Romantic Duets Shankar Jaikishan

The joie de vivre

If there is one quality that the middle brother of the older Kapoor Troika would always be remembered by, is his utterly nonconformist way of emoting, and more so his contortions that were an integral part of what passed for his dancing. A cousin once said his dancing looked like a caterpillar wriggling out of a pea pod.

After he debuted as a mainstream hero, having struggled because his father, Prithviraj Kapoor refused to recommend him to his peers and didn’t give a shoulder for Shamsher Raj Kapoor to climb on, working in odd jobs including as an extra, as a production assistant and starting with the princely salary of ₹60 a month, (despite his father being a millionaire and very famous), Shammi Kapoor was the proud son of a very proud father who even told guests he was so happy and proud that Shammi started earning ₹300 a month!

As a result, Shammi’s initial slew of movies were pretty much nondescript, with him playing the usual romantic , lovelorn, handsome hero. None of these were hits to catapult him to stardom. It was an accident (& a stroke of good fortune) that gave him a spot on the much hyped Tumsa Nahin Dekha , conceived by the then Filmistan biggie Tolaram Jalan for launching his (ahem) protégé Ameeta, and a totally different persona created for Shammi Kapoor led to his being launched as the Rising Star of Bollywood. Ameeta didn’t quite get to shine and a star was, well and truly, born.

His on-screen partnership with Rafi saab was legendary. He even mourned at Rafisaab’s shockingly premature demise : I’ve lost my voice”. But there are others who partnered his journey.

Look at this song by Manna Dey, from Ujala.

Ujala was made by Naresh Saigal based on a story by Qamar Jalalabadi, who we know as a lyricist as well. Shammi Kapoor stars with Mala Sinha. The movie has music by Shankar Jaikishan and this song’s lyrics are by Hasrat Jaipuri. An energetic song in the typical Shammi mould.

Enjoy the song, folks as my state celebrates a very pious day. Stay blessed


By abchandorkar

Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Pune, India

8 replies on “The joie de vivre”

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