I have inherited spirit of adventurism from my Mother: Aditya Raj Kapoor

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 15 Apr 2018 10:12:50


By Nandu Andhare,

Very few people actually know about my mother Geeta Bali. All my spirit adventurism has been inherited by me from her.” disclosed Aditya Kapoor, son of the legendary actor duo Shammi Kapoor and Geeta Bali while having an informal chat with The Hitavada.
Aditya, tall handsome, with a receding hairline, bloating along the waist line and those large brown expressive eyes that lit up everytime, to reveal the greatness of actor Shammi Kapoor and Geeta Bali, and the impact that it has had on Aditya. “My mother died very young. But in a short span of life , she showed what a spirited women of calibre and noble background she was.

Her Nana was a Granthi at the Golden temple. Geeta wanted to do many things in the creative and outdoor field but people objected to her nach-gana and theatre. She went to Lahore in the pre-partition days and got herself qualified as AIR artist. After this, she got offers to do two films, launched by Mazhar Khan. She learnt the ‘Gatka’, Indian Marshal Arts that is associated with Sikhs of Punjab region. It is a style of stick fighting with wooden sticks intended to simulate swords. She also learnt horse riding, and also toured various places outside India, traveling by ship. I have covered the same route on my Bike. By the time she was 13, she was very clear in her mind what she wanted to do.

Asked about the popular heroines of Shammiji, Aditya was quick to point out “Shammiji acted mostly with new heroines. Amongst them Asha Parekh, a qualified classical dancer, matched Shammiji in his steps while dancing that made the actor wary about her talent. Shooting of the movie ‘Dil Deke Dekho’ was being done at Ranikhet and in those days, it took five days to reach the place. Asha Parekh’s make up man failed to show up and panic had set in. Geeta Bali was there at hand who managed the make up of Asha Parekh. This was also the time when Shammiji fell in love with Geeta Bali. In those days, actors and technicians worked like a family”.

Speaking about his father Shammi Kapoor Aditya spoke of how Shammi shot to fame with ‘Dil Deke Dekho’. But after marriage, several of his films flopped and a demoralised Shammiji decided to call it quits and take up a job as a tea estate manager in Assam. He even got the job, but Geet Bali stood her ground and made him stay put. She even taught him finer aspects of body language, gestures and expressions that changed his style completely. She was a dynamic lady who never took a step backwards.

Aditya remembered an anecdote how his father had requested for a song to be inserted in the film “An Evening in Paris”, while shooting in France. The request was made to Rafi Saheb and Shankar Jaikishan, who managed to get a suitable composition that was recorded and the tape sent with a courier all the way to Paris for the shoot. Rafi sahab had done a commendable job in rendering the song Akele Akele Kahan Ja Rahe Ho in his soft velvet voice”.

Speaking about the immortal combination of Rafisaheb’s Voice and Shammiji’s acting, Aditya just raised his hands and said “That was something unique. They got along so well and at times Shammiji would ask Rafi Saheb to add a few things in his voice modulation to suit my father’s action oriented acting. The song Tarif Karu Kya Uski from ‘Kashmir Ki Kali’ is a great example. Shammiji was very close to Jaikishan but was completely bowled over by O P Nayyar’s folkish music and liked all the songs in the film. Shammiji was also dazzled by RD Burman, Music Director and son of the legend SD Burman, when RD Burman provided music to the film Teesri Manzil. The song Oh Hasina Zulfo Wali was Pure Rock and Shammi ji just fell for it.There was a time when as a child, I use to feel that my father was actualy singing the song , but when I heard Mohd Rafi singing one of my father’s song I wondered how this person was singing in my father’s voice. Rafi Sahab had given a beautiful compliment to my father when he said, “Shammi Kapoor is that leaf, which ,while falling from a tree, dances all the way down.

There was not much media in those days and only Print Media existed with Magazines like Star & Style, Filmfare publishing all the gossip of the film world. There were no Press conferences also. Journalists use to come home, call the actors by their first name , enjoy Chai Nashta, clicked Black and White Photos. Songs, in those days were rehearsed for 15 days before being recorded. There was no hurry. Today technology has caused a great devide between these people .They rarely meet each other.”
Aditya touched briefly on his family relations and the advice given by Grand father Prithviraj Kapoor to his sons “Live separately but eat meals together”.

Finaly speaking about his future plans, Aditya confided “ I will do biking till the age of 80. I am also going to be a writer. I have already got three books in the pipeline. My children, son Vishwapratap and daughter Tulsi, Music teacher and budding Jaz singer are in the US. I have not imposed anything on them. They are free to take to a career of their choice. My sister Kanchan is well settled in Mumbai married to son of the great Film Director Manmohan Desai”. Aditya was hosted by Anuradha Kheta, whose mother and Gitabali were very close to each other, unlike sister in laws. He also spoke of Shammiji’s relationship with Gitabali and Umi Siyal, Anuradha’s mother. “I love coming to Nagpur and relax, roam about freely on bike, enjoy the oranges. Life is easy and relaxed here. Maza Aata Hai” he quipped.