Shammi Kapoor's Real Bollywood Story

Shammi Kapoor's Real Bollywood Story

The legend looks back on successes, failures and finding love again after a tragedy

Every time most of us hear someone say 'Yahoo', the picture that comes to mind immediately (apart from email) is of Shammi Kapoor rolling in the snow and declaring his love to the world! Shammi wasn't just one of the biggest stars of his times, he was a legend who redefined cinema. He was, of course, known for his dancing, but it wasn't just his style that was special. In his inimitable way, he proved to the world that good dancing was all about hearing a beat and abandoning your body to it. His energetic, jerky movements and cool, casual attitude, a la Elvis, made him an icon for an entire generation. Shammi has led an eventful life, to say the least, and that's just one of the reasons we loved hearing about it from the man himself.

He was born in Mumbai in 1931 though he spent his childhood in Kolkata. The Kapoor family were actually in dire straits financially when they landed in Kolkata from Pakistan. So Shammi Kapoor's father decided to join one of the theatre groups in the city.

How did Shammi Kapoor, who had wanted to become an aeronautical engineer, make his movie debut? Why was he tagged as a 'proxy celebrity' early in his career? How does he look back on his relationship with his first wife, the lovely Geeta Bali? How did he deal with her sudden death? Shammi Kapoor admits that he lost control and began drinking heavily during that phase of his life. He even had an affair with a famous actress of the time. But he got a second chance at real love with his second wife Neela.

For all this and more on Shammi Kapoor's story, get your copy of Masala! magazine out on stands now.

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