Death Anniversary: Vaah Re Shashi Baaba, Tere Kitane Roop - Ali Peter John

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By Bollyy
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Death Anniversary: Vaah Re Shashi Baaba, Tere Kitane Roop - Ali Peter John

They used to call him Shashi Baba, whether he was a big star, a junior artiste or a dancer, everyone loved him like they never loved any other star! They said his smile could kill! According to a survey, he was considered among the most handsome and attractive youth in the 70s. He made a huge name for himself when on the advice of his wife Jennifer, he started producing art films or parallel cinema, which gave jobs to many young artistes from FTII and NSD in various fields of film production. He was honored with the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, but beyond this image, there was also a completely mischievous and devious Shashi Kapoor. I present you the evidence to prove that he was..

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I first got to know the other side of Shashi Kapoor when he arranged for me to fly to Junagadh, Gujarat , where he was shooting two films a day, Heera Aur Moti in the morning shift and Aahuti in the afternoon shift. The first was the last film of Mahesh Bhatt's uncle Vijay Bhatt who made Ram Rajya, the only film watched by Mahatma Gandhi and had Shabana Azmi as its heroine and the second was directed by Ashok Bhushan. Who was the brother-in-law and former chief assistant of Manoj Kumar? This was going to be my first ever flight and I was very excited and to add to my excitement, Shashi told me how, I would see beautiful fairies in the flight who would be called Hawaiian beauties, but they were only air hostesses. Taking my flight was a huge event in my village and there was a procession that took me to the Santa Cruz airport, after all, I was the first boy from the village to fly in an aeroplane. I reached the plane and the first woman I saw was a very dark and very fat woman, who was standing with folded hands in namaste. I asked my friend who she was and he told me that she was one of the air hostesses on the flight. The first thought that came to my mind was to send a volley of good abuses (could there be bad abuses?) to Shashi Baba to fool me and deceive me. The scene became worse when we saw other air hostesses. The behavior and attitude there had completely shut me down and I did not dare to look at them again.

publive-imageI reached Junagadh airport and was surprised to see Shashi Kapoor waiting to welcome me even though he was shooting in shifts and to add insult to injury the first thing Shashi asked me was That “How did you like the beautiful fairies?” This was the first time I tasted the other side of Shashi Kapoor. He made me more uncomfortable when he kept coming to ask me if I was comfortable staying! How could I tell them the truth that the producers had put me up in a dirty hotel where even the towers were dirty and I had insects for company all night? I told him this only when I was leaving for Bombay and discovered that he had wasted dates and time with the producers for the crime of putting me up in a bad hotel! We soon became very good friends and he once invited me to meet his school time friend Ismail Merchant. He had a PRO named Gopal Pandey whose job was to arrange press for him. That evening there were no other journalists there except me and he called his PRO and said to him, “Go Gopal Pandey, call people from outside and bring them, tell me the drug is very good, you do this, right?” I Saw another image of another Shashi.

publive-imagepublive-imageMy office had arranged for a special musical night featuring the great actress Nutan, who took to singing on stage after seeing that good work was not coming her way. Shashi agreed to come, but he made me wait the whole day because he said he could not give up his “bread and butter” to waste his time listening to “a singer acting as a singer”. I was again caught between two big stars, Shashi Baba and Nutan, whom I and many others like Amitabh Bachchan admired a lot. We reached Shanmukhananda Auditorium where the show was to take place. We were sitting in the front row and Nutan started singing. He gave me a tight squeeze and asked me, “Do you call this singing?” I didn't know what to say as he clapped loudly after the first two songs. When she started her third song, Shashi said, “This is beyond my tolerance, it is extremely painful. Why can't she just retire and stay at home?” Just before the interval, Shashi was called on stage to honor Nutan. And say a few words about them. I was looking at him and he was looking at me and the way he praised Nutan as a voice specially sent by God to bring joy in our hearts and how he had made a mistake in acting and he made it a Used to make it as. Huge competition for Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle if they had made singing their career. The interval was over and he literally pulled me out of the auditorium and said, “Ali's child, if you mess with such a function for the second time, I will beat you badly.” Having said this, it was the same old Shashi Baba and he Said he would love to have a drink or two, but he had to report for Prakash Mehra's shoot which he had left incomplete. Shashi can be at his best, especially when it comes to women, his famous story of chasing down Smita Patil and Shabana Azmi and asking them, “Hey you girls aaj kal kya hoga, tum log nahin kyun No, and why do you guys wear such dirty clothes?”publive-image

