Thursday, May 23, 2024

Mother did not want to give birth to Shashi Kapoor: Went into depression after wife's death, cried a lot while taking a boat in the middle of the sea


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Today is Shashi Kapoor's 86th birth anniversary. Shashi was that star whose smile and style made girls fall in love, but he loved only one girl in his life. That was his wife Jennifer Kendall.

He also started his film career after seeing the poor condition of his wife. In his career, Shashi worked in 116 films. Of these, 61 were his solo hero films, most of which were successful.

Today on his birth anniversary, read the unheard stories of Shashi Kapoor's life…

Story-1- Mother did not want to give birth to Shashi Kapoor
This is around 1937. Prithviraj Kapoor was working as a supporting artist in the films of Imperial Film Company. Along with this, there was also a struggle going on to establish himself as a hero. At this time, wife Ramsarani became pregnant. She became sad as soon as she heard about the pregnancy. Actually, before this his children were Raj Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor. She did not want to give birth to this third child.

In such a situation, she also tried abortion. Sometimes she would fall from the bicycle and sometimes from the stairs. Sometimes she would start jumping rope. After all these efforts failed, on March 18, 1938, she gave birth to a third son, who was known to the world as Shashi Kapoor. Shashi Kapoor himself had said this in Filmibeat magazine in 1995.

Story-2- Prithviraj Kapoor wanted Shashi to struggle and become an actor.
After Shashi's birth, Prithviraj Kapoor started Prithvi Theater Group. Shashi's childhood was spent on theater sets. The effect of this was that he got inclined towards films at an early age. He started appearing in his father's plays from the age of four. He later played Raj Kapoor's childhood character in films like Aag (1948) and Awara (1951).

With this dream of his, he wanted to move ahead in life, but his father Prithviraj Kapoor believed that first he should struggle and make his career as an actor with his hard work.

Story 3- Shashi's face could have been damaged due to the teacher's beating.
Shashi Kapoor studied from Don Bosco School, Mumbai. Here India's famous wicketkeeper Farooq Engineer was his classmate. One day both of them were sitting together and talking, when the class teacher threw a duster and hit it towards Shashi's face, but Farooq suddenly caught it.

Farooq had said about this incident in an interview given to BBC – That duster would have hit Shashi's eye, but I caught it just an inch before her face. I would always tease Shashi that if I had not stopped the Duster that day, he would have got only the role of a dacoit in films.

Story- 4-fell in love with Jennifer at first sight
This incident happened in 1955. At this time Shashi was 18 years old. He worked with his father in Prithvi Theatre. At that time, a show of one of his plays was going on in a theater in Kolkata. Due to public demand, the show was extended for a few more days.

One day, before the play started, he peeked through the curtain to see how many spectators were there. Then his eyes fell on a foreign girl sitting in the fourth row, who was wearing a red polka dots top and was laughing with her friend. As soon as he saw that girl, Shashi fell in love with her. They later learn that the girl is part of the Shakespeareana theater group and is Jennifer Candle, the daughter of Godfrey Candle.

Story-5- Because of her shy nature, Jennifer started considering Shashi as gay.
Jennifer's play was also to be held in the same theater where Shashi was playing with the group. This was the first time that Shashi had started liking a girl. To meet him, he requested his cousin Shubhiraj to introduce him to Jennifer.

Shubhiraj made a plan for both of them to meet and they met. At the time of the meeting, Shashi was very nervous, while Jennifer was normal. There was nothing common between the two. She was educated, while Shashi, remembering this incident, called himself Lalluram. After this the series of meetings continued.

Shashi was very shy, due to which Jennifer started considering him gay. Later Jennifer's group started calling Shashi to watch the play. Shashi also joins Jennifer's troupe. During this time he worked with Jennifer in many plays.

Story 6- Mother and sister-in-law liked Jennifer, but father was against foreign daughter-in-law.
Once Shashi Kapoor was doing a show in Ooty. There he introduced Jennifer to his mother and sister-in-law Geeta. Shammi's wife Geeta liked Jennifer at first sight. Mother also hugged Jennifer and took out the gold chain from her neck and made Jennifer wear it. Shashi was afraid to talk to his father Prithviraj Kapoor about his and Jennifer's marriage. He handed over this responsibility to his elder brother Shammi.

Shammi talked to his father, but Prithviraj did not accept that the daughter-in-law of his family should be a foreign woman. After much persuasion, the father agreed, but Jennifer's family was not happy with this relationship. After father's refusal, Jennifer told Shashi that we are adults and can marry as per our wish. Then in 1958 both of them got married.

Story-7- Started film struggle after seeing the bad condition of his wife.
Just one year after marriage, Jennifer gave birth to son Kunal. Till this time Shashi had not entered the film screen as a lead actor. One day Azra Mumtaz, who worked in Prithvi Theatre, said to Shashi – Now that you are married, shouldn't you learn to take care of your wife?

Recalling this day, Shashi had said- That day I realized that I was 21 years old and was still living with my parents. Still wasn't earning anything, wasn't even looking for work. I realized that Jennifer was still wearing the same clothes from last year in the closet. It had been a long time since we went out to eat at a restaurant. Then the next day I woke up and went to Sohrab Modi for work.

After a long struggle, Shashi got a chance to work as an assistant director in the film Guest House in 1959. After this, he worked as an assistant director in the films Dulha-Dulhan and Mr. Satyawadi, in which the lead actor was his brother Raj Kapoor. In 1961, Shashi appeared on the big screen as a lead actor for the first time in the film Dharamputra.

Story 8- Goods had to be sold to run the household.
There was a downfall in Shashi Kapoor's career after doing films like Prem Patra, Chaar Deewari, Mehndi Lagi Mere Haath. Due to playing romantic hero roles, he got typecast due to which he stopped getting work in films. No heroine wanted to work with him.

This period was such that there was no money even to run the house. Shashi's son Kunal Kapoor had told in an interview that due to financial constraints, Shashi sold his sports car. Mother Jennifer also started selling her valuables.

Story-9- Actress Nanda became the Messiah in bad times
Actress Nanda helped her friend Shashi Kapoor in bad times. Nanda had worked with him in the film 'Jab Jab Phool Khile'. This film was a hit at the box office. Only after its success, Shashi's career was back on track.

Story-10- Shashi went into depression after losing his wife.
1982 was a very difficult year for Shashi, when he came to know that his wife was suffering from colon cancer. Just 2 years later, Jennifer lost the battle with cancer and died. After the death of his wife, Shashi was completely broken. He did not pay any attention to his eating and drinking habits, which was the reason why his obesity started increasing. He used to sit alone in his apartment for hours, not talking to anyone. In this way he went into depression, from which he never recovered.

In an interview, Shashi's son Kunal had told – After Jennifer's death, Shashi Kapoor cried for the first time when he once took a boat from Goa to the deep sea and cried for hours while screaming. He would also sit quietly in his room for hours. He spent 28 years with Jennifer, but after her death, he lived with her memories for 31 years. He himself had said that in 31 years the thought of second marriage never came to his mind.

Shashi Kapoor died in 2017 at the age of 79 after a prolonged illness.

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