Happy Birthday Shashi Kapoor (18th March)

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Time indeed flies.  It seems just the other day on 4th of December 2017, that Shashi Kapoor had moved on. Today 18th March is his 1st birthday in his new world, a world where he surely will be enchanting all with his handsome looks and boyish charm. In fact he was so young looking that though he was 4 years older than Amitabh Bachchan he played Big B’s younger brother in quite a few movies. The two mega stars had 15 movies together and the only movie of Shashi Ji as Director, namely Ajooba also starred Amitabh.

On his birthday let us have a look at some rare trivia about Shashi Kapoor, considered to be one of the most handsome heroes in the history of Hindi cinema.

His awards

Shashi Ji has been awarded with India’s 3rd highest civilian award the Padma Bhushan (3rd in precedence behind the Bharat Ratna and the Padma Vibhushan). He has also been awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke award, India’s highest award in cinema. Since he was unwell, in a departure from tradition, the Hon’ble Minister Shri Arun Jaitley travelled to Mumbai to honour the star at a ceremony at Prithvi Theatre.

Shashi Ji has also won the National best actor award for his role as an honest journalist in New Delhi Times. To encourage the producer-director he had taken only a token payment of Rs 101/- for acting in the movie.

A Merchant-Ivory film “In custody” won the President’s Gold medal for best film in 1996. It starred Shashi Kapoor, Shabana Azmi and Om Puri.

Interestingly, Shashi Ji as revealed by his son Kunal never gave importance to awards and the only awards important to him were the President’s Gold medal and the Dadasaheb Phalke award.

Shashi-Amir Khan Connect

The movie which established Shashi as a hero was Jab Jab Phool khile. Interestingly no one wanted to do the movie and several including Sholay creator GP Sippy rejected it. However the movie was a huge hit not just in India but also in African countries such as Algeria, Morocco and Libya. The movie had immortal songs like “Ek Tha Gul Aur Ek Thi Bulbul”, “Pardesiyon Se Na Ankhiyan Milana” “Na Na Karte Pyar Tumhin Se” and “Ye Samaa, Samaa Hai ye Pyar Ka” which are hummed even today.

This movie was remade 31 years later as Raja Hindustani, starring Amir and Shashi’s niece Karishma. The movie was a blockbuster hit.

Shashi-James Bond Connect

Shashi has acted with Pierce Brosnan in Ivory-Merchants “The Deceivers“. Brosnan gave him a super compliment by saying that his ability to subtly underplay was his greatest asset. The Deceivers was also on the Thugee theme like this years awaited movie, Thugs of Hindostan.

Shashi Kapoor-Shabana Azmi Connect

Shabana says she was Shashi’s crazy fan and would save her pocket money to his posters from Grant Road and would get him to autograph them on Sundays when he came to Prithvi Theatre. It was a dream come true to get a role opposite her childhood idol  in Fakira. On the first day, they were shooting the song Dil mein tujhe bitha ke. Shabana was extremely uncomfortable with the steps which were changed on Shashi’s behest.

Shabana says that once in 1986 she was on huger strike on taking up the cause of slum dwellers. As it was the 1st instance of an acror going on a hunger strike , the film fraternity was both confused and guarded. On the 5th day her blood pressure started falling and Shashi went straight to the Chief Minister, Shankarrao Chavan, telling him that the film industry had always supported the government in a crisis and he couldn’t let the demands of one of its members go unheard. The CM agreed. Shabana says that when she was giving a speech and wanted to thank Shashi she saw he had disappeared as he did not want any credit.

Shabana also acted in one of Shashi’s last movies Muhafiz also starring Om puri, Parikshit Sahni and Neena Gupta.

Shashi Kapoor, always addressed as “Hi Handsome” by Dimple Kapadia will always remain in our memory.

Happy Birthday Shashi ji

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