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Shashi Kapoor- the man with dreamy eyes and a smile that could melt even the stone-hearted! His passing away is a huge loss for the film industry as he leaves us with a void that's hard to fail.
Some of his leading ladies like Asha Parekh, Zeenat Aman, Sharmila Tagore share fond memories of the legendary star and describe him as a versatile actor with a huge heart...
Shashi Kapoor Was A Thorough Gentleman
Asha Parekh who worked with him in films like Pyaar Ka Mausam, Kanyadaan and others told Quint, "What a lovely thoughtful courteous and kind person. Shashi Kapoor was a thorough gentleman. Not just me, he looked after all his heroines so beautifully".
"I think I did four films with him. Out of these, two films Nasir Husain's Pyar Ka Mausam and Mohan Sehgal's Kanyadan are remembered to this day... I remember during the shooting of Kanyadan in Kulu, I strayed into the wilderness with some of the crew. Shashiji came looking for us. He was so upset that we had wandered away. ‘Anything could've happened because there are bear roaming in the area."
A Chivalrous Hero
Asha was quoted as saying, "I've seldom come across a more caring and chivalrous hero. I had the privilege of working with both Shammi and Shashi Kapoor. They both were unique, so different from one another. And they both had a great sense of rhythm".
Girls Just Swooned Over Him
"I remember his absolutely out-of-this-world sense of rhythm in the song Ni sultana re pyaar ka mausam aaya... Girls just swooned when Shashiji danced. And he had the most amazing marriage. His wife Jennifer Kapoor was just the most perfect wife I had ever seen. She looked after her husband and after all of us when we were shooting together."
He Lost His Will To Look After Himself After His Wife Passed Away
"I think Shashiji lost his will to look after himself after his wife passed away. It was sad to see him suffer so much in his final years. He was on dialysis, just like his brother Shammiji before him. I had gone to see him in hospital a few years ago with my friends Waheeda Rehman and Nanda."
It Was Heartbreaking To See Him On A Wheelchair
"The last time I met him was when he got the Dada Phalke Sahib award. He had become so frail. To see my hero who out-danced me in Pyaar Ka Mausam on a wheelchair was heartbreaking. Shashi Kapoor was the last of my heroes. Now they are all gone."
Is Shashiji Really Gone?
Zeenat Aman who shared screen space with him in films like Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Roti Kapda Aur Makaan said, "Oh my God! Is Shashiji really gone? I did some of my most enjoyable and unforgettable films with him."
Her Earliest Memories Of Shashi Kapoor
"I remember when I was studying at the St Joseph's Convent. Shashiji came with his wife to perform a play in our school. All of us schoolgirls were in a swoon. He was devastatingly handsome. Later he lived down the same road as me. And we'd bump into one another."
He Was A Terrific Co-Star
"I think the first film that we worked on together was Roti Kapada Aur Makaan. It was a very important film for me. And Shashiji was a terrific co-star in what was a very complex role for me with shades of grey. The film was a big hit."
He Was A Veteran Of Comic Timing
"The one that we had most fun with was Chori Mera Kaam a few years later. It was a comedy and we improvised like crazy almost every scene was filled with dialogues that we thought up on the spot. Shashiji was a veteran of comic timing. I was new to comedy. But because he was so supportive I could pull it off. That was what defined Shashiji's attitude: a sense of ongoing generosity towards his co-stars."
The Satyam Shivam Sundaram Chronicles
"My God! What an uproar that film created. Shooting the film was not easy. I remember Raj Saab kept calling Shashiji a ‘taxi'. He meant the number of films that Shashiji was doing at that time. Rajji very firmly told Shashiji he didn't want the ‘taxi'. He wanted Shashiji's full attention. Both of us had to be fully focused on this one film. Every gesture every nuance every movement of Shashiji and I were done by Raaj Saab. He would tell us where to stand, how to walk, how to sit... everything. We were mere puppets. The approach to our roles in Satyam Shivum Sunderam was quite the opposite to what we did in Chori Mere Kaam".
When Shashi Kapoor Was Shy About Taking Off His Shirt
"I remember Shashiji was shy about taking off his shirt under the waterfall in Satyam Shivam Sunderam when were shooting the song Yashomatimaiya. He didn't think he had the physique to pull it off."
Zeenat Aman On Her Last Encounter With Shashi Kapoor
"I last met him at the Prithvi Theatre when he was honoured for receiving the Dada Phalke award. Though he was unwell I could see the look of warm recognition in his eyes. He held my hand warmly and I knew he remembered all the wonderful times we had shared while shooting."
It's A Friend I Have Lost
Sharmila Tagore worked with him in movies like Waqt, Suhana Safar, Aa Gale Lag Jaa and others shared with Indian Express, "I knew Shashi for a long time, I'd say we were friends. So today, it's a friend I have lost. I had just started dating Tiger (Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi) when we were shooting for Aamne Samne (1967) in Shimla. Tiger visited me on the sets where he met Shashi; they instantly became friends. Later, we three also spent time together in Africa, while shooting for My Love (1970)."
The Fun Banter
"On the sets, we would indulge in a lot of banter. He would introduce himself saying, ‘Hi, I am Shashi Kapoor, and I would say, ‘So sorry to hear that'."
A Kind Human Being
"I learnt a lot from Shashi. He had the habit of talking to everyone, from the technicians to the electricians. One day, I was asked if I could shoot for longer than planned and I refused. He told me that if I could extend, the junior artistes will get paid for another half shift. That made me realise that filmmaking was also about crew members other than the stars."
He Wasn't The Same Person After Jennifer's Death
"Amitabh Bachchan was supposed to do Utsav (1984) but when he had an injury, Shashi stepped in. He also produced the film. He picked projects that were different and of a certain quality. He had a vision and understanding of what is good.
He later went through tough times, when he owed people a lot of money. It took some time but he paid them all back. He was an honourable man who is loved by everyone in the industry, not one person will have a bad thing to say about him. Shashi's contribution towards theatre is also commendable. He didn't let Prithvi whither off after Jennifer. But after her, he wasn't the same person. He had been so ill for so many years that this perhaps is a relief."
"I worked with Shashi uncle in my very first film, Trishul. He was extremely helpful and humble. He spoke to everyone, from the director to co-actors, line man and the spot boy. On the sets, he was very funny and hands-on.
One thing that always struck me about him was that he never left the sets once he was there. He would never go to his room and leave instructions to call him when the shot is ready. I met him about two years ago. He still had the same charm and wit. He said, "Kya baat hai, badi achchi lag rahi hai" in the same flirty way that he used to earlier. I could see that even though he was confined to a wheel chair, he still had the same zest for life and his eyes still twinkled with the same intelligence."