playing music across cities.
They all came.

When a man like Abbaji dies,

he lives on in many people!

When people say Zakir is well spoken,

I say I'm arrogant!

I just copy him!

I'm not the real Zakir Khan.
I'm a first copy of Ustad Moinuddin Khan.

Being a human....

Call it magic if you like, but someone

dear to you, your most cherished one

will die and your grand kids

will burn your corpse and go back home.

They bury you and come back home.

Nobody will turn back and glance at you.

They won't greet you again for years.

Such is life!

Growing up is not about
having kids and jobs.

It's about seeing your dear ones die

and handling their illnesses.

This is adulting, not that.

I couldn't even see Mr Khan being buried.

I came back crying.

I was weeping at about sun down.

When dusk is merging with night,

the sun is going down as I walk.

Just then I met some village boys

who hadn't met me before.

They went Zakir Khan!

I turned around.

We've seen your video
about the 'sakht launda'.

We saw that.

And I'm crying.

I said yes.

Can we take a picture with you?

I just returned from a funeral!

And I suddenly saw Abbaji.

Son, don't spoil the magic.

I said okay.

I took the camera and clicked.

I gave it back and came
to Mumbai the next day.

I went to the set for the shoot.

We laughed at the comedy.

Usual stuff.

That laugh again

and I laughed.

I was paid so I had to.

In the evening I was told TRP has dropped.

It's a reality show where
judges will be eliminated.

They threw me out!

That aunty with the shrug

said, Zakir, it's not working.

You know we really tried but

maybe something else.
We'll work together...

I learnt the biggest lesson that day.

I'm here to share that with you today.

Professional goals are temporary.

They can be attempted tomorrow.
They're not very important.

** Challenge

is the most fucking
irrelevant beat of my life.

I left midway and lost nothing.

Staying on the show
wouldn't do any good either.

I'd manage even if I hadn't done it.

But I won't get to speak to Abbaji again.

Can I meet him again? No, he left.

Professional goals are
temporary but personal loss

is permanent.

Then I wrote that on Facebook.

I wrote about Abbaji.

Ustad Moinuddin Khan
left us on the night of

11th September.

Neha called me.

She's in Canada.
How are you, Zakir?

I was astonished.

How are you?

She said I'm fine. Sad to know of Abbaji.

Same here.

He met me so affectionately.

It was great meeting him.

Do you recall he said

he clicked a picture with dad?

Yes, why mention that?

We found dad's old trunk 2 years ago.

There were undeveloped roles.

We developed them. Guess what?

Your grandpa and dad's photo!

Dad used to always talk about him.

He'd say he was gifted.

God's child.

What Mr Khan says turns true.

Some people have that gift.

What they say comes true.

Things will happen as he says.

Your grandpa was such a person.

I believe in his magic now.

I believe he's watching me.

I have someone watching over me

saying from afar, you're doing good.

That's what I believe.

I went back on the 15th.
The wedding was over.

I went back to the village.

People were still visiting
to pay condolences.

People are mourning endlessly.

It's humanly impossible.

You cry after you laugh too much.

Vice versa is also true.

The problem is a neighbour also died.

An old woman died.

My cousins joked.

Abbaji's girlfriend died.

We're tripping over it.

I said Abbaji's girl died.

Abbaji's girl couldn't bear the loss.

What's the point of living without him?

There were deaths in both houses.

So we blocked the road.

Their relatives came in

so did ours forming a crowd.

Dad grew up with them.

They were sharing old memories.

Guffawing away.

Right then the dead
woman's husband coughed.

I offered him water.

Have water, uncle.

After he was done

he said I laughed this hard after years.

There was awkward silence.

Everyone realised it's a funeral.

Guffawing is unseemly.

Nobody's looking at each other.

All are controlling their laughter.

Someone's holding the chair tight.

Others are scratching the ground.

To end the awkwardness,

one had water. Some activity will do.

He picked up the tumbler
and I looked at him.

While he was drinking,

our eyes met.

I couldn't help smiling

I laughed and he...

Everyone burst out laughing again.

Everybody was talking about Abbaji.

Whatever he said would come true.

He used to say general stuff.

He asked me to attend the wedding.

He said come a few days
prior or after the wedding.

You will come for sure
and I said impossible.

I can't just come any time I like.

They agreed. Abbaji would rant.

But then

what he said did come true.

How so? You did come.

I was there on the 12th and 13th.

Except on 14th,
I was there on the 15th and 16th.

I told you so.

Everything he said would come true.


All my cousins are fooling around.

The groom was also around.

He wanted to make eye contact with me.

He came...

He held my hand like this.

I said hello.

I'm a huge fan, Zakir.

It's fine, you're family now.

You'll join the others
soon and criticise me!

You're great, brother Zakir.
I'm a huge fan.

I became a huge fan when I was a child.

I was 9 years old when I learnt

you had sex with a girl
in Abbaji's room in his presence!

But your struggle especially in Mumbai...

Stand up comedy is cake walk for you.

You're not a stand up comedian.
It's way below you.

You're way greater than that.

You've seen it all.
You were jailed in Indore!

You became my hero

when you sold powder in jail.

I've been a fan since childhood.

I saw all your videos.

I know everything about your life.

I know you have a little girl

and you live with a married woman.

Nobody but me knows this.
Stand up comedy is below you.

It's petty.

Believe me, I won't tell on you.

I know everything.

I asked what.

That Dawood is dead and you're
handling his business.

Okay, that's it from my side.
Thank you very much.

You've been a great audience.

Thank you very much.
Good night.

You've been a great audience.
Good night. Take care.



"Wonder where"

"I lost my heart"

"I looked for it"

"high and low"

"Wonder where"

"I lost my heart"

"Love is not to be found"

"just about anywhere"

"Love is not to be found"

"just about anywhere"

"Wonder where"

"I lost my heart"

"Memories are hard to bury"

"Things got worse when I tried"

"I prayed hard"

"but God didn't heed me"

"I stand again"

"lonesome on the path"

"we took together"

"without a care"


"Please meet me"

"yet again right there"

"Please meet me"

"yet again right there"

I had many patrons here.

They loved me.

If I wouldn't practice some day,

this place would seem deserted!

Keep me in your prayers.

See you.