Sashi Kapoor, the Charming Hero of Bollywood Bids Adieu

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Shashi Kapoor, the gentleman-hero of Bollywood, passed away in Mumbai, this evening, after a prolonged illness, barely three months before he turned 80. Ruchira pays a tribute to the charming actor, in Different Truths.

Shashi Kapoor, the handsome hunk of Bollywood’s yesteryears is no more. He died Monday evening at a Mumbai hospital after a prolonged illness, barely three months short of his 80th birthday. Born into a reputed family of actors – the Kapoors of Bollywood – acting was in his genes so to say.

He made his debut as a child artist in sibling Raj Kapoor’s famous films, Aag and Awara, as younger versions of his big brother. However, he commenced his adult acting career, in 1961, with Dharmaputra.  Thereafter, he looked back.

He has to his credit 116 Hindi films. Out of these 61 had him as the sole lead actor. Beginning with the late 60’s through the 70’s and right up to mid-80’s Sashi Kapoor had his heydays in the tinsel town. His well-known (read popular) films include Jab Jab Phool Khile, Waqt, Kanyadaan,  Pyaar Kiye Jaa,  Kabhi Kabhi, Trishna, Doosara Aadmi, among many others.

As we all know too well, Shashi formed on-screen pairs with most of the heroines of those days ranging from  Nanda, Asha Parikh, Raakhee, Sharmila Tagore, Zeenat Aman, Hema Malini, Parveen Babi, and Moushumi Chatterjee.

His film with Rakhi, Sharmilee became a blockbuster.

He had a rather sensual role opposite Zeenat Aman in Satyam Shivam Sundaram, which created ripples, though the film did not do very well at the box office.

Shashi’s famous line, “Mere paas maa hai” from the film Deewar, where he acted opposite Amitabh Bachchan is an oft-quoted, film dialogue that is immortal, now. He gave a commendable performance in another blockbuster, Trishul, where he shared screen space with the legendary Sanjeev Kumar and Big B.

Another of Shashi’s noted a film was Silsila, which also starred Rekha and the Bachchan couple. Other films in Kapoor’s kitty include Roti Kapda Aur Makan, Heeralal Pannalal, Bhavani Junction, not forgetting New Delhi Times (1985), which bagged him a National Film Award for Best Actor in 1986.

He also dabbled in a few English language films, The Householder and Shakespeare-Wallah (1965). Needless to say, Shashi Kapoor had an amazing screen presence – towering stature, alabaster complexion, and above all the impish grin, which combined to make him a  heartthrob of thousands of cine-goers.

He had won many awards and accolades including the Padma Bhushan, the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Award and finally the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award about seven years ago.  The doyen has left for his heavenly abode to unite with his beloved wife, Jennifer.

You will always be missed and remembered as a perfect gentleman-actor, as a great producer of parallel cinema and for your passionate involvement, with your wife, Jennifer Kendal, and later, your daughter, in Prithvi Theatre. R.I.P. Sashi Kapoor!

©Ruchira Adhikari Ghosh 

Photos and video clips from the Internet

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Born in Guwahati Assam, Ruchira grew up in Delhi and Punjab. A product of Sacred Heart Convent, Ludhiana, she holds a Master’s degree in English Literature from Punjab University, Chandigarh. Armed with a P.G diploma in journalism in Journalism, she has been a pen-pusher for nearly 25 years. Her chequered career encompasses print, web, as well as television. She has metamorphosed as a feature writer, her forte being women’s issues, food, travel and literature.