Are you a Shammi Kapoor fan?

The Institute for Near Eastern and African Studies (INEAS) is producing a documentary film called “Professor Shammi & Lady Asha.” The Insititute’s Founding Director, with whom I’ve become acquainted (see her interviews with Shammi here and here), is directing this film about him and Asha Parekh, and is looking for volunteers to participate.

She has also met Asha, and you can read accounts of her travels in India on her blog here

If you love Shammi (or Asha, or both!), and are interested in talking to her you can leave a comment here or send her an email: INEAS at aol dot com. Some volunteers will participate in a discussion that will be incorporated in the film. Please respond to INEAS by March 16.

49 Comments to “Are you a Shammi Kapoor fan?”

  1. OMGAWD… much Shammi Kapoor love!

    Wafaa’ I am from a generation once (or is it twice hmmmm it all “depends”) removed from his heydey but I have to tell you he still makes me happy! And happy is a very, very, very good thing.

  2. If only I lived in Cambridge!

  3. A fellow Shammi-crazy fan! Am kicking myself for not having google’d earlier. So much to read up on. Have been scouring your blog for hours now.

  4. Welcome Tim :) There is much Shammi love here, and it will never end! The more, the merrier!

  5. Wow, this isgood. And I envy her – meeting Shammi Kapoor and Asha Parekh! *goes off to see Teesri Manzil once again*

  6. wow, what a great idea!
    am looking forward to the results.
    memsaab, you are becoming a turn table of sorts for important happenings!

  7. As Beth can tell you, while I have not seen quite enough Shammi films to really call myself a fan, I am never the less a HUGE fan of his “in my prime” pencil-thin mustache. Man could rock the pencil thin as suavely as Clarke Gable or Errol Flynn.

  8. Ha ha, he calls those his “male starlet” days…but you’re right, he did manage to carry off the pencil thin mouche even while being stewed alive in a giant pot. Or screeched at by that banshee Leela Mishra.

    My favorite of those days is definitely Mem Sahib (and not only for the obvious reason).

  9. What was noticeable about the live and phone interview with Shammi ji is that he comes across as an intellectual. Like his brain seems very active. I am not sure I know many people his age who are comfortable with a computer and negotiating it uncoached by younger people.

    We picked the right hero to be a groupie over!

  10. Her blog is v interesting, to say the least. I’ve emailed her, and need to read that blog from begining to end. I have to echo Harvey here- brilliant job Memsaab.

  11. Hema, Yes he seems very energetic in all the interviews I’ve seen with him. We did pick a good one, I agree :)

    shweta: Thanks, I hope we can all help her out. Would be a lovely film to see :) and thanks to you and harvey both, but I’ve really not done anything. She has though!

  12. Must think hard about a question for Asha (other than “What was it like to work with Shaaaashiiiiiii?”). LOVE HER. Maybe something about the awesomely gigantic fish barette in Pyaar Ka Mausam….

  13. You could also ask Shammi: what is it like to be the older brother of Shaaaaaashiiiiiiiii???!!!!

    :-) I love her too. Feisty, great dancer, very pretty in a very unique way—what is not to love about Asha?

  14. I have tons of questions for both….so if anyone gets stuck and gets called to interview…I have many to pass around I am sure. No worries!

  15. Hema, send her an email—I am sure she would be interested in what a huge fan like you has to say!!!

  16. Waaaayyyy ahead of you. I already did. Nimble fingers you know and all that…

    Does anyone know if the Deepa Gahlot book on Shammi ji is anywhere near authentic, or authorized? It is supposed to be released in April 2009.

  17. Does anyone know the meaning of the Hindi word “shehezaade”? It occurs in almost every Shammi-Rafi song and I think it means Lady..but I am not sure of the exact meaning. I am too busy swimming in Shammi ji’s eyes and so at that point it doesn’t matter. But then I surface and I want to know….

  18. Though I had first seen Shammi Kapoor’s MISS COCA-COLA which starred his would to be wife, Geeta Bali, I did not understand his movies. Then in 1956 I saw his TUMSA NAHIN DEKHA which was released at the Naaz Cinema (Main Theatre), Bombay, I did enjoy the movie. But still I was too young. By the time PROFESSOR was released (1961) at the Alankar Cinema, I was in the Seventh and used to be attracted to the opposite sex. It was with this background that I saw that movie, and was completely swept off the feet. Shammi Kapoor literally made me crazy. I went home and wrote down the complete screen play, dialogues, script et all scene by scene in a note book. Such was the impact! My walk, talk, manners, all changed, since I began imitating Shammi Kapoor. His flamboyance continued to haunt me throughout my youthful days. Then I began to see all his older movies as well. I found him more devastatingly handsome in the earlier movie, DIL DEKE DEKHO which remains my most favourite Shammi Kapoor movie along with TEESRI MANZIL, JUNGLEE, PROFESSOR, RAJ KUMAR, JANWAR, TUMSE ACHHA KAUN HAI, etc.
    Shammi Kapoor is synonymous with youth and zest, fun and frolic.
    It was he who thus taught me the meaning of “fan.” I will always adore him.

