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19 March 2012

The Suave Charmer: Shashi Kapoor

18.03.1938
Here was a man who truly had everything: a handsome visage, blue-blooded heritage in theatre and films, and more charm than any one man should be allowed to possess. His initiation into acting began at a very young age, when he toured the country with his father Prithviraj Kapoor, and the famous Prithvi theatres. 

Shashi Kapoor entered films as a lead hero with Dharmputra; it flopped. Roles in Char Diwari and Prem Patra followed; box-office success didn't. Soon, he was known as the jinxed Kapoor. It was actress Nanda who rescued him, signing a whole bunch of films opposite the newcomer. (Shashi vindicated her belief in his star power - apart from their first film (Char Diwari) together, every single one of their six releases were super hits.)

Success was his, even if it had taken its own sweet time. For the next quarter of a century, he would hold sway over a generation of cine-goers as hero, both solo and in multi-starrers, and later, as his star began to dim, as characters.  However, more than anything else, it is his punctuality, his genuine bonhomie, his equal treatment of cast and crew (as producer), his open-handed generosity and his undying charm that make him the gentleman that he is.

My personal story? It was in the nineties, and I was a trainee journalist who had just been given a big assignment - meet with Sanjana Kapoor, who was then running Prithvi Theatres. I called, made an appointment, and arrived well before scheduled time, and unusually for her, Sanjana was running late. As I waited at Prithvi Cafe, I watched a very familiar face walk towards me. He wanted to know who I was waiting for. I replied that I had come to interview Sanjana. Shashi, for it was he, sent someone to find out what was keeping Sanjana. Then, he turned to me, flashed his crooked smile, and said, "The pretty girls now come to interview Sanjana, not me."  I'm sure I blushed like an idiot; I was definitely speechless, and he smiled once more, and turned away, luckily before he could see my knees buckling.

Born on March 18th 1938, Balbir Raj Kapoor, the youngest of Prithviraj Kapoor's four children, young Shashi made his screen debut as a child actor in a clutch of mythologicals, but his best remembered roles as child actor are in his older brother's Aag (1948) and Awara (1951). He continued acting on stage, and by 1956, he was both actor and assistant stage manager for Prithvi, his father's theatre group.
That year, as usual, Shashi travelled with Prithvi to Calcutta, where the company was booked for shows. A travelling theatre group from UK, Shakespeareana, headed by noted British actor Geoffrey Kendall and his wife Laura Liddell, were also booked to play at the same venue. While backstage, Shashi's eyes fell on the actress who was playing Miranda in The Tempest. She was Jennifer Kendall, Geoffrey's daughter. The young lad was smitten, and soon, so was she.
It was a strange courtship because Shashi was exceedingly shy, not having had much to do with any women other than those who belonged to his own family. He was also not very conversant in English. Shashi once confessed that if it weren't for his elder brother Shammi who took him to task for stringing the girl along, he would still have been courting Jennifer. Eventually, it was to Shammi, and his wife Geeta, that Shashi would first take his Jennifer. And ironically, Shammi, who had eloped with Geeta because he was scared of what his parents would say (they took the help of Raj Kapoor and his wife, Krishna), along with Geeta, would tell his parents about Shashi and Jennifer.

Prithviraj and his wife Rama weren't too overjoyed with the idea of a British bahu, but they gave in, provided the youngsters could prove this wasn't just an infatuation. Geoffrey Kendall, on the other hand, was not happy at all. He asked them to wait a couple of years, years where Shashi joined Shakespeareana just so he could be with Jennifer. In 1958, he asked for Jennifer's hand in marriage again, and was once again refused. This time, however, Jennifer had something to say for herself, and the two were married, thanks to monetary help from Raj Kapoor, whom Shashi considers both his idol and a second father. 
(Raj himself, according to Shashi, treated him as his eldest son.) A couple of years later, son Kunal was born, and needing to support his family, Shashi looked towards films where his elder brothers had already made a name for themselves. 
The now-ailing actor turned 74 yesterday. I do not want to 'remember' him after he dies. I would much rather commemorate the life of a man who, while not in the same league as Dev, Shammi or Amitabh (for me), could still, in his sixties, make me swoon with his charm. So, here, on his birthday (well, a day after), here's raising a toast to the gentleman-actor. 

