Shashi Kapoor: A Star Who Lives On

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V“Hum gaayab hone vaalon mein se nahin hain, jahaan jahan se guzarte hain jalwe dikhaate hain” – were the words of legendary actor Padma Bhusan Shashi Kapoor. These words exactly summarized his life.However, on December 4, with the demise of Kapoor, India lost a legend of Indian cinema.

Kapoor was admitted to Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai the previous day and had been suffering from prolonged liver cirrhosis.

Withover 160 movies to his credit and an acting career spanning over 50 years, Kapoor had acted in over 10 English movies and numerous Bollywood ones that he himself claimed to have lost count of!

While the actor’s demise has plunged the entire film fraternity of the country in grief, some of the known faces of Ollywood pay their tribute to the actor through MyCityLinks.

Veteran actor, Mihir Das, said, “Shashi Kapoor had a charm that always stood out. The way he carried himself, his grace, his smile, was extremely effective. What inspires me most about him was the wayhe faced his fears and insecurities. During his initial years, no actor was willing to work with him. In spite of being a Kapoor, he had to struggle. Yet he was so full of life. It is hard to believe that an actor as lively as him, no longer exists among us. However, he will always be cherished by generations of actors and audiences!”

Renowned actor, Uttam Mohanty in his tribute said, “Shashi Kapoor was the youngest son of Prithviraj Kapoor. I’ve watched his movies my entire life. His passing away this early was unexpected. He is irreplaceable and unforgettable. I never had the fortune of meeting him in person. Nevertheless, I can confidently say that he was a man of character and dedication. May his soul rest in peace.”

Meanwhile, actor, director, and producer, Prasant Nanda expressed his grief over the actor’s death saying, “Apart from films, Shashi Kapoor had largely dedicated his life to theatre as well. The place where Prithvi theatre stands today could have been easily leased out for constructions worth crores. But Kapoor’s dedication towards art and stage productions is what has kept Prithvi Theatre alive and thriving. He will always be remembered for his contribution towards cinema and theatre.”

Kapoor was one of the few actors who was admired and respected by all and a favourite with audiences of all generations. A die-hard Shashi fan in Ollywood, actor Namrata Das says, “I just loved his acting in Deewar. The dialogue, ‘Mere paas Maa hai’, is my all-time favorite. He is irreplaceable. May Lord Jagannath bless his soul.”

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Having grown up with a generous dose of Kapoor’s films, actor, Buddhaditya Mohanty narrates some interesting details about the deceased actor. He shares, “Shashi Kapoor was the last pillar of the first family of Indian cinema. He was the third recipient of the Dada Saheb Phalke award after his father Prithviraj Kapoor and brother Raj Kapoor; a record that remains unbroken even now. He was the first international face of Bollywood with The Homemaker and Shakespeare Wallah and the first to start the trend of cross-over films in India with James Ivory productions in the 60s. With no intention of getting into mainstream films as the protagonist, he later gave in to the trend. The rest is history. With his impish smile, bouncy hair and looks with an international appeal, he yielded irresistible charm and a tremendous screen presence.

Although his first major hit was ‘Jab Jab Phool Khile’in 1965, it was in the 70s that he reached the peak of his success. Along with Manmohan Desai and Yash Chopra, his pairing with Amitabh Bachchan was well appreciated by the audience. They did 12 films together, of which only one was a flop.

In spite of being a mainstream superstar, he spent most of his earnings towards producing parallel cinema. He was a dream producer for actors and directors with films like ‘Junoon’, ‘36 Chaurangi Lane’, starring director Aparna Sen and his wife; ‘Kalyug’, a modern take on Mahabharata; ‘Utsav’, a period film; and the Arabian fantasy, ‘Ajooba’.

Honestly, I feel the best compliment I’ve ever received is that I have a certain bit of buoyance of Shashi Kapoor in my songs and performances. Just like the name of his film, Shashi Kapoor had indeed provided Roti, Kapda Aur Makaan to many struggling actors. He was one among the last pages of Bollywood history along with Vinod Khanna, Feroz Khan, Yash Chopra, Dara Singh and Shammi Kapoor. May his soul rest in peace.”

(Inputs by Jyoti Prakash and Ambhini Aishwarya)

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