Sunday, 8 April 2012

Discovering Shekhar Kapoor

‘I find him enigmatic,’ said a female friend.

‘He is too suave,’ said a male friend.

The comments were for Shekhar Kapoor.

Recently, I was all ears as Shekhar Kapoor on a television channel expressed his views on thwarting of Salman Rushdie’s visit to India to participate in Jaipur Literary Festival.

I have been a fan of Shekhar Kapoor ever since I was a teenager and in school.

For me Shekhar Kapoor was the perfect intellectual.

Television channels seek Shekhar Kapoor’s views whenever issues like freedom of expression, speech or press are discussed.

I knew Shekhar Kapoor as a versatile director and an actor who appeared in some Doordarshan serials.

Shekhar Kapoor has directed Masoom, Mr. India, Bandit Queen and Elizabeth – movies with totally different themes. He has also co-directed Joshilay.

Masoom was a movie on human relations, Mr. India a science fiction, Bandit Queen was on the life of the bandit Phoolan Devi, Joshilay a typical Hindi action movie.

In the late eighties, Shekhar Kapoor appeared on Doordarshan serials, Udaan being one of them.

‘I like the way he talks. I have been a fan of him ever since I saw him in Udaan; on Doordarshan,’ another female friend said.

I was surprised when recently I came across a song on youtube featuring Shekhar Kapoor.

I could not believe my eyes when I saw the enigmatic, too suave and intellectual Shekhar Kapoor jumping, hopping, dancing and singing, like a quintessential hero of Hindi movies.

The song was ‘Mana ho tum, behad haseen, aise bure hum bhi nahin_ _ _ _.’

The song is from the movie Toote Khiloney released in 1978.

The song has been sung by Yesudas. He has sung only a few Hindi film songs but all of them are popular. I do not think that any album of Yesudas’ Hindi film songs will be complete without the song from Toote Khiloney.

Everything about the song is typically of the seventies.

It was shot on a desolate stretch of beach and opens with a man and a dog chasing a woman; with the guitar strumming in the background. The strumming is followed by the humming of the female chorus and violins.

As the camera closes in, I can recognise the female actor as Shabana Azmi but not Shekhar Kapoor. But I had to watch the video several times to make sure that Shekhar Kapoor is the male actor. But even after I had recognised Shekhar Kapoor, I could not believe my eyes.

What I liked the best about Shekhar Kapoor was his flat stomach. According to the fashion of the seventies, he is wearing a close-fitting white t-shirt and you can see he has a flat stomach.

Watching the song you will realise that Shekhar Kapoor is a good director but himself fails as an actor. He was a wooden-faced actor. To make up for the lack of expression on his face in the song, Shekhar Kapoor uses his hands, gesturing with them, to express his feelings.

Shekhar Kapoor and Shabana Azmi make a good on-screen pair. They would have also made a good off-screen pair.

I have heard the song may times on the radio. Now, I have started liking the song on youtube. Anybody who has grown in the seventies and eighties will like the song.The song on youtube has been liked by over 100,000 viewers.

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