Shashi Kapoor is no more. For all his fans (including me) the news was too sad to bear. Starting his film journey in year 1948, the Kapoor became the commercially viable superstar and a critically acclaimed actor and was the force behind super-hit films like Deewaar, Haseena Maan Jayegi, Kabhi Kabhie, Namak Halaal, Sharmeelee, Waqt, Vijeta, Kalyug and Satyam Shivam Sundaram.
He married an English actress Jennifer Kendal in 1956 and the duo established Prithvi Theatre in 1978. The couple has three children – Kunal Kapoor, Karan Kapoor and Sanjana Kapoor. While as his wife died of cancer in 1984.
Having worked in over 150 films, the actor has always been known for his down to earth behavior, sober nature and for spectacular performances in the films. The best things his fans have loved him for is getting himself into a character as it demands like in the role of a father, brother or husband. The other things were his infectious smile and being a smart man of the film industry. The Bollywood actresses of year years had always shown intimacy and admired him for his glistening smile and personable looks. Apart, the actor had helped then many new faces to get into the film industry and among them were Saeed Jaffrey, a well know name and face of Bollywood. Jaffery died in November 2015.
Shashi Kapoor's memorable dialogues in his films have always made his fans to fall flat on him. Dialogues like "Mere paas Maa hai" from film Deewar, "Iss duniya me aadmi insaan ban jaye toh badi baat hai" from Kabhi Kabhie, "Yeh mat socho ke desh tumhe kya deta hai, yeh socho ke tum desh ko kya de sakte ho" from Roti, Kapda aur Makaan, and "Zyada paisa aaye to neend nahi aati, neend aaye to zyada paisa nahin aata" from movie Deewar. These are the immortal and meaningful dialogues that are somehow related to our lives. Such dialogues have also shown us that how emotional and loving person the actor had been. The dialogues that he has said in his films have always tried to give a message related to the society, family or the country.
A man of legacy who established himself not only as a star under the immense shadow of Amitabh Bachchan but also as an actor who revived the theatrical roots in his family, Shashi Kapoor was not any other Bollywood star, he was a silent era in himself.
Shashi Kapoor has always shared a trustable and overwhelming relation with Amitabh Bachchan. He has worked with him over 12 classic films that include Deewar, Kabhie Kabhie, Silsila and Kaala Patthar and others.
In a blog post, penned down in 2009, Big B had talked about his equation with Shashi. He had shared how he was supposed to play an extra in a scene in a film featuring Shashi's death but was eventually advised by Shashi to not play the part as he thought Big B was meant for much more.
"It was reassurance, it was affection, it was acknowledgement, it was complimentary, it was appreciation … it was everything that a struggling actor that had once played an 'extra' in a film that starred this gentleman sitting next to me, had never ever dreamt would happen"
With his death, the Shashi Kapoor's golden relationship with scenic Kashmir came to an end. Kapoor has been mostly visiting the valley in sixties and seventies for the shoot of his films. In year 1965, the actor shot for film Jab Jab Phool Khile whose melodious song Affo Khudaya was a hit. Another song Pardesiyon Se Na Ankhiyan Milana was much liked by the audience and was featured on Shashi Kapoor, a boatman and Nanda, a rich tourist in Dal Lake. The film was entirely shot in Kashmir. The movie explored the beauty of Dal Lake and all the enchanting places of Kashmir. Song 'Likhe Jo Khat Tujhe' featured on Kapoor and Asha Parekh was shot at tourist destination Pahalgam. The film has depicted the mountains and pine trees in the backdrop thus trying to show the beauty of the valley. According to its director, the lyrics of song were inspired by nature love in Kashmir.
Actors like Shashi Kapoor never die. They always remain within us.
The author is studying Mass Communication & Journalism at Media Education Research Centre (MERC), University of Kashmir.