Adieu Shammi Kapoor
Hoshiaar….Hoshiaar…….thundered Rafi, as he went to the lower notes of Jaanewale zara hoshiar…. regaling, as he rejoiced, in the mighty resonance of his voice, as his previously sung number from Junglee, with a more dominant full throated resonance Yaahoo……….prompted by Prayagraj, that electrified the entire valley of Kashmir as it did to the ears of the spellbound viewers in the auditorium.
Those were the days of the “Musical Mozart’s” peak with innovative numbers, as the hyperactive star, who had in him, the masculine handsomenes of the hero,atonce rebellious and comical, suave, the knight in a shining armour,who could make love to damsels just with his deep blue eyes as it lingered long, enough to be etched into a lasting memory.
The young lot of those times identified themselves with him as his
“Lal chadi maidan khadi…..” a la “Khuli palak me jhootha gussa bandh palak me pyar…..” became the teasers and the connossiers delight alike.
as did “Aawaaz deke hume tum bulao…….”.”.Raat ke hamsafar….. ” both the loveliest among duets by Lata and Asha with Rafi,as Lata confesses, doting mesmerisingly on the former number, whenever she hears it.The stoic stance of Shammi while enacting this number, as also his emoting “Main gaaon tum so jaao...the slower version, were in total contrast, to his usual boisterous self and are memorable milestones, in the careergraph of this plucky actor.
Rarely has one compounded the stoic mannerisms of Dilip ,the comical mannerisms of Raj and the flambuoyance of Dev in a more comprehensive mode and yet uniquely evolve, into the typically,characteristic,musical dancing, Shammi Kapoor, whom so many left aping, never ever succesfully
His obsession for emoting romantic numbers he recalls, in one of his anecdotes, led him to a fierece fight.with Jaikishan, as he wanted the “Teri pyari pyari surat.ko….” for himself as Jai did not relent. He however regretted the only time he fought over a song with Jaikishan, who was otherwise the one, the producers ran to, the moment Shammi was signed for a film.
He was branded as the Elvis Presley of Hindi films which was put by Aamir Khan in a more realistic and touching way as Shammi’s numbers presented by Elvis Presley’s which touched the actor.
A chance gramophone he bargained for, in lieu of the promised kiss, by Nargis to him, if she would get booked for Awara, and an additional twenty records as bonus, gifted by her, did not, in his wildest of imagination, dreamt that he was embarking on a musical tryst of cereergraph for a lifetime. A sereis of 19 flops followed, Undaunted and nervous, he flung himself headlong into Nasir Hussain’s “Tum Sa Nahi Dekha…”(new heroine Ameeta) and when he surfaced, a silver jubilee followed, with “Dil Deke Dekho” (new heroine Asha Parekh) and then “Junglee” (new heroine Saira Banu)..
Among His other big blockbusters apart from the ones by Shankar Jaikishan,
were Kashmir ki Kali (OPNayyar) China Town and Pyar Kiya Tho Darna Kya” (Ravi) “and “Teesri Manzil”(RDBurman).”Bluff Master” &”Preet Na Jaane Reet” (Kalyanji Anandji)
He was his usual boisterous self, regaling all those around him with anecdotes of his prime days and notable among them,when querried on his musical dance sense,rhythm and success, he replied toungue in cheek “Of Course but I am nothing without OPNayyar and Shankar Jaikishan”.
May God bless his soul and rest in peace, ao that refreshsed, and rejuvenated Yahoo surfaces, for us to enliven, ourselves once again, with the kind of joy permeated.