Shashi Kapoor—the “Dashing hero”… “poster boy”…”warm, humble soul”… “picture of elegance”
More than these I will always cherish his jovial mien. He was already putting on pounds around his waist when I met him in Delhi for an interview. He was far from sorry about it. “Why should I try to get back into my jeans? Jennifer is gone and I have no desire to impress anyone – not even You!”
That didn’t break my heart. Guess why? Because he wanted to come to my house for a meal of “fish, fish and fish.” No chips, thank you, he’d made it abundantly clear.
Now I am heartbroken. Shashi Kapoor did not come for that fishy lunch. Perhaps he was planning to get into his jeans – for the countless ladies whose heart still throb at the mention of his name.
No worries Shashiji. You will always remain with us – dashing hero, devoted husband, dynamic producer…
Funeral on a rainy day. I have reacted rather viscerally to the death of an actor who happily romanced heroines in an open jeep and then shone like a beacon when he played editor, the rebel, the confused spiritual seeker in his latter films. Never thought the man who visited my college fest as chief guest long long time ago (told me: i have romanced many women as a young man, but one broke my heart, and it will be well worth the wait, young lady), would make such an impression.
However, unlike everyone else in the crowds standing across from the funeral place gawping at celebrities, I stood quietly, hoping to say goodbye. but chickened out too soon. Overwhelmed with tears (thank goodness for the rain), I caught the first auto (he cursed: koi famous mar gaya hoga, pata nahi traffic ki waat laga dete) and returned home. I thought of my own mortality. I know I want to turn into a jacaranda tree (just as in one of the facebook posts forwarded multiple times) and hope that method of converting dead people into trees comes to us as practice soon…and I know I want to leave behind some ideas planted inside my students heads, some poetry, and maybe change a law that binds so many of us…
Who will fill the loss of earnest romance that only you could inject in our films? Look even the sky is shedding tears in Mumbai today. Fine; make them richer who live above clouds. But how will they rob your immortality etched in our hearts? RIP prince.
I still remember the first time I visited Prithvi Theatre and saw him present there . Quintessentially majestic in his presence but humble enough to acknowledge every greeting with a smile , he was the epitome of grace and dignity . Over the years as I spent time at Prithvi Theatre we would see him there watching plays and encouraging each and everyone by speaking to artists and motivating them with his presence.
Later there would a specific position in the theatre where he would sit and watch plays and a chair kept there for him and if he came to watch a show, it would electrify us in backstage . I still remember he watched our play Once upon Tiger and loved it so much that he sent brownie cake for the cast and crew ( which comprised of a lot of children too ) backstage. These were small thoughtful things he would do silently around Prithvi Theatre that he loved so much and in the bargain won over anyone who came to know him personally.
In later years when he was not that well he would still come and sit in the cafe and as someone walked looking at him , he would greet with his signature smile and humility of a Namaste. In so many years I have been there I never saw him in any other mood or demeanour. He was always the ever calm and dignified Sashiji for us.
Shashi Kapoor was a star all the way from the silver screen to the stage of life.
I have always adored Amitabh Bachchan in Deewar…no two thoughts about it… which also happened to be SK’s seminal work as an actor.. AB was always the hero.. larger than life..
Recall what Subash Ghai said about SK’s contribution to that myriad multistarrers with Bachchan in the 70’s…’Agar film ek sabzi hai..toh Shashi Kapoor aloo hai… aur aloo har sabzi ka swaad badhaata hai’
His own illustrious elder brother, the great Raj Kapoor called him a ‘taxi’ as he was a permanent fixture of all the 70’s films, hyper busy and rushing from one studio to another at the height of his popularity… how apt..the nickname. I personally loved him in Merchant Ivory’s HEAT AND DUST, Junoon, The House Holder and Kalyug.
With his passing away, Hindi Cinema loses one of its most suave and sophisticated actors
Thank you for your amazing performances and thank you for Prithvi.
Excerpt from Rediff feature, ‘Shashi Kapoor gave his heart to every film’
Excerpt from biography, ‘Shashi Kapoor: The Householder, The Star’
Lost the most loveable man.
Shashi Kapoor on IMDB