Here are some of my favourite Shashi Kapoor films:
1. Dharmputra (1961) Yash Chopra 

Yash Chopra's second directorial venture after Dhool ka Phool (both under his brother BR Chopra's B.R.Films banner), saw Shashi Kapoor play Dilip Rai, the Muslim-born adopted son of a Hindu family. Set in pre-partition India, Shashi was cast against type (for a debut). Against the backdrop of political turmoil, his Dilip turns to religion as his identity, becoming more and more bigoted and fanatic as time goes by. It was a class act in a classic film, the sort that you wish Yash Chopra had continued to make.

2. The Householder (1963) James Ivory
Shashi was one of India's first actors to go international, with Merchant-Ivory's The Householder co-starring Leela Naidu. It was an association that would last through the years. The Householder's Prem Sagar is an underpaid, put-upon school teacher, who finds that his newly wed bride is untidy, cannot cook, and  has no social skills. Impulsively, he writes to his mother, and her arrival throws the young couple who still barely know each other into further turmoil. His wife leaves him, and young Prem is soon asking everyone he knows for advice. A simple tale that discusses the nuances of marital life, The Householder showed early on that Shashi was not just another pretty face.

The insecurity that he went through in his lean days, made Shashi sign all the films that came his way. The quality of most of these films left much to be desired, and he was extremely busy. So busy in fact, that when Raj Kapoor wanted to sign him for Satyam Shivam Sundaram, he had no dates to spare. In exasperation, Raj threw up his hands and named him 'Taxi Kapoor' on account of his multiple shifts. (RK claimed that Shashi, who was shooting for seven films simultaneously during the period, was signing new films at traffic signals.)

However, most of the money he earned doing those inane roles was ploughed back into the industry, as he began producing the sort of films that he wanted to make. He partnered with the likes of Shyam Benegal (Junoon), Girish Karnad (Utsav), Govid Nihalani (Vijeta) and Aparna Sen (36 Chowringhee Lane).

3. Kalyug (1981) Shyam Benegal
Shyam Benegal took the main characters and critical events from the Mahabharata, and set his story in corporate India. Shashi Kapoor played Karan (no prizes for guessing which epic character that is), bound by loyalty to the 'wrong' side. His controlled and restrained performance was one of the highlights of the film, which many critics have called Benegal's most complex film yet. He was superb as he navigates both his unexplained parentage, and his role in the present day rivalry as he is pit with his cousins against his own brothers.

4. Vijeta (1962) Govind Nihalani
One of the few films that showed the Indian Air Force in a realistic light, Vijeta was, on the face of it, a coming of age story of a young lad Angad (Kunal Kapoor), as he wrestles with his parents' troubled marriage. But the underlying theme is vastly different. Angad resents his father Nihal (Shashi Kapoor) for his infidelity, and Nihal himself is aware that his rationalisations fall short. Nihal is not very likeable - he is pompous, arrogant, weak-willed, very much the patriarch, and not above using large doses of guilt to get his own way. (The contrast with Verghese (Amrish Puri in another cast-against-type role) is very marked.) Shashi's Nihal is flawed, weak, and a domestic tyrant, and he imbues it with just the right amount of self-pity. 

5. New Delhi Times (1986) Romesh Sharma
Newspaper editor Vikas Pande uncovers more than he had bargained for in this hard-hitting political drama about the politician-underworld-media nexus. Shashi Kapoor won a well-deserved National Award for Best Actor playing an embattled editor whose principles clash with internal and external pressures. Written by Gulzar, the film won three National Awards, but was shunned by distributors due to its controversial content.

6. Kabhi Kabhie (1976) Yash Chopra
He was only one of the three male stars in this colourful melodrama, yet he stood out as the fond father, and mature, understanding husband. Yes, he was annoyingly cheerful in the film, but hey, being Shashi, one sight of that crooked smile and everything is forgiven. Besides, how can one not forgive a man, who upon realising that his wife has a past, is man enough to overcome his initial dismay and realise that that is exactly what it is - a past? When Pooja (Raakhee) breaks down and insists that he must be God, he says: Is duniya mein aadmi insaan ban jaaye, toh bahut badi baat hai.   

