79 years old today! Which in my family is super young (Grandpa’s turning 96 this year), but for the Kapoors is pretty old! A reward for clean living, and general niceness. Shashi is clearly the “best” Kapoor. And so he gets a full dozen reasons I love him.
1.1. I love you because you were the tag along child, always a little in the shadow of your much older brothers Raj and Shammi. And yet you still managed to make your own way.
2. I love you because you made an impression at age 12, playing the younger version of the hero in an important sequence in your older brother’s film Awara.
3. I love you because you had already been acting for 8 years at that point, starting at age 4 as a member of your father’s theatrical group.
4. I love you because even before you had fully hit it big in Hindi films, you were already experimenting with English art films, featuring in The Householder at age 25 and Shakespeare Wallah a year later.
5. I love you because your persistence paid off and you were able to finally make it in Hindi films at 27 (a young age for anyone else, freakishly old for a Kapoor to make it big) with the one-two punch of Waqt:
(And 40 years later, her son married his grandniece and the two of them co-hosted the wedding as the elders of the respective families. There’s a thing to think about!)
6. Followed by Jab Jab Phoole Khile, which proved you could be in a hit even without a a multistar cast.
7. The hits weren’t consistent after that, but your work was. Film after film after film, with your passion projects in English scattered in between where you could fit them in between “milk money for the kids” kind of parts. Although some of them were pretty good. Sharmilee, for instance, was recommended to me by many people and is pretty great.
8. And then you finally found your groove in Hindi cinema in the early 70s, playing the supporting part in the films of other heros.
(technically a supporting role in Kabhi Kabhi, but still the best character in the movie!)
9. I love you because you were willing to step in and help out your big brother when he lost a hero for his film Satyam Shivan Sundaram, even though it meant working 20 hour days and giving up on paying commitments.
10. I love you because you weren’t just willing to take supporting roles, you even did cameos if it could help out a friend, like in Silsila and Doosra Aadmi.
11. I love you because now you have become the head of the Kapoor family. Revered, beloved, and wheeled out only for the grandest occasions.
12. I love you because you are the best Kapoor, the one who never cheated on his wife, overate, or said an unkind word to anyone.