Bollywood actor Shashi Kapoor passed away last evening (4th Dec) at the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai. He was 79.
In an interview to Mid-Day, Veteran Filmmaker Bimal Roy's Daughter Rinki Roy Bhattacharya remembered the late Shashi Kapoor and shared her fondest memories of the star. She also revealed how Shashi's wife's death left him heartbroken.
Jennifer's Absence In Shashi's Life
Jennifer's absence in Shashi's life has been critical. Her passing left Shashi heartbroken. Jennifer had a tremendous sense of discipline. It was she who instilled in him the idea that Sunday was a family day.
Their Amazing Sundays
They would often have amazing food for lunch on Sundays. However, the only breakfast Shashi was allowed by Jennifer was a cup of coffee and two unbuttered toasts to maintain his lean physique. This was his routine for many years.
She Passed Away Before Their Daughter's Wedding
She passed away a little before my son [Aditya Bhattacharya] and his daughter Sanjana Kapoor were going to get married. I remember having an informal meeting with Shashi during which Sanjana and Aditya informed that they wanted to call only 100 guests.
He Was Missing Jennifer
Hearing this, he laughed and said, 'Shashi Kapoor's only daughter getting married and only 100 guests coming in! Not possible.' But we could sense that he was missing his wife.
Another thing that haunted him was that he couldn't complete his education. I remember he once told me, 'I dropped out of school and I regret it till date. When I am in the company of people who are into academics or are well-read, there is something that I feel is not right.
When The Audience Gave Him A Standing Ovation
I remember calling him around five years back to honour him with a Lifetime Achievement award from the Bimal Roy Memorial and Film Society. He wasn't in the best of health, but still obliged. His only request was that he wouldn't speak as he was losing his voice. But the audience couldn't resist. They gave him a standing ovation. Shashi had to relent and spoke a few words.
Shashi Deserved More
I always felt that Shashi deserved a lot more. He deserved universal acknowledgment. He was the first crossover actor.
He Never Carried The Weight Of Stardom
His entire body of work for Merchant Ivory productions was stellar. He was down-to-earth and never carried the weight of his stardom. He was a kind person whose work is immeasurable. His death is a big loss.