  19. That’s great, Nasir! I do love him too. Be sure to check out my post devoted to him (I’ve also given him his own category here, which nobody else has gotten, at least not yet!) :)

  20. hey Nasir, you are talking my talk!
    After seeing Dil Deke Dekho, I could’t resist this man. I especially liked the scene where he was dressed in all white just before singing “Hum Aur Tum Aur Yeh Saman”. He says to the Asha Parekh character “Vaapas Aa Jawun?” with his back away from her. I mean the character absolutely knows how to romance a woman, so cool and such great direction from Nasir Hussain. That will remain my most favorite scene ever.

  21. There is a great review of Mujrim here:

    Shammi looks awesome as usual. I have never actually watched a Geeta Bali movie. Her dance sequence was good and she looks like she was watching her figure in that tight suit, you can’t escape noticing.

  22. Hema, thank you very much for the nice reference!

    I haven’t seen a link to my blog done this way…

    The link brings you to the middle of the comments, though (at least it did in my browser) – which is fine, but I hope that people will scroll up to see all the clips, etc.

    Memsaab, very nice post – thanks for the Shammi interview links and the Asha Parekh blog post link. (Yes, I like Asha a lot too.)

    I don’t think that I would qualify as a complete Shammi fan yet, but I enjoyed seeing him a lot in two of his “starlet” films, Singapore and Mujrim. I watched those because (as some people know) I’m a big Travancore Sisters fan, and we get to see plenty of Padmini and Ragini between the two films. Then I was surprised at how much I appreciated Shammi’s performance in them too. (Although I think my favorite Hindi film of all was that one made around the same time with Padmini and Shammi’s older brother. ;)

    And as I mentioned to Hema over at my blog, I also was surprised at how good Geeta Bali’s dance was in Mujrim. I’d seen her in Baazi and maybe something else that I can’t remember off the top of my head, and in a bunch of clips. I thought her dancing in Mujrim was better.

    • Geeta was a great dancer, and a great actress too….we were sadly deprived of her way too early. Maybe she was inspired to greater dancing heights in Mujrim since she was dancing in front of Shammi :)))

  23. I wonder what happened to my comments on Hema’s HAMM AUR TUM AUR SAMAA…..Is it lost and gone somewhere else?

    • I check comment spam pretty regularly and have rescued some comments from there; but I haven’t seen that one of yours…maybe the system hiccuped just as you submitted it :) You can try it again if you like! Since you’ve commented here before it should show up immediately (ie won’t be sent for moderation by me)…

  24. Cool Richard…that you could actually find these DVD’s. Good for you. I am actually not a big Geeta Bali fan but just interested in her as Shammi’s wife. But her dancing here was great and yes, probably having Shammi on the set may have inspired her to greater heights. Also having Ragini in the movie may have made her work hard.

    I met Padmini a while back She lives in NJ and runs a dance school. My friend is one of her senior dancers. She did have a few heart operations however and looked very frail at the time. Nevertheless her face had that look as in the movies.

  25. Sadly, Padmini is no longer with us, as she died of a heart attack in 2006. Hema, it is fantastic that you had the chance to meet her sometime back; I’d be happy to hear more about that. I’ve seen later pictures of her and, yes, she looked a bit different, as though age and probably health were taking some toll, but you could still see that face from the old movies, especially the famous Padmini eyes.

  26. I met her at my friend’s house. We went to see a dance performance together. It was a performance of Balasaraswati’s daughter Lakshmi. She has just undergone triple bypass and looked very frail. She was wearing a zari sari and her jewelry got stuck in it. I was handy and she asked me to unstuck the jewelry. She was very nice to be around. Of course, her health looked like it was keeping her from being a more active participant in the conversations. She knew we were all dance fans so it was like a big happy family on this side of the pond.

  27. Wow, you got to unstuck Padmini’s jewelry! :)

    That looks like a nice memory – thanks for telling it.

  28. Hema, that song HAMM AUR TUM AUR YEH SAMAA is truly a haunting piece of melody. The pent-up emotions of Asha Parekh, and Shammi Kapoor rubbing on it – though very sweetly, and the wonderful background ambience – all go to make that scene memorable. Usha Khanna had composed a beautiful tune, and Rafi Sahaab with his sweet, dulcet voice.

    By the way, this song also happened to be Rafi Sahaab’s favourite. So after recording session of TU ISS TARAH SE MEREE ZINDAGI MEIN SHAAMIL HAI was over, so pleased was he with the result that he came to Usha Khanna and started singing the Dil Deke Dekho song.

  29. I agree Nasir. Thanks for telling me that Mohd Rafi also loved that song. I fall asleep listening to it over and over. I wonder if Usha Khanna struck gold in any other song after that. I can’t believe that scene. It was so surreal.

