Posts Tagged ‘Shammi Kapoor’

Fatema Kagalwala puts on those nostalgia-wala goggles and remembers Rajesh Khanna.

I have a very 70’s generational angst. I have a theory that we, all of us born in the 70’s are marked. And politely speaking quite fucked. We are the in-between generation constantly straddling two worlds, one full of a traditionalism no longer serving us, and another of modernisation hurtling us to a place that has stripped us completely of our original identities. We have one foot in both. Our childhoods were wrapped in what was probably the blackest period of modern India – the 80’s where decay, political, social and personal was at its ugliest, poverty and disillusionment with the Great Indian Dream had left us utterly hopeless and arts were a shadow of their original selves. Maybe, it is for this that I (we?) continue to feel like an alien in this uber-modernised, superficial millennium and keep asking myself ‘Where do I belong?’ And probably it is this that makes me misty-eyed with nostalgia, sense of loss and emptiness when I but merely watch a yester-year film song especially of the 50’s, 60’s or 70’s.

Films and the heroes we loved in our childhood keep us connected to our past and the entire world it embodied. No other medium or star can do that for us, but yes, film heroes can. And that’s why when I heard of Rajesh Khanna’s demise yesterday I had a lump in my throat like he was a long-lost childhood friend. His going brought up all that sense of immense loss and pain that had been growing ever since Dev Anand and Shammi Kapoor left us.

I was having lunch when I heard it. My first reaction was ‘Don’t go!’, ‘Don’t do this to us…’ ‘We need you…’ I was screaming inside, ‘You don’t know the way you keep us connected us to ourselves…’ ‘We don’t recognise this world we live in but with you it’s bearable…’ ‘What will we do without the dreams you gave us to dream?’ I felt I had lost yet another link to myself, my past, my world. It wasn’t about cinema anymore. It was about the world Rajesh Khanna was a part of, the world he kept alive for me. The world I could go to at will, to rejuvenate myself. A sort of coming home when tired… Rajesh Khanna, Dev Saab, Shammi Kapoor symbolised a world of gentility and innocence that I was born in and then rudely shaken out of before I had my fill. They kept me connected to what was no more…And now they are…

Rajesh Khanna the star and Rajesh Khanna the man were both something that I wasn’t personally attached to, like I was to Dev Anand, the first man I ever fell in love with. Yet, his charming smile, the innocence in his eyes, the warmth he invested in his characters and his eccentrically crooked style, all remained endearing to me no matter how frail a shadow of himself he became. In my eyes, he remained Anand, Arun, Raj and Kamal, none of his later life pursuits ever diminishing all the beautiful worlds he had created for me in my childhood. It must be the dreams he (and others before him) sold to my wide-eyed child that makes me cling to a world that has long past…

A world where innocence meant thinking that when actors died in films they died in real life…

Where women scraped the mud of an actor’s car tyres and marked their foreheads with it as sindoor…

Where an autograph or a mere sighting of our favourite star would leave us in a tizzy for days…

Where the word ‘matinee’ gave us shivers of delicious delight be it pre-fixed to our loved idol or show…

Where we dressed up for a film outing and carried tiffins to movie halls…

Where we were willing to sit on the aisles if need be and would get up dance when we felt like…

Where we could sit on the footpath to watch a film being projected at a random street celebration…

Where we made films run for months and months never tiring of watching it for the 5th or 15th time as long as it was in the halls…

Where it was a big big deal to escape school / college to watch that film’s first day first show…

Where first day first show meant a lot more than our careers ever would…

Where men were gentlemen and women ladies…

Where stars were gods…almost…

…until they passed on. And left us bitter about the fact that they are mortal after all.

This is less of an obituary to a man we all loved and will continue to and more of an obituary to the passing of an era he and many like him embodied. An era that holds the key to me, an era that gave me my roots only to find that they no longer sustain me in this weird world I find myself living in. I will always live by the dreams that you, my childhood stars showed me and hope it will suffice. Because now that you are gone, what else do I have?

Saying goodbye with one of my most favourite Rajesh Khanna song.

Thank you for that world

Thank you for those dreams

Thank you for those movies…

Without them, my childhood wouldn’t have been half as beautiful.

Rest in peace.

It’s raining trailers and how! After Agneepath and The Dirty Picture, the trailer of Imtiaz Ali’s Rockstar is finally out. The film stars Ranbir Kapoor and Nargis Fakhri. And the most interesting bit – A R Rahman’s music. And we will also get to see Shammi Kapoor one last time on the big screen. Bring it on!

So it looks like Imtiaz is recycling his old formula once again – cool and confused lovers will travel a distance (physically and emotionally) and discover true love. Socha Na Tha, Jab We Met, Love Aaj Kal, all follow the same formula. Lovers just take one more step ahead – about to marry(SNT), almost married (JWM), just married (LAK) and then they discover their true love. This one seems to be following the same route. New track – Rockstar bit and the music scene. Let’s see how it plays out.

And if sadda haq, aithye rakh is the sound of the film, gimme more!

Tip – DaMovieManiac

Every time a Shammi Kapoor song plays on tv, I stop everything and stare at the screen with eyes wide open. Grinning from ear to ear, my face looks like McDonald’s Ronin. And his songs needs to be seen because there is so much fun and energy in the way he danced. Nobody entertained like him.

Now obits have been written, wikipedia page has been edited and his songs have been played non-stop though the day. Putting three songs/videos in this post which you might not have seen/heard.

First one is a special tribute to Shammi Kapoor by one of the greatest actors of our time, Naseeruddin Shah. This song is from his film Sitam in which he played a Shammi fanatic. And I have been told that he is Shammi fan in real life too. Play on.

And here’s another tribute to him…this song’s lyrics is all about Shammi Kapoor’s film titles.

And the last one. After Shammi Kapoor married Geeta Bali, he was doing a film with Kidar Sharma, Rangeen Raaten. And Geeta Bali wanted to be with him. She requested Kidar to have her as the heroine but Mala Sinha was already signed on for the film. Since Geeta had no female role, she played the role of a man, not in disguise but a male character in the film Rangeen Raaten.

All info and videos via Pavan Jha.