7. Do aur Do Paanch (1980) Rakesh Kumar
This was one of the many films that Shashi did with Amitabh Bachchan. There was a time, in fact, when he was referred to as 'Amitabh's favourite heroine' because they acted in so many films together. While this movie is not as well-known as their pairing in Trishul, Kaala Patthar, Shaan, Suhaag, Deewar, et al, it is one where the Bachchan-Kapoor chemistry is at its best. As con men who are deadly enemies out to outwit each other at every step, Shashi and Amit sparkled in this film with their split-second comic timing and excellent repartee. From the animated credits on, the film was an out-and-out entertainer, full of emotion, drama, fights, the works, but what stood out was the comedy provided by its lead stars. As Laxman / Sunil, Shashi was the perfect foil to Amitabh's Ram / Vijay.  

Few know that Amitabh,in his struggling days, had a one-line scene in Ismail-Merchant's Bombay Talkies. When Shashi spotted him, he asked Amitabh not to waste time doing inconsequential roles; he was made for better things. Amitabh has gone on record about Shashi's support and encouragement in the early part of his career. 


8. Sharmilee (1971) Samir Ganguly
One of Shashi's finest roles in the commercial milieu, Sharmilee had him play an idealistic army captain who falls in love with one sister, and ends up getting engaged to her identical twin. His Captain Ajit was at once dedicated, and a sensitive and passionate lover whose interactions with the two sisters make this film a compelling watch. Again, he is not super hero, but intensely human, and that is part of his charm. (Why do I prefer flawed characters instead of 'perfect' men is a subject for another post.) While Khilte hain gul yahaan shows him at his most romantic, O meri, O meri Sharmilee is Shashi at his zany best, as he tries to woo the girl who, to his intense surprise, is shyer now than when he first met her.  

9. Pyar Kiye Jaa (1966) C.V.Sridhar
In this absolutely hilarious film (a remake of the Tamil flick Kadhalikka Neramillai), Shashi joined Kishore Kumar and Mehmood in a laugh-fest that was never allowed to get out of hand. Shashi plays Ashok, a young man employed by Seth Ramlal (Om Prakash). When he's thrown out, he refuses to leave, pitching a tent in front of Ramlal's house in protest. 

An absolute farce, where no one, least of all the main actors seemed to take themselves seriously, Pyar Kiye Jaa showcased Shashi's ability to do comedy with a straight face.  

10. Junoon (1979) Shyam Benegal
Based on Ruskin Bond's Flight of the Pigeons, the film is set against the backdrop of the First War of Indian Independence in 1857. Shashi is Javed Khan, a Pathan, who falls in love with a young British girl, Ruth (Nafisa Ali). His wife, Firdaus (Shabana Azmi) can only watch from the sidelines. When the church is burnt, Javed brings Ruth and her mother home; his obsession (junoon) with her keeps her safe, because his nobility will not allow him to take her without permission. As his frustration increases, Ruth's mother (Jennifer Kendall) tells him: Let Dilli decide. If Dilli remains in your hands, then Ruth will also be yours. (Toh phir karne do Dilli ko faisla. Agar Dilli aapki, toh Ruth bhi aapki.)

This was Shashi's production house, Film Valas, first venture.  

Shashi Kapoor was known as a family man, and after Jennifer's death (the only woman he ever loved, according to him) in 1984, he let himself go. There was no one to keep him in order, and indeed, no one to live for. Today, he lives the life of a recluse, and after brother Shammi's death, has withdrawn more into himself. Yet, the dimpled smile still flashes occasionally, reminding us of the charmer he still is.
Standing (L-R) Prithviraj Kapoor, Shammi, Urmilla (Uma), Raj
Sitting(L-R): Rama Kapoor, Krishna
Front: Shashi (Source:junglee.org.in)


Standing (L-R): Sajjan, Raj, Shammi
Sitting (L-R): Prithviraj Kapoor, Randhir (on his lap), Shashi
(Source: The Kapoor Family Album - Mid-Day)
Shashi and Jennifer with Kunal, Karan and Sanjana
Prithviraj Kapoor and his brood: (From L-R) Shammi Kapoor, Urmila Sial, 
Raj Kapoor, Prithviraj Kapoor, Shashi Kapoor (Source: junglee.org.in)
 

Happy Birthday, Shashiji. May your days be many, and your troubles few.

