A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

The end of an era..

Posted by Pepper on August 14, 2011

I am sad. It had been a good Saturday until now. We went for a movie and then for dinner. We were having fun, raving about the chocolate martini, chatting with each other, commenting on the other diners and generally having a good time. We got back home in good spirits. I was getting into my pajamas when I heard Mint call out to me from the living room. “Your favourite actor passed away”, he said.

I gulped. Not wanting to believe it was Shammi Kapoor, I asked him, “Who are you talking about”. He said it. I was horrified and I promptly logged on to read more. More headlines confirmed the news. I was heart broken.

Shammi Kapoor has been my most favourite actor. I love all the old movies he acted in. I could never like any other actor from that era the way I liked him. He was, rather is, a true legend. But that is not the only reason his death upset me so much. I had a personal connection with him.

My uncle,  who is my dad’s elder brother has been a kidney patient for a while. He needed dialysis three times a week. I would tag along with him when he would go to Breach Candy hospital on his appointed days, just so I could be around him during those painful times. That is where I met Shammi Kapoor for the first time. He was suffering from a kidney failure and was under the same doctor as my uncle, Dr. Gandhi. I would see him every time I went to the hospital for my uncle. He would be lying on the next bed. Once my uncle was pleading with me to get him a glass of water. I was refusing because kidney patients have to drastically cut down on their water intake. That is when Shammi Kapoor looked up to us from the next bed, smiled and asked me if my father troubles me all the time. I realised he was mistaking my uncle for my father, but since I do treat my uncle as another father, I didn’t bother correcting him. I was surprised by the casual way in which he initiated the conversation. He seemed so humble and down to earth. I grabbed that opportunity to talk to him. He asked me my name. We had a good conversation and I told him how crazy I was about all his movies.

The next week when he saw me, he called out to me by my name! To say I was thrilled would be an understatement. My dad was around this time and the look on his face was priceless! I spoke to him for just about a minute. But I have never forgotten the joy and the pride I felt at that time. I would see him every now and then, and each time he would wave out to me, calling out to me by name sometimes and stopping to talk to me if he could.

My uncle had a kidney transplant at one point. After that he no longer needed the dialysis. So we stopped going to the hospital, and that was it. I didn’t see Shammi Kapoor again. But each time I would see him on screen, I would smile. I think he was a fantastic actor and a wonderful human being.

There are a lot of songs of his that I love, but I am putting up the one that is closest to my heart. This one is a childhood favourite. Each time I troubled my parents and refused to sleep, they would pull out the video cassette and play this song. My dad would put me down and stroke my hair for a few minutes after the song would end and I would sleep without a sound. I don’t know what it was that did the trick. Perhaps it is the video of the song, in which all these adorable kids are being put to sleep? Or the soothing words maybe? Either ways, this one is an absolute favourite.


27 Responses to “The end of an era..”

  1. ajay said

    That’s a very beautiful song. I also love Aaj Kal Tere Mere. RIP Shammi Kapoor.

  2. Swaram said

    That ws so nice of him! RIP Shammi Kapoor!

  3. Kunal said

    So sad to hear that he is gone. He was such a charming actor. I hope he passed away without any pain.
    What a soothing song that is!

  4. Deboshree said

    That is a beautiful song you have out put up. Incidentally, Mom and I were discussing this song only two days ago. Shammi Ji will be very missed but he will live on in all the wonderful music that has always been associated with him.

  5. DI said

    🙂 I love Shammi Kappor too! And his movies too. It would have been lovely to know him personally no? May his soul rest in peace!

  6. He was a fantastic actor, no doubt. I haven’t seen many movies by him, but I loved whatever I saw. I love his energy in most of his songs.

    Wow! You had the opportunity to personally meet and interact with Shammiji! That’s nice! He sounds so sweet.

    Shammi Kapoor’s news came as a kind of shock to me too. I read about it online this morning, and somehow, couldn’t fathom a person as lively and energetic as him dying.

    My favourite of all his songs has to be Isharon Isharon Mein Dil Dene Wale…

  7. I agree. It is indeed the end of an era….really sad to hear about his death…:(

  8. Jack Point said

    Excellent post!

  9. Its painful to see our loved people leaving us. May his soul rest in peace.

  10. Recently one evening a local radio show ( 1170 AM) took up Shammi Kapoor and his songs for the evening. They narrated the spicy story of his marriage with Gita Bali and some facts about his health too. I was so amused, I went ahead and read up all about him that day. My respect for him soared ..he seemed like a truly good human being. Your experience confirms it.

    And then suddenly the next day I heard the news of his death! Pepper – for some reason I feel I might have jinxed it ( stupid thought I know)..may be I should not have dug up everything about him online and read about him the previous day 😦

    R.I.P Shammi Kapoor.

  11. R's Mom said

    oh my bro was so so upset…He was like ‘he is my fav actor and I am upset’ I liked him..and I love that song..my mama would sing it for us when we were kids 🙂

  12. Childwoman said

    He was my mother’s favorite actor too. She just loved him and his movies. She said he was the handsomest of them all….

    We have lost a true legend, He will be missed.

    RIP Shammi….

  13. Angie said

    I can imagine how thrilled and proud you must have felt , when someone like SHAMMI KAPOOR called you out by your name. He was really a great actor, and an equally gud human being…

  14. Mi said

    I cannot access the song from here.. so I dunno which song the junta is talking about!

    But Shammi Kapoor was my mom’s favorite actor. He sure was a legend and I remember seeing almost all his movies, starting from Tumsa nahi dekha to Janam Samjha Karo!

    May his soul rest in peace.

    It was nice to read a post about him!

  15. Scribby said

    what hurt me more is his death is being en-cashed by media ! “we’ve the exclusive ‘about him’ programme running on our channel” etc etc 😦

    we were on a drive when we tuned in to radio channels and everywhere there were Shammi’s songs playing…we were enjoying them singing along when it hit us..but we were not sure and didn’t want to be actually..but on reaching home the news said it all 😦

  16. Bikram said

    YEah I actually found it yesterday about the news, been cut off from the world with all that is happening here and busy busy ..
    I really liked his movies I remember the first ever film i saw of his was Professor shot in shimla I use to be in hostel and our school use to show us a movie on the big projector every saturday ..

    may he Rest in Peace

  17. There was an important unknown fact about him and that impressed me a lot..he was extremely techsavy..and owned India’s very first site 🙂 Indeed a great actor,legend..may his soul rest in peace !

  18. Ashwathy said

    He was one of my all time favourites 😦

  19. chandni said

    What a lovely story 🙂 My fav shammi kapoor song has to be “tumne mujhe dekha ho kar meherbaan”. I think he shot for the song right after his wife passed away….

  20. Chhavi said

    I have not watched many Shammi Kapoor movies but have heard from my granny how talented he was. It’s always sad when such legends pass away. 😦

  21. Sig said

    My mum was quite shattered as well – she really liked him too. Grew up to his songs, even here in Aus 🙂

    Would have hurt more since you had quite a personal connection. What a lovely story tho.


  22. anjeneyan said

    I too love his movies and songs. I grew up during the era when he was a star. He was a good actor. I envy your meeting him and the interaction you had. You may read my blog at the following link wherein I have covered an orchestra I attended covering his songs.



  23. awwee….this post gave me goosebumps…i LOVE Shammi Kapoor. I guess he was my first crush…i loved everything about him…i wish i could ever meet him,,,:)…

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