8:29 PM IST - Tuesday September 23, 2014

Shammi Kapoor was caring, protective and guardian-like: Asha Parekh

Mumbai, Aug 17 (IANS) Asha Parekh remembers her late co-star Shammi Kapoor as a mentor who taught her how to perform in the songs and how to do lip-sync in the song sequences. She is also concerned about his wife, whose life revolved round the star of hits like “Junglee” and “Teesri Manzil”.

“He was Shammi chacha (uncle) and his wife was Neela chachi (aunt) for me…It was her idea that I call them chacha and chachi. Now when this shocking news comes, my heart reaches out to Neela chachi,” said Asha.

“How will she cope? She devoted her entire being looking after him. Though she came from a very large and closely-knit family, after marriage Shammi chacha was her life…My heart reaches out to her…Shammi chacha…what do I say?”

Talking about her association with the actor, who died Monday after kindey failure, Asha Parekh said: “Memories flood back to my first film ‘Dil Deke Dekho’ where I was this gawky nervous tomboy. Shammi chacha taught me how to perform in the songs, how to do lip-sync in the song sequences. We later did ‘Teesri Manzil’ together, which was iconic.”

“When we were shooting for ‘Teesri Manzil’, we never thought it would become so popular with time. We had such fun – me, Shammi chacha, producer Nasir Saab (Nasir Husain) and the director Vijay Anand.

“Shammi Chacha and I would look into the camera lens to check out all the pretty girls who passed by on location. Now all of the ‘Teesri Manzil’ team is gone,” she said adding that “Our two other films – ‘Jawan Mohabbat’ and ‘Pagla Kahin Ka’ were average successes.”

Asha says it’s hard to believe Shammi Kapoor is no more.

“He was so full of life right to the end. In all these years, I’ve never seen him depressed except when his first wife Geeta Bali passed away suddenly. It left him shattered. I remember the shooting of ‘Teesri Manzil’ was called off and when we resumed we deliberately chose the sombre song ‘Tumne mujhe dekha hokar meherbaan’. ”

“The last time I met him was at actress Smita Jaykar’s place. He was in a lot of pain. But that smiling face never left him. I learnt so much from watching Shammi chacha at work and in real life. He had such an infectious zest for life. I don’t know about other heroines. With me he was caring, protective and guardian-like. I’ve no one to call chacha anymore,” she said.


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