50 comments:

  1. Time to again bring out that oldie but goodie, "Hamare Khayalaat Kitne Milte Julte Hain"; although I think you would prefer Shashi himself says this to you :)
    So many other Shashi films I like, many of the other Amitabh-Shashi ones, and even "Chor Machaye Shor", "Fakira", "Aamne Saamne" et al.
    I agree with Shashi not belonging to the same league as Dev, Shammi Amitabh (& in my case Dharam), but nevertheless I like him.
    Of all the films you listed, Kalyug has to be my favorite.
    What did you think of "Siddhartha" ?
    Loved your anecdote re: Shashi & Prithvi Theatre & Sanjana Kapoor.

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  2. although I think you would prefer Shashi himself says this to you 
     

    Hamare khayalaat kitne milte jhulte hain,Samir. :) 

    I like Shashi too; he's a cheery soul most times, and a fine actor when he's not being a taxi. :)) I liked Siddhartha! But honestly, as a film, it pales in comparison to the other 'parallel' cinema listed; and I did want some of his 'masala' movies in there too. 

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  3. Anu, I'm so envious. You actually got to meet Shashi! He's one of those actors I find very likeable - even when he's playing not-so-likeable characters.

    Of your list, I've seen (and liked) all the films except those from the 80s - the only 80s Shashi film here I've seen is Do aur Do Paanch (which I loved). I love the way you've brought out the fact that his career shows that he's more than just a pretty face - which, unfortunately, he often gets dismissed as. Sharmilee and Pyaar Kiye Jaa are among my favourite Shashi films; so is Prem Patra, which remains one of my top romantic films - I adore that one.

    Thank you for this post. I enjoyed it thoroughly (and I loved those photos - especially the ones at the end, of the Kapoors together). Lovely!

     

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  4. Shashi Kapoor unlike the other Kapoors had his weight under control, as everyone knows it was thanks to his wife Jennifer. Guess what she gave him? Those days there  used to be something called Limical and she used to  keep him on a strict diet supplemented with Limical.

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  5. Lovely post, Anu. Nice to remember him while he's still alive, as you say.
    So, a belated Happy Birthday to the last of the Kapoor brothers (older generation of course).

    I don't know anyone who wouldn't like Shashi, with his trademark smile. He was so comfortable with Nanda as his heroine.
    I liked him in Prem Patra, Junoon, Sharmeeli, and films with Amitabh Bachchan, and many more. He was a handsome Kashmiri in Jab Jab Phool Khile.

    Oh yes! How lucky to have not only met him, but to have received a compliment for prettiness from him :-)
    The vintage photographs are a treat.
    I wonder who that lady is on the right in the 5th last picture?

    Sweet picture of old Shammi and old Shashi.

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  6. Madhu, I did. :) It's not that strange; if you were anyone connected with the media or the ad world, you can't move a yard in Bombay without tripping over the film stars. Not that anyone complained. :)

    And maybe it's time to see if I still have that interview with Sanjana here - I wasn't careful about filing the stuff I did back then, so I do not know. harvey has been asking me to put them up, and I agreed, but I'm sad to say I haven't even gotten around to looking to see if I have it here.

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  7. He freely admitted that, Shilpi. In fact, it was after she died that he let himself go; it was as if he didn't care now she was dead.

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  8. Thank you, pacifist. :) 'The last of the older Kapoors' - I know it has to come to everyone, but there is something so sad about that statement. Sigh.

    Yes, I was lucky to have met him, though I think the compliment was just part of his charm. (No matter, I'll take it!)

    The vintage photos reminds me that I haven't credited them! The lady in the 4th snap is Uma, their only sister and Prem Chopra's wife.

