Are There More Man From U.N.C.L.E Movies Recalling Iconic Shammi ‘Yahoo’ Kapoor!

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Recalling Iconic Shammi ‘Yahoo’ Kapoor!

Post-independence Hindi cinema was divided between the instant greatness of Dilip Kumar, the genius of Raj Kapoor and the supreme coolness of Dev Anand. There was hardly any room for anyone else to make a mark, but somewhere between the three icons was a man named Shami Kapoor, the ultimate male icon of the 1960s.

Shammi Kapoor was so cool that he was perhaps the only actor whose fans were proud to be his fans.

Shamsher Raj Kapoor never had it easy and honestly never wanted it any other way. Born to Prithiviraj Kapoor fame, Shammi started acting at a time when elder brother Raj was already a big artist at the age of 24.

Shami tried to fit into the existing molds by which Hindi cinema operated, but the first opportunity he got with Nasir Hussain’s Tumsa Nahin Dekha (1957), Shami created a persona that would forever be etched in the annals of Hindi cinema.

Here are a few things that were special about Shammi Kapoor, the original rock star of Hindi cinema!

• Rock star:

Forget Ranbir Kapoor starring in a movie called Rock Star because he is no patch on his uncle! The non-conformist that Shami Kapoor has transformed into may have always existed in him. Until Tumsa Nahin Dekhe, he was doing exactly what everyone else was doing, but given half a chance, he transformed into the rock star we know him now. Sure, Dev Anand was Hindi cinema’s first ‘western’ hero, but Shami with his Elvis-Presley-meets-James-Dean fashion was leagues apart when it came to appealing to the youth with his clothes, his swagger or just his presence.

• Yahoo!

It may have been the most popular internet search engine once upon a time, but for millions of Indians, Yahoo is nothing less than a rallying cry. The film was Junglee (1961) and the title song was meant to capture the essence of a man who knew no boundaries and that little phrase ended up defining a generation. With Shammi Kapoor rolling down snow-capped mountains shouting Yahoo without a care in the world, Jungle is one of the most beautiful films of the 1960s.

• Queen of the dance

Think of the famous Hindi film dances of the golden age and chances are Shami’s moves will top the list surpassing the likes of Helen or Bindu. The man invented his own inimitable dance style and no one even came close to his coolness. Songs like Aaj Kal Tere Mere Piaar Ke Charche (Brahmachari, 1968), Govinda Aala Re (Bluffmaster, 1963), Badan Pe Sitare (Prince, 1969) and O Haseena Zulfonwali (Teesri Manzil, 1966) among many more reek of impact. There’s no way your feet will be still during a Shammi Kapoor number.

• Rafi:

There has never been an actor like Shami Kapoor to lend his voice to a singer. Legend has it that when Mr. Rafi passed away someone simply told Shami that he lost his voice. Shami would sit with Rafi during the shoot and ask him to sing in a certain way that would bring his crazy antics to life on screen. Shammi even got Rafi to convince OP Najjar to change the way Tareef Karoon Kia Usski from Kashmir Ki Kali (1964) would end just to suit his acting. Never has an actor-singer duo been so good together that you don’t know where the singing ended and the acting began.

• Kashmir:

If Kashmir ever needed an ambassador, Shami Kapoor would be the choice. Between 1958 and 1971, almost every Shami Kapoor film was shot in Kashmir so much so that many believed the actor was based in heaven on earth. Even today there are shacks that have a link with Shami Kapoor. Like the man himself, his films broke the shackles that gripped Hindi films and escaped from the studios to the beautiful regions of Kashmir.

• Teesri Manzil:

With its brilliant RD Burman numbers (O Mere Sona, Tumne Mujhe Dekha, Aaja Aaja Main Hoon Piar Tera, O Haseena Zulfonwali) and deft editing and deft direction by Vijay Anand, Teesri Manzil (1966) is now exactly the film that comes to mind when whenever anyone mentions Shami Kapoor. Usually it’s an actor who fits the role or the film, but Teesri Manzil is the film that perfectly fits Shammi’s sweet rebellious personality. Ironically, similar to Shami’s breakthrough film Tumsa Nahin Dekh (1957), this too was conveyed by Dev Anand!

• Internet:

True to his Yahoo avatar, Shami Kapoor was not only one of the first celebrities, but also one of the first people in India to join the Internet. Founder and Chairman of Inter Users Community of India (IUCI), Shammi Kapoor has played a key role in founding many Internet organizations in addition to running his own website. Towards the end, he was a regular on social networking sites like Twitter and Face Book.

No wonder most of us still believe that Yahoo, the internet giant, may have an Indian connection!

• Goya Ke Chunanche:

In 1974, when Shami Kapoor decided not to play the hero anymore, he directed a film called Manoranjan. Based on Irma La Douce, Shammi roped in Abrar Alvi to write the film and RD Burman scored the music. The story of Ratan, a nave cop who is new to the beat on a street called Manoranjan, which is a haven for pimps and soft-hearted prostitutes, and his love affair with Nisha, a prostitute he thought was nice, felt a lot like the man who directed it: Disrespect , but charmingly red-hot.

Although it didn’t do well at the box office, Manoranjan is still great entertainment. And who can forget Goya Ke Chunanche, Zeenat Aman’s peppy number made possible by a no-nonsense verbal spat between Kishore Kumar and RD Burman.

Shammi Kapoor has left a void that will never be filled… and there’s no point even thinking about a replacement because there’s never been anyone who can come close.

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