Never went to see Shashi Kapoor in hospital again: Amitabh Bachchan’s tribute to man who called him ‘babbua’

Amitabh Bachchan wrote a heartbreaking tribute to Shashi Kapoor on Monday night, expressing his grief and loss at Deewar co-star’s death. He also revealed why he did not visit Shashi in hospital.

Amitabh Bachchan poured his heart out in his blog Monday night, expressing his grief and loss at Deewar co-star Shashi Kapoor’s death. The Shehenshah star revealed how he admired Shashi Kapoor, copied his hairstyle and behaviour, but could not bear to see him after he “let himself go after the passing away of his dear wife Jennifer.”

Shashi Kapoor passed away on Monday evening at Mumbai’s Kokilaben hospital at the age of 79. He has been suffering from a kidney ailment for many years and also undergoing dialysis. Bachchan touched on this aspect in his blog, writing how tough he found seeing Kapoor as a man dealing with multiple health problems.

His blog reads as a heartbreaking tale of how he admired Kapoor and could not visit him during his stay in the hospital, Bachchan wrote, “He had been ailing .. somewhere he had let himself go after the passing away of his dear wife Jennifer .. I had visited him on occasion in Hospital during some of the times he had been hospitalised earlier .. but I never went to see him again .. I would never have .. I never ever wanted to see this beautiful friend and ‘samdhi’ in the state I saw him in hospital....…. and I did not today, when they informed me that he had gone.”

The superstar was later seen at the Kapoor residence, meeting the family with son Abhishek and daughter-in-law Aishwarya Rai Bachchan.

Early on Tuesday, Amitabh also posted a cryptic tweet, condemning the “commercialisation of his grief”.

“The words of the ‘sher’ at the opening came to me minutes after Rumi Jafri, eminent writer in our film industry, sent them to me on learning of his death ..’how long could I have preserved this exquisite and expensive book of life ; the pages of the book were damaged ..’ He fondly addressed me as ‘babbua’ .. and with him have gone many incredible unread chapters of his and my life,” he further wrote.

Remembering the maverick actor, Amitabh confessed having copied Kapoor’s hairstyle. “The next .. was his semi curly hair on head, falling carelessly over his forehead and ears, not quite covering it .. and my upper story mumbled again : ‘hey ! maybe you should think of covering your ears as well ..’ … and off I went to Hakim the hair dresser at Taj Hotel with my plan .. and executed, it remained till date,” he wrote on his blog.

“’Shashi Kapoor !’ was what one heard as he extended a warm soft hand out to you in introduction ; that devastating smile complimenting the twinkle in his eyes. He needn’t have done so. Every one knew him. But this was his infectious humble self. When he spoke, there was a mischievous, gentle, almost inaudible, delicate, yodel, in his voice - most endearing and comforting to the one he was introduced to. The self introduction habit, was a gem,” Big B wrote.

“The one being introduced to, was, quite obviously, prompted to say his or her name as well, when they heard his. It was a remarkable tool to come to know the other persons name .. and .. if and when there was to be another meeting after many forgettable years, the same technology was most helpful in remembering the other persons name, in case you had forgotten it,” he added.

Amitabh also admitted he follows Shashi Kapoor’s style of introducing himself, even till date; “I must admit .. it was a technology that remained with me as a learning, assisting me in using it during those uncomfortable times, when out of the blue someone would come out to you and address himself as a long lost buddy , with a : “remember me ! we last met 6 years ago at the crossing of Kemps Corner, as you drove past and waved to me” !!! My mind is warning me .. ‘of course you don’t, how could you possibly’ .. ‘stick that hand out ala Shashi Kapoor and act friendly..’ I obey .. ‘yes of course I do’ .. I say .. looking recognisably lost .. ( sticking hand out ) .. Amitabh Bachchan ..!!And he would assure me with his .. and Kemp’s Corner and waving by, passing travelling vehicle, suddenly all come flashing by .. I am saved .. and he goes away with some rather impressionable opinions about me.”

Remembering the first time he saw Kapoor on a magazine cover, Amitabh wrote, “Standing elegantly without a care in the world, I saw him standing by a Mercedes Sports car, a convertible, a smart trimmed beard and moustache, adorning involuntarily, the face of this incredibly handsome man. It was a picture that filled almost an entire page of a magazine. Shashi Kapoor … son of Prithviraj Kapoor, younger brother to Raj Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor, making a debut in a forthcoming film, is what the caption read ..And I said to myself, as very uncertain thoughts raced through my mind of wanting to become a film actor, that, with men like him around, I stood no chance at all.”

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