    By the way, I have a link to a story comparing Elvis and Shammi on my blog

  30. i have s these movies of shammi(as a hero) on dvd. any other movies of his i should watch, which are as good

    kashmir ki kali
    an evening in paris

  31. waah!

    *humming o mere sona re sona re sona re…*

  32. Thanks for that story on Elvis and Shammi Kapoor, Hema.
    Personally, I believe that Shammi Kapoor happened to be at the right time and place when Rock and Roll shook the world. It was then that he came out of the old world of Laila Majnu and Shama Parwana and donned the new getup of the then modern hero who’s full of life and enthusiasm and goodness. Shammi Kapoor never looked or sounded vulgar despite his comparison with Elvis. He was the knight in shinning armour who rescued the damsels in distress as he did in TUMSE ACHHA KAUN HAI. He was a gallant hero and a true romantic and a selfless wooer of his beloved who could even sacrifice his love for saving a life, as he did in PROFESSOR. Oh, I could go on and on his heroic exploits. I prefer him to Elvis in short. That’s what I want to say! LOL……

  33. hey Nasir! I am with you 100% on the Shammi being way more entertaining and wholesome than Elvis. I was never impressed with Elvis except that his movies also had the same theme of saving damsels in distress and falling in young love. Lot of beach scenes etc. But the movies were always wholesome.

    Elvis did his crazy dancing usually live or on television specials. Not usually in movies.

    I loved Tumse Accha Kaun Hai which actually got me started in December 2008 on the Shammi fan rocket ride. There was no stopping me after that. I love the look he gives Babita’s character after she transforms herself and runs to meet him and he is standing there in his yellow shirt. That is look no other person can repeat. That is just before they sing the song “kisi ke nahin nahin….”…. I wish I had the English translation for that song. My DVD does not give subtitles for songs.

  34. That song, Hema, KHUSHBOO TERE BADAN KI, KISI MEN NAHEEN NAHEEN…. also sets the screen on fire, aided by the lyrics and the playback voices. I still remember Shammi Kapoor Lines: (somewhat):
    AATA NAHEEN HAI KOEE BHEE MEREE NIGAAH ME.N….(To say there are umpteens beautiful women in the world; But no one is able to meet my standards….) Shammi Kapoor and Babita’s screen chemistry comes alive in this song.
    By the way, just for additional info: TUMSE ACHHA KAUN HAI (often confused with the song of that name in JANWAR) had its premiere in Bombay at the Apsara Cinema in 1968. LOL……

  35. Hi there,
    Wouldn’t “shehzada” have some connection with Sheherazade, the princess of The Arabian Nights, to whom the king asks to tell the 100 and one tales?… (

    • No, No, yves.
      Shehzada (Shehzaada) simply means “prince”. Shehzadi (Shehzaadi) means princess.
      Now, Sheherazade was the name of the princess who goes on narrating stories to the king for thousand and one nights to escape being killed at his hand since the king used to marry a virgin, enjoy the wedding night, and then get them killed the next morning. Now why he did that in itself is a very interesting story.

  36. Ohhh!! What a great discussion. I lovveeee Shammi kapoor. Infact, everybody in our family loves him. It started with my father being his greatest fan and it slowly rubbed on all of us ( me, mom and sis) I remember watching his songs in chitrahar and continuously laughing over his crazy antics. And if his song plays in Rangoli, that’d be a beautiful sunday for me. He is such a romantic hero that I bet every girl would have wished to have a boyfriend like him. And all his songs are to die for. They are just ultimate. There are no right words to describe my feeling when I see his movies or songs. It’s a shame he’s so detached from the movies now. I love you Shammi Kapoor. There was no else like you and won’t be ever. Thank you so much for giving such great movies. Kudos to you.

  37. When the soul is free from most of the mundane & worldly bonds, limits & containments; & the heart is filled with gratefulness & love of God & His creations, only then one can act like Shammi Sahib or appreciate & enjoy his art & acting.

    The great artist who the world hasn’t recognized to the level he deserved.

    But then it’s good because only few can understand & value the real outstanding & out-of-this-world gem person, his art & acting. If everybody understood it, he might not have stayed as precious & unique. The unique & very precious things often stay hidden & sublimely exposed.

  38. A few days back there was the news of Shammi Kapoor having been hospitalised with a chest infection. Hope he has been discharged from the hospital.

    Here is the link to an interesting little note written by Mr. Shammi Kapoor.

  39. where can I get the DVDs which has songs /dances like ” Hasta huva noorani Chehra”, Dances from films ” Kalpana’, Chitralekha, Shikari, Parasmani Etc. I live in USA.

  40. I love Shammi Kapoor. he is my role model!!!!!!!

  41. i just want to say to this great person happy birthday .

  42. What is the present status of the documentary?????

  43. Meemsaab i’m into mandela effect,infact a core member of the original site.I’m also an old member of Shammi club,watching his movies since ’80.My mother used to tell me his second marraige was with Niela devi,princess of Alwar in Rajasthan.Now i find she’s from Bhavnagar Gujarat,what’s your take?

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