Yesteryears star Shammi Kapoor went to meet Shabana Azmi’s mother in a hospital where she is recovering after a knee surgery.
Shammi Kapoor and Shabana’s activist-actress mother Shaukat Azmi have a lot in common and they go back a very long way.
Nonetheless, it was an unexpected surprise Saturday evening to see the ailing wheelchair-bound but still-spirited Kapoor wheel into Shaukat’s hospital room.
“Shammiji wheeled himself in on his wheelchair accompanied by his daughter. He has to visit the hospital three times a week for dialysis. But has tremendous spirit. And his memory is incredible,” said Shabana, 60.
It was a courtesy visit that lasted for nearly an hour.
“It was so heart-warming to see mum and Shammi Kapoorji reminisce about their Prithvi Theatre days. Do you know, they were rejected for the roles of Salim and Anarkali. My mum was rejected because she couldn’t dance. And he was rejected because he couldn’t speak Urdu. It was really a treat for me to hear them discuss their early days as an actor because I learnt the fundamentals of acting from my mother,” said Shabana.
Shaukat wants her visitors to come properly dressed.
“The standing order to all her chahnewalas (admirers) is that they must visit her in beautiful clothes. Her aesthetics get hurt by grunge dressing. I was in the hospital on Sunday evening wearing party clothes. Just to please her. I sing for her while she keeps me in splits with her anecdotes. But she is very argumentative even after surgery. Her explanation for this? ‘I’ve been operated on my knew not my brain.’She’s lovely,” said Shabana.