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  9. Sharmi Adhikary20 March 2012 at 10:56

    Lovely, heartwarming post! And you met Shashi.... awesome. He is on my FB friend list :)

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  10. Bright, cheery post - what else could it be when it starts with a picture of Shashi Kapoor?  Just one wish - it should have been one showing that cute smile, rather than a serious picture!
    I had a friend in college who had decorated every inch of space in her room with pictures of Shashi, and I remember doing a mimicry of her for Seniors' Day, dancing with a picture of Shashi in my hands!
    After a long period of not seeing Shashi Kapoor movies, it was a surprise to see him in a movie on TV - I don't remember the name, but he was a poet with two wives, one of whom is Shabana Azmi, and it took me a few minutes to recognize the cute charmer of my college days because of all the weight he had gained.  What a pity he let himself go after Jennifer's death!
    I am turning green because you got a chance to see that cute smile in person!

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  11. Oops, I forgot - Happy Birthday, Shashi!

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  12. Thanks, Sharmi. SK on FB? Now I think I should give up my aversion to FB :)

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  13. I looked for a smiley pic on the web, but didn't find one I  liked :( (But I tried to find one for you.)

    The movie you're talking about is Muhafiz or to give it its English name In Custody.

    Lalitha, if you ever went to Bombay, and to Prithvi, it was almost certain that you would run into a lot of the film-theatre personalities.

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  14.  I'll add my plea to harvey's, then - yes, please do put them up if you can lay your hands on them!

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  15.  Found it!! Now, all I need is to find the time to scan it, and upload it. :)

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  16. A wonderful post, Anu! Such lovely
    nostalgia pictures! It was nice looking at them!

    And I envy you for having not only met
    him but also to recieve such a nice compliment. I can totally
    understand your reaction!

    I saw Dharmaputra few years back and
    like so many Yash Chopra films the ending leaves so much to be
    desired. It is hurried, it is cramped and incomprhensible.




    I liked Kalyug everytime I saw it. I
    saw it for the first time when I was 15 or so on DD. The last time I
    saw it one year aback and loved it once again and was floored by
    everybody's performance including Shashi's! Makes me respect Shyam
    Benegal all the more!




    I remember seeing New Delhi Times in
    the 80s. The climax scene on the raods of Delhi in the middle of the
    traffic was powerful. I didn't know it was written by Gulzar! Wow!




    Kabhi Kabhie is for me one of the
    inconsequential, over-rated films by Yash Chopra. Totally
    forgettable except for the songs by Khaiyyam, the lyrics by Sahir and
    good performance by Amitabh!




    It is a long time since I saw Do Aur Do
    Paanch. Except for some annoying scenes it was a good time-pass film.




    I have nearly forgotten everything
    about Sharmilee except for the scene where they take photos with a
    pen or something equally small. As a kid I was fascinated by it!




    Pyar Kiye Jaa was so funny. Loved it!
    Though the film was carried much more by Mehmood and Kishore Kumar,
    Shashi was nice to look at!




    I haven't seen The Housholder, Vijeta
    and Junoon. The latter two I saw a long time back on DD, but can't
    remember much of both of them. I have the DVDs, will have a dekho at
    them soon.




    So dear Shashi, have a nice birthday
    and enjoy it!




    My fav Shashi song: thehriye hosh me aa
    loon from Mohabbat Isko Kehte Hain

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XG87I3smQL8




    Please do remain Shashi!

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  17.  Thank you, harvey. :)

    I actually liked Dharmputra and he acted so well in it. I saw it so long ago that I do not remember anything about the ending. :(

    I agree with you about Kabhi Kabhie as a film, but Shashi was so sweet in his role I had to add it here.

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  18. I've been travelling a lot lately, and while I have managed to keep up with your blog, it's been difficult to find the time (and the connection) to comment. Shashi Kapoor was a big favourite in our house (both mother and sister were 'lattoo' over him). I had an older cousin who used to imitate him - hairstyle, shirts... :)

    He was always watchable, as you say, in his masala films, but as I grew older, I thoroughly enjoyed his ventures into the parallel cinema movement, though I've heard that he hated that term.

