Reminiscing the old days, and mourning the loss of an old friend and family, Amitabh Bachchan wrote his heart out in an emotional letter, as an ode to the charming veteran actor, Shashi Kapoor. Shashi Kapoor breathed his last yesterday, he was ailing from age related diseases as he passed away at the age of 79. It still feels incomprehensible to come to terms with the fact that we have lost such a gem from amidst us.
While we talk of Shashi Kapoor’s magnificent screen presence and his line of beautiful films, we can’t help but talk of his teaming up with Senior Bachchan. From Kapoor’s iconic dialogue ‘Mere Paas Maa Hai’ in Yash Chopra ‘Deewar’ or their iconic jodi in ‘Suhaag’, ‘Kabhie Kabhie’ and ‘Namak Halal’, all of them remind us the iconic pair of Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor.
Not just in reel life but also in reality, the two megastars have gone from friends and colleagues to close and personal relations like that of ‘Samdhi’. Well, deeply in sorrow and saddened by the news of the loss of his best friend, Amitabh Bachchan penned an emotional letter in his rememberance and honour. In an emotional tribute to Shashi on his blog, Bachchan wrote, ” I never ever wanted to see this beautiful friend and ‘samdhi’ in the state I saw him in hospital .. …. and I did not today, when they informed me that he had gone …”
He reminisces about the first time he ever saw the charming Shashi Kapoor, ” Standing elegantly without a care in the world, I saw him standing by a Mercedes Sports car, a convertible, a smart trimmed beard and moustache, adorning involuntarily, the face of this incredibly handsome man. It was a picture that filled almost an entire page of a magazine. Shashi Kapoor … son of Prithviraj Kapoor, younger brother to Raj Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor, making a debut in a forthcoming film, is what the caption read .. And I said to myself, as very uncertain thoughts raced through my mind of wanting to become a film actor, that, with men like him around, I stood no chance at all ..”
He wrote about the first time he met him and all those times the humble megastar, Shashi Kapoor introduced himself, ” On and off, common friends in the Industry, which I was just getting acquainted with, would introduce me to him at select social gatherings .. “ Shashi Kapoor !” was what one heard as he extended a warm soft hand out to you in introduction ; that devastating smile complimenting the twinkle in his eyes. He needn’t have done so. Every one knew him. But this was his infectious humble self. When he spoke, there was a mischievous, gentle, almost inaudible, delicate, yodel, in his voice – most endearing and comforting to the one he was introduced to. The self introduction habit, was a gem. The one being introduced to, was, quite obviously, prompted to say his or her name as well, when they heard his. It was a remarkable tool to come to know the other persons name .. and .. if and when there was to be another meeting after many forgettable years, the same technology was most helpful in remembering the other persons name, in case you had forgotten it .. !!
Amitabh Bachchan also wrote about how he would learn so much from Shashi Ji, in his letter he showed just how much he adored and followed him in certain walks of life, “I must admit .. it was a technology that remained with me as a learning, assisting me in using it during those uncomfortable times, when out of the blue someone would come out to you and address himself as a long lost buddy , with a :
“remember me ! we last met 6 years ago at the crossing of Kemps Corner, as you drove past and waved to me” !!!
My mind is warning me .. ‘of course you don’t, how could you possibly’ .. ‘stick that hand out ala Shashi Kapoor and act friendly..’
I obey .. !
‘yes of course I do’ .. I say .. looking recognisably lost .. ( sticking hand out ) .. Amitabh Bachchan ..!!
And he would assure me with his .. and Kemp’s Corner and waving by, passing travelling vehicle, suddenly all come flashing by .. I am saved .. and he goes away with some rather impressionable opinions about me ..
The next .. was his semi curly hair on head, falling carelessly over his forehead and ears, not quite covering it .. and my upper story mumbled again : ‘hey ! maybe you should think of covering your ears as well ..’ … and off I went to Hakim the hair dresser at Taj Hotel with my plan .. and executed, it remained till date ..”
Well, after this friendly relationship transformed into something more personal and permanent becoming part and parcel of one big family. Amitabh Ji penned down his emotional state upon hearing this heartwrenching news, “He had been ailing .. somewhere he had let himself go after the passing away of his dear wife Jennifer .. I had visited him on occasion in Hospital during some of the times he had been hospitalised earlier .. but I never went to see him again .. I would never have .. I never ever wanted to see this beautiful friend and ‘samdhi’ in the state I saw him in hospital …. and I did not today, when they informed me that he had gone …
The words of the ‘sher’ at the opening came to me minutes after Rumi Jafri, eminent writer in our film industry, sent them to me on learning of his death ..
“how long could I have preserved this exquisite and expensive book of life ; the pages of the book were damaged ..”
He fondly addressed me as ‘babbua’ .. and with him have gone many incredible unread chapters of his and my life .. ”
Truly friendship and love is a bond of eternal togetherness and emotional binding, he may have left us all physically but he still remains in our memories of him in person or through his works!