19 January, 2021

Bollywood Diary

Naseeruddin Shah on the one actor he looks up to: “Shammi Kapoor! Yes, Shammi saab, such fun; I grew up watching Shammi Kapoor movies.”

Bollywood Diary

Mirror, Mirror...

With the Mumbai monsoon’s pitter-patter a happy distraction, negotiating the city’s impossible traffic to reach, say, Naseeruddin Shah at his Perry Cross Road apartment in Bandra, is not such a chore. Naseer is a reflective, moody, quizzical figure in stance and substance, a sort of fellow who can bristle but restrains himself by resorting to amused, startling observations. The one actor he looks up to? Hold your breath. “Shammi Kapoor!” I gulp. “Yes, Shammi saab, such fun; I grew up watching Shammi Kapoor movies.” Just as I try digesting this one comes another thunderbolt. “And Dara Singh—now Bheem, now Hanuman.” He can’t be serious, I say to myself. It could well be Naseer’s way of being dismissive about the stars on the Bollywood firmament at present.

He steadies himself. The directors he...



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