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  19. Yes, I noticed. :) Besides your father must be upset because I haven't put in any more old songs. :))

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  20. Always thought that Shashi Kapoor was never given due credit despite his attempts to break from his image and play roles and produce movies that may not have been the most popular of choices. Producing movies like Kalyug, Junoon, 36 Chowringhee Lane, Vijeta and Utsav must have been a challenge economically (though ironically a commercial venture like Ajooba which was his only directorial venture must have been his biggest disaster) and very few actors have stuck their neck out and put their money in where their heart lies, like Shashi did.

    Glad that you mentioned New Delhi Times here- very relevant to our times but looks like a forgotten movie now after all these years. Must have been somewhat difficult for somebody from Bollywood's first family to be associated with non-mainstream directors like Shyam Benegal, Merchant Ivory, Aparna Sen etc...

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  21. See, Bollywood's first family, that generation at least, had very strong ties with the theatre. Raj and Shammi too worked with their father's theatre group, and in fact, many of RK's regular crew came from Prithvi. I don't find it strange at all. :)

    Besides, I think with Shashi, that factor doubled, with Jennifer also coming from a theatre background.

    It is surprising that they showed New Delhi Times on Door Darshan with *no* cuts whatsoever, though it was a late night screening. It is sad that there is no DVD available.

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  22. What I meant was keeping aside their strong ties with the theatre, I don't think they have been associated with parallel cinema (except for a couple of movies maybe) unlike Shashi Kapoor's presence in it. Correct me if I am wrong here.

    Pity that Nw Delhi Times does not have a DVD available. I wanted to watch it again; have faint memories of watching it on DD though....

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  23. Shammi never was; Raj bankrolled a couple of not-so-commercial ventures like Jagte Raho for instance, but you're right - there wasn't the wholesale association with parallel cinema that Shashi had. But you must also remember that Shashi, even at his peak as a 'masala' actor, was acting in Ismail Merchant productions. As I said, there was a lot of Jennifer's influence too - she was the first Kapoor wife to work after marriage, any way. :0

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  24. He had mentioned in an interview that Jennifer didn't give him lunch for 25 years. It all changed after she left....

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  25. There is another movie of his in a negative role. Can you guess which one?

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  26. C'mon, Shashi, you must have a very low opinion of me. :)

    Ivory-Merchant's The Deceivers, though he had grey shades in the earlier Bombay Talkies too.

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  27. Didn't mean she starved him. :)) She had him on a diet. Of course, being a Kapoor and a foodie (the two are interchangeable), he must have felt he was starving!

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  28. In fact, he did use that word 'starve' in the interview.

    Now that I think of it, starving in the Kapoor family means having snacks and meals twice a day :-D

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  29. Oops !! To be very frank, I didn't know of that one myself !!!

    I had another movie in my mind....

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  30. In the credits of "Awara" (1951), I remember reading a name called Shashiraj. I always thought that was Shashi's real name and proud of it too (because co-incidentally that's my first name too).

    It was only recently after seeing the family tree in Shammi's website, I gathered I was wrong.

    I knew Raj and Shammi were Ranbir and Shamsher.

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  31. Very true, Anu. Shashi worked in a lot of masala movies to finance meaningful movies like "Junoon" (1979), "Kalyug" (1981), "Vijeta" (1983) and "Utsav" (1985).

    You all must be knowing he was called a Taxi by Raj in the late 70s.

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  32. That's IMDB being their own wonky self. : )

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  33. Have you seen the Kapoor episode on Koffe with Karan? It's hilarious! In that, Neetu Singh mentions how, with the Kapoor men, the minute they finish breakfast, they are talking about lunch; the minute they finish lunch, they enquire about tea and so on...

    It was probably the best episode of KWK. :)

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  34. You all must be knowing he was called a Taxi by Raj in the late 70s.

    I mentioned that in my post. :)

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  35. From his masala films, I can only think of Haseena Maan Jaayegi. Is that the one you had in mind? The One-good, One-bad dual role?

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  36. Yes, and he also starred in "Bhavani Junction" (1985) as the bad guy. In "Meri Zubaan" and "Clerk" (both 1989) he played the villain to the core.

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  37. I must confess to have forgotten about Bhowani Junction but Shashi wasn't the bad guy in it; if I remember right, he hands his son (?) over when he realises that the son is a murderer - or  I could be completely wrong. :(

    I'm glad to state that I haven't seen Clerk or Meri Zubaan.

