Sunday, August 14, 2011
Remembering the Yahoo man
I am not an Indian (moviegoer) worth my salt and i've never known what it is to be young, if I don't write about Shammi Kapoor today.For it was he who brought in ebullience and madness to romance in Indian cinema.
The original Yahoo man (we never knew any other kind of yahoo, besides who else could have hollered 'yahoooo' like him?) he yahooed into the hearts of Indians with 'junglee", one of his first films... and never left.
We were probably in the playpen when Shammi Kapoor was doing his early films and by the time we turned into serious moviegoers, he was already on the last legs of his career. We watched only the reruns, yet they would always draw full houses.
Because there was nobody quite like him before or after! Nobody who could fill his rather big shoes, literally and figuratively.
The boisterousness and joie de vivre he brought to his movies; the impromptu dance moves only he was capable of doing and probably, only he knew about;the inimitable style in which he emoted; the way he romanced his leading ladies...with melody and molten eyes, coupled with the totally unpredictable falls, be it falling/rolling down the grassy slopes or falling/stepping into the icy water of Dal lake or falling/jumping into the sea...(if you've seen a Shammi Kapoor movie. you'd know what i am talking about), it all left the audience a little breathless, but a thoroughly happy and entertained lot!
"Indian Elvis" as he was called sometimes,his acting ability might be questioned by many, but few could remain immune to his charm.And I think, in many ways, he was more loved than even his more illustrious brother, Raj Kapoor.
Singer Mohammad Rafi whose voice became synonymous with Shammi Kapoor probably brought out the best in him and vice versa.Together the duo had given us so many unforgettable numbers that if I were asked to pick out one of them, I would never be able to. Yet this one from "teesri manzil" perhaps would rank as one of his best or one of the top 10 along with the duet I've posted on Facebook. Shammi Kapoor in a very uncharacteristic sober mood here!
During his last days, he had to go to hospital 3 days a week for dialysis, as he was suffering from a chronic renal failure. Yet he would look forward to the remaining four days of the week and make plans so that he could really live it up those four days!
Such was his lust for life...at the age of 79!
Rest in peace, Mr. Shammi Kapoor, or rather, dance in heaven, as somebody has said. You are going to be missed...and how!