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Book Reviews

Book Name : SHASHI KAPOOR: The Householder, the Star

Author Name : Aseem Chhabra

Published By : Rupa Publications India


Shashi Kapoor stood tall amongst his contemporaries, however; you measure him, whether it was his good looks or his sophisticated style, his courage to play roles in independent films or the fact that he was the first star to experiment with crossover cinema. However, like most of his fans even I believe he did not get his due as compared to his more celebrated contemporaries and that is the reason this book is important. Through the book, I discovered the great man behind the beautiful face and the unassuming persona.

 

I remember I have always been a big follower of Merchant-Ivory productions. I have watched almost all their films and I would feel pride that there is an Indian actor whom I could recognize and would wonder at this Indian actor who spoke such articulate English. This outstanding actor was Shashi Kapoor. Through the book, I discovered the positive side of Shashi Kapoor’s life but also areas as the author points out where he could have done things differently resulting in a different course. What is worth loving about the book is the author’s attempt to make readers and film-goers not only meet Shashi Kapoor the actor, but also the man behind the actor and the movies, and he has been successful in doing so. I also discovered a star who took to stage, thrived and created Prithvi Theatre which is still a revered institution in Mumbai. Aseem through the book speaks about the actor’s life as if it was always there in front of us and it was us who did not take notice.

 

The ending of book is grim, as we all know that sadly but truly, Shashi Kapoor of today is indeed a living shadow of Shashi Kapoor of yesteryear. The last chapter, made me feel guilty of not caring enough about this householder, a star called Shashi Kapoor. This book is a must-read for Bollywood aficionados and Shashi Kapoor fans.

Candid Moments