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  38. Hi ,
    I'm Renu from Singapore.  I enjoyed reading your posts. Recently as I was driving I heard the song Satyam . Sivam,  Sundram which was a song my father enjoyed listening to in the late 1970s.  Thus. I was curious about the context in which this song surfaces in the movie and was thus curious about it and did a bit of a search on the net. Truthfully this is the first time in my life that I used the web for such a purpose.  To my surprise I cam across more information than what I was initially searching for. I was extremely touched by  Mr & Mrs Shashi Kapoor's love life and their love ffor the theatre. Its really marvellous to see such sincere pairs today in the entertaiment industry. I want to know more about his marriage to Jennifer.
    Thank You

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  39.  Hi Renuka, welcome to my blog. Thank you for your kind words. I'm so sorry I didn't see this until now, but since it was in reply to another comment, I think I overlooked it. Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

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  40. Hello Anu
    I have been catching up on "Shashi research" over last 5 months,and I came upon your post. Very green that you met him and spoke to him!! He was a terrible distraction in school when I first saw him in kanyadaan and thereafter..(the only kapoor with the looks,versatility and dignity,in my opinion) I just read that he does not have a FB page!  And here I was trying to connect with him somehow, and very excited when I saw his FB page with his "supposed" email address.(The "official" FB page seemed to have been pulled today). Any ideas how to directly connect with him as I live outside India?
    Thanks
    Rani

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  41. I love Shashi anyway. He was really sweet in Kabhie Kabhie and Sharmilee became one of my all time favourites because of his performance. Vijeta again is a movie I have appreciated and I must watch Pyar Kiye Jaay, which I have somehow missed. But I would include Utsav among his best performances for his really outstanding role as the King's BIL. And I really liked a relatively unknown film called Baseera (I really don't know how it performed at the box office), where Rakhee and Rekha play sisters. All the 3 leads did well and Shashi was sympathetic as the husband who is torn between his love for the two sisters. Lots of melodrama of course, but I liked the movie.

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  42.  Hi Rani, welcome to my blog. I'm sorry I cannot help with getting in touch with SK - it's not like I'm his best pal (I wish!) on earth. :~) One way you *could* try is to see if Sanjana still has her FB page and ask her for contact details.

    (the only kapoor with the looks,versatility and dignity,in my opinion)

    And you come and say this on a blog where I pray daily to RK and Shammi? Fie on you! *Grin*

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  43. Basera was remade as Nirabhedangal with Geeta and Ambika reprising the roles of Raakhee and Rekha. It was shot at my college and my friend's house. :) It was, as you say, a sweet movie, even though full of the usual masala. I find Shashi eminently watchable. 

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  44.  I am totally impressed with your knowledge of Hindi and Malayalam movies. Great to see a hobby taken so seriously.

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  45. :) I'm glad you wrote 'hobby'. My mother used to call it an obsession!

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  46.  All mothers are the same. My mother still feels that I am obsessed with books.

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  47.  Amma goes one step further - she point blank says 'Vattanu'.

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  48. Welcome to my blog, Saurabh. And thank you for the compliment. :) I liked him in Kalyug, Vijeta, Junoon, yes, and in his commercial outings too, but I must confess that his character in Kabhi Kabhie was not very appealing to me. He was so cheerful he was annoying. But the one scene he was brilliant in (in my opinion) was the one where he tells Raakhee Is duniya mein aadmi insaan ban jaaye to badi baat hai.


    I liked your take on Vijeta. I do have minor quibbles :) about it but that would be worth discussing.

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  49. Thanks for the welcome Anu. Do share your quibbles over Vijeta, would love to read them. LOL at the Kabhie Kabhie bit.

    Shashi was a 'dude'. And no other film utilizes this persona of his better than Benegal's Kalyug. I love the way that Karan (Shashi) is shown listening to Bach in his apartment.

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  50. I will, Saurabh. These last couple of days have been rather chaotic, so I haven't had a chance to even come to my own blog to respond to comments, but I will, as soon as I can find some time to breathe.

    All film lovers are welcome here; how else can we have a discussion on cinema? :) Please don't remain a stranger now that you have entered the fray.

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