Do you remember the iconic scene from Yash Chopra’s film Deewar in which India’s two leading actors, Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor were seen indulging in a war of words and emotions? No matter how many times we watch that particular scene, it gives us goosebumps even today. And there’s surely no one in the industry who can ever match their chemistry on screen. The duo has given us Blockbuster hits like Suhaag, Trishul, Kabhi Kabhie and Namak Halal.

There are only a few from our generation who know that Amitabh and Shashi not only shared a good equation on-screen but off-screen too. Their friendship was so real that even long after Kapoor bid adieu to the arc lights, the warmth between the two actors kept growing.

Since Kapoor took his last breath on Monday evening, it was natural of friend Amitabh Bachchan to show up at his residence, when the family was needy of the support the most. He then went ahead to pay tribute to his actor friend by penning down a heartfelt message for him.

The title of his post read, “To Shashiji from your babbua.” In the beginning of his post, he had beautifully described a picture of Kapoor on a film magazine cover that he came across just before making his first Bollywood debut and how after looking at him he felt that he stood no chance in the industry.

The beginning of the post read, “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…”

Big B then went ahead to describe about his meeting with Shashi by writing, “1969, and those early years of efforts to join the Industry were also the times when there was a close proximity, to the area of an atmosphere, that swivelled around this most attractive man. 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..!!”

Mentioning about how he took inspiration from Shashi Kapoor’s hairstyle and went for a haircut like any other men of the country, he further wrote, “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.”

Amitabh also described how their bond grew from being co-stars to friends and then from friends to sharing family relations after Amitabh’s daughter Shweta got married to Rak Kapoor’s maternal son, Nikhil Nanda. Bachchan wrote, “What followed .. is a documentation of very intimate association, personal exigencies .. collective professional camaraderie .. ending in family bindings…”

And then came the most emotional part of the post where Amitabh went ahead to describe about Shashi’s deteriorating health after the demise of his wife Jennifer in 1984.

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,” he wrote.

Concluding his tribute, the actor ended the message on an emotional note saying, “He fondly addressed me as ‘babbua’ .. and with him have gone many incredible unread chapters of his and my life…”

Check out the full blog post here:

Categories: Entertainment