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On Shammi Kapoor’s 88th birth anniversary, Greatest Tunes of India’s most Amusing star

Last updated on October 21, 2019

After the history of Indian theatre is composed, the Kapoor family’s participation is guaranteed to take up a great deal of room. In case Prithviraj Kapoor, a legendary performer who began as a theater proprietor, will have a pride of place from the list of greats, so will his sons. Raj Kapoor will forever be known as the showman of Bollywood, while Shashi Kapoor will go down in history books as a celebrity who could straddle the disparate worlds of parallel and mainstream theatre with composite simplicity. Somewhere, there together with them, will probably be Shammi Kapoor, easily among the most entertaining stars of Bollywood.

Often referred to as the Elvis Presley of both India and, several times, dubbed trendy playboy of Hindi movies, Shammi’s money has grown with each passing day. Stars like Raj Kapoor enjoyed an enviable fan following in their heyday but their setting dipped with passing moment. With Shammi, it seems just like, the opposite has occurred. Tune to a late-night FM station and odds are you may hear a Yaa-hooo, Chahe Koi Mujhe Junglee Kahe’ reaching out to you.

Shammi never dropped into any rigorous category of behaving — unconventional and inconsistent — it’s famously said of him which he never desired a choreographer and allegedly would think of (and implement ) his measures himself. Before Jeetendra would create his entrance into movies, Shammi was dubbed the dance star of Bollywood.

Regardless of Shammi’s heritage is complete without a mention of the struck mix with singer Mohammad Rafi. Composers like OP Nayyar and Shankar Jaikishan composed all the unforgettable hits.

Shammi met and married a top actor of the afternoon, Geeta Bali, in 1955. Regrettably, Geeta died of smallpox in 1965, plunging Shammi in despair. Back in 1969, he married Neila Devi, by the former royal household of Bhavnagar in Gujarat.

On his 88th birthday, here is a peek at some of the citrus tunes.