“Wonderful Actor”, “Friend Who Had a Good Tip to Give”: Remembering Asif Basra, Another Artist Gone Too Soon


“Wonderful Actor”, “Friend Who Had a Good Tip to Give”: Remembering Asif Basra, Another Artist Gone Too Soon

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

The year 2020 has dealt many shocking blows. In yet another tragic news from the entertainment industry, actor Asif Basra was found dead in his home in McLeodganj in Dharamshala on Thursday. A forensic team has arrived to investigate whether it was death by suicide.

The 53-year-old actor had a property on lease in McLeodganj and often visited the hill station, news agency Press Trust of India reported. Born in Maharashtra’s Amravati, Basra moved to Mumbai in 1989 to pursue his acting career.

Basra played the character of Qureshi in Anurag Kashyap’s docu-drama Black Friday but made his mark after Rahul Dholakia’s Parzania. He featured in the biggest hit of 2010, Emraan Hashmi-starrer Once Upon A Time in Mumbai, late Sushant Singh Rajput’s film Kai Po Che and Shahid Kapoor-Kareena Kapoor’s Jab We Met. Basra was most recently known for his role in the thriller web series Paatal Lok, and also featured in Woh and Hostages.

The news of his death has left Bollywood grieving. Casting director Mukesh Chhabra, who worked with Basra in Kai Po Che and Hostages 2 was in utter shock.

“Can’t be true… This is just very, very sad,” said filmmaker Hansal Mehta.

Nikitin Dheer, who worked with Basra in two films described him as “always full of life”. The actor stated that he was shocked and shaken to hear about the news.

Actor Manoj Bajpaye, who worked with Basra in the film Dus Tola recalled the last time they worked together, just before the lockdown.

“Can’t believe that we have lost him. Used to meet him so often at the park jogging. He would tell me not to jog sideways, I might lose balance and hurt myself,” film director Onir mentioned.

Actor Danish Husain described the news of his death as tragic and heartbreaking.

Director Rahul Dholakia expressed his sadness and stated that he was a wonderful actor and jovial fellow. “Hope you are at peace,” he tweeted.

Actor Emraan Hashmi offered his condolences, as did actress Swara Bhasker.

2020 has been a cruel year. Rest in peace, Asif Basra.