Big B pays glowing
tribute to Shashi Kapoor
In his latest blog post,
on Big Blog (Big Adda), Amitabh Bachchan has paid glowing tributes to his
great friend and Seventies' colleague, Shashi Kapoor. Together, Shashi
and Amitabh have given Bollywood some memorable hits such as 'Deewar',
'Trishul', 'Namak Halal', 'Suhaag' and 'Shaan'. Writes Bachchan: "In Mumbai,
Shashi ji had always been a great support. I would visit him on set when
I was looking for a job. He was already an established star by then, and
he would introduce me to all his directors. He never worked on Sundays
and would spend the day with his two sons and daughter by the swimming
pool at the Sun n Sand Hotel in Juhu. We would land up via the beach near
the Hotel to see him, going in by the main entrance was impossible for
us, and waited anxiously for him to notice us so we could spend some time
"Very shortly he was working
in the James Ivory - Ismail Merchant Production of the film ' Filmvalas'
and we approached him if we could get a job in this production. Ismail
Merchant, the producer of the film called us one fine day and said there
some small parts which we could do and that he would pay us Rs 500/- for
it. The scene that morning was of Shashiji's death, where his body was
being taken in procession to the burning pier for cremation. I was asked
to be among those that formed the pall bearers along with several other
junior artists in the sequence, to carry the body. After a couple of shots
we were asked to stand amongst the crowd as mourners as the shooting progressed.
Shashi ji was not at the shoot, obviously, but dropped by later at the
location. When he saw what we had been asked to do, he walked up to me
in the crowd of mourners where I was standing as a junior artist, or the
'extra' and asked me to move. "Don't do these bit parts" he advised, "you
are made for better things" and then spoke to the director to delete those
portions of mine from the film."
Bachchan also reminisces
his 'Deewar' days with Shashi Kapoor. "I had travelled from being an 'extra'
in Shashi Kapoor's film to playing a prominent role along him. At the premiere
of 'Deewar' in 1975, I drove with my parents and family via Marine Drive
to the Minerva Cinema.The film started and Shashi ji was beside me in the
next seat. We never said a word. Premier butterflies. But when the scene
under the bridge started, the 'mere pass maa hai' moment, I felt a gentle
hand on mine. It was Shashi ji's. He never spoke, but the way he held my
hand said everything. It was reassurance, it was affection, it was acknowledgement,
it was complimentary, it was appreciation."
Amitabh also recalls that
his screen chemistry with Shashi Kapoor was so excellent that, most often,
it gave the leading ladies a complex: "Shashi Kapoor and I became inseparables
in many successful ventures that followed. Leading ladies would shy away
from our projects by proclaiming that there would be nothing left for them
to do once SK and AB were there together."
Bachchan expressed shock at Shashi Kapoor