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He first came to my office in an old Standard car which he had brought with him from Delhi. He had signed a few films as the hero, but those films were of no significance, one was a bad action film with an unknown or first-time heroine who was from the FTII, and both the films which deserved to, flopped. He used to come with his Dabba (tiffin) and used to sit in the chair opposite me and would threaten not to leave my office till I showed him a print of the news item I was going to publish about him in ‘Screen’, the following Friday. He had also made friends with my advertisement manager, Mr. Nandu Shah who he called ‘Baapu’ and never left the office till he was sure about his news item being published. His name was Sunil Kapoor those days…
Ali Peter John

But, soon he was noticed by Sunil Dutt who was looking for a bad boy in his film, “Rocky” which was being made to launch his son, Sanjay Dutt. Sunil Dutt liked his personality but told him that he would be doing a wise thing if he stopped looking for the role of hero and start playing the villain. Sunil Dutt cast him in “Rocky”, but with the condition that he would change his name from Sunil to Shakti and so Sunil Kapoor became Shakti Kapoor and it was the begging of a long story with its ups and downs and so many controversies, mostly to do with his behavior, especially with women, from the industry or outside it, besides his bouts of heavy drinking for which he had an explanation which is difficult to explain. He said, “kya karu, yaar, subah mein that hoon toh pehle bottle hath lagti hai?”

Success however had taken a decision to be kind to him, in spite of all his weaknesses. He was within no time one of the leading young villains of Hindi Cinema.

He or his family may not like my mentioning this, but the truth cannot be hidden for too long. He had what is called an affair with a talented young actress whose name Rama Vij in whose apartment at ‘Uddhi Tarang’ near what was once near the then Centaur Hotel. He however broke up with her and married Sivangi Kolhapure who was the sister of the leading female star of the times, Padmini Kolhapure, and shifted to a posh apartment near the Sunny Super Sound Studio. He soon had two children, Shraddha and Siddhant and was now so affluent that he could afford to have rooms for his little children with all the facilities children could be happy with.

His real big-time started when he did a film with Raj N Sippy, the maker of films like “Inkaar’ and “Satta Pe Satta”. His one word spoken or just made a sound with, ‘Aaoo’ shot him to unprecedented popularity and he was either the main villain or what is called the side villain. And he had reached a stage when only quantity and money mattered to him. He could still be a good actor, but he opted for the easy way out and continued to play the same kind of bad man in film after film, and with the coming of makers of the South, he became a must for every film they made and within no time he had worked in more than five hundred films and the number did something to his head. He said and did things that were shocking, to say the least just to give a boost to himself and his newfound image. He once came up with the story about how women and especially young girls lined up outside his suites in five-star hotels for him to do them ‘favors’. His love for his new image crossed all limits when he talked about how girls sent him their lingerie for him to sign his autograph on.

However, nothing could stop his growing into a very in-demand villain, and he together with some directors, mostly from the

South tried to find the most obnoxious scenes and lines for him which made him popular, the masses and made people with better tastes keep away from the films in which he was the villain.

His popularity lasted till the makers from the South made Hindi films and the slide down began when they suddenly decided to stop making films in Hindi as the films didn’t run and the stars from Mumbai never stopped asking for more and more money. They had seen through the dirty game’s stars were playing with them and making money. And the same stars who were so successful in the films made in the South found themselves jobless when they returned ‘home’

The man who had done more than seven hundred films couldn’t maintain the same standards (?) and had to resort to doing plays with other jobless actors like his sister-in-law, Padmini Kolhapure and Asrani. It was a theatre personality like Naveen baba who slowed then a new way of making a living.

Shakti Kapoor could have been a much better actor which he was, but like it is said, “kisiko Zameen nahi milta air kisi ko aasmaan nahi milta”. (I don’t know if the line written by me is correct, but I’m sure people will know what I mean)

I don’t believe in goodness and badness of the parent’s refl reflects on their children, but seeing how shakti’daughter…, Shraddha is gaining appreciation, recognition, fame, and fortune, I am tempted to believe that Shakti must have done something good in his life and career to see Shraddha shining like she is.