Shashi was a completely changed man after the death of his wife Jennifer. He drank vodka day and night and waited so long that he had to stop traveling in his favorite Mercedes and travel in an Ambassador with only one seat in the entire car, all to himself. He was once caught drinking vodka outside the Prithvi theater he had built on the instructions of Jennifer and his daughter Sanjana came and picked up the bottle and threw it on the floor and said to him, “Don't you know this is a theater and There is a place of worship for us and it should be for you too because it is built with your money and is named after your father. This is the last warning I am giving you or…”. Shashi could not tolerate Sanjana's shocking behavior and went to his office and took out another bottle of vodka and said, “Now let's see who stops Shashi Kapoor from drinking it?” This incident left such a deep impact on him that At one time he even wanted to sell the entire property on which Prithvi Theater stood, but the begging and pleadings of theater lovers made him abandon his idea. There was a time when he gained weight when he was shooting seven films a day and literally running from one set to another and he only had time to change his shirt. He wanted to work with his brother Raj Kapoor, but his brother said he worked with actors and not with the taxi drivers he said Shashi had become. Shashi was so eager to work with Raj Kapoor that he cut down all his small work which he did only to earn money and Raj Kapoor wrote a special script to accommodate him and thus Shashi Kapoor Last played the younger version of Raj Kapoor. He got his first lead role in Raj Kapoor's 'Satyam Shivam Sundaram' in 'Awara'.

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Shashi was living in his spacious Atlas apartment on Malabar Hill when he gained weight and sat down. Or couldn't even stand. His only job was to take his son Kunal's children to school. During one of these trips he fell into an open manhole and broke all his bones. He remained in Breach Candy Hospital for more than six months. There were many people who visited, but one of them was Devyani Chaibal (Devi) who used to write bad things about him. When she reached Shashi, he smiled and said, “Devi, how can you mess with me now, I am already spoiled all around”. All the films he made under his banner, especially films like 36, Changi Lane, Kalyug, Junoon, Vijeta and most of all Utsav flopped at the box office and he was completely ruined. In one of his conversations with me, he said something which I have never forgotten, he said, these bastards have ruined poor Shashi Kapoor.

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This was, in a way, what he had predicted for himself. He decided to direct his first Indo-Soviet film Ajooba with his friend Amitabh Bachchan, nephew Rishi Kapoor, brother Shammi Kapoor, Zeenat Aman and Amrish Puri. This film was also a disaster and Shashi's only ambition was to direct a film with her all-time great favourite, Dilip Kumar. He also worked on half of the script based on a retired police officer's fight against the underworld. He kept looking for writers to write a good second half and climax, but no writer could satisfy him and when he showed the first signs of falling prey to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, he had to shift to Prithvi Jhopra, which he never lived in. It was a country hut. His father Prithviraj Kapoor and he converted it into his office for his company Filmwala. In its place, a multi-storey building called Prithvi Apartment was built in which he lived alone with two caretakers. His only time was in the evenings where he would be brought in a wheelchair and there was an old violinist who would willingly play for him while he sat in the premises of Prithvi Theatre. He was not able to recognize anyone. On one occasion when I walked up to him and shouted my name into his ears, he seemed to recognize me and made a few noises and slowly folded his arms and then signaled his carers to pick him up.

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His Dadasaheb Phalke Award was presented to him by the late Union Minister Shri Arun Jaitley. The entire industry was present and so was the entire Kapoor family, but they were not aware of what was happening around them. He died a few weeks later after being in and out of hospitals several times. His body had shrunk to the size of a recruit boy and that mischievous and charming face had lost all its charm. Jeevan chose Shashi Kapoor as an example for others so that they know how cruel and bad it can be even for a Shashi Baba.

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