Sunday, December 24, 2006

Shammi Kapoor Interviewed by BBC

Shammi Kapoor does not mean that much to the Bollywood fans of our time. However, in his own time, Shammi Kapoor was perhaps the most popular and stylish actor. The young men of his time watched his every move closely and imitated his dress up and hair style. It is nice to see that BBC Hindi Service has remembered this great actor and broadcast an interview of him recently.

Sanjeev Srivastava wrote in BBC website:

According to Kapoor, his first and last true love was his late wife Geeta Bali.

"I was so much in love that I used to cry when I used to listen to her songs on radio. Every morning I used to get up and call her with just one request - please marry me. One day she agreed. But she too had a condition. She insisted that we will have to marry that very day otherwise, she said, no marriage. It was a rushed and complicated affair but we still managed to tie the knot in a temple in less than 24 hours," he says.

Often referred to as the Elvis Presley of India for his guitar strumming, singing and dancing on-screen persona, Shammi Kapoor lets me into a secret I still find hard to believe.

"The truth," he says, "is I could never learn to dance. I even tried coaching classes but failed."

So how did he look like the natural dancer on screen then?

"I always had a sense of music and rhythm. And that worked in my favour. If you notice my famous dance numbers with somebody like Helen (India's first Bollywood cabaret dancer), you will realise that while she did the intricate steps I usually reacted with facial expressions and body language rather than dance steps," he says.

Shammi Kapoor was immensely popular in his own time. The funny thing is that we do not have anyone who is similar to Shammi Kapoor in our time.