All my dancing was extempore: Shammi Kapoor
Mumbai: His energetic, untamed, inimitable and sometimes crazy dance moves were a hit with all age groups. Veteran actor Shammi Kapoor reveals he never worked with a choreographer and created every step spontaneously for the camera.
"I was very much influenced by my own self," Kapoor, 78, told reporters in an exclusive interview.
"Technology at that time was not all that advanced. Today you can see an Elvis Presley film, make it stop frame and see it frame by frame. We used to go to the cinema halls once in a while. Things that I used to like in the movies used to stay in my mind and later I used to use them in my songs.
"There`s a song `Don`t be cruel`. I took that and put it in `Dil de ke dekho...` song. As far as the dancing is concerned, I made it all by myself. I never knew what would be my next step."
Some of his timeless hits include ‘Baar baar dekho’, ‘Badan pe sitare’, ‘Yahoo’, ‘Aaja Aaja main hoon pyaar tera’, ‘Aye hasina zulfon wali’, ‘Aaj kal tere mere pyaar ke charche’. And they have been heard and enjoyed time and again over the decades and are played at dance parties even today.
Reminiscing the shooting of the song ‘Suku suku’, he said: "I never took any choreographer. I was doing `Suku Suku` (`Junglee`) with Helen. PL Raj was choreographing the number for Helen. I told Raj to tell me what her steps are and I will adjust accordingly. He didn`t know what I was going to do.”
"It was extempore completely. Sometimes, if I had to give a second take, my steps used to be different. I couldn`t do the same thing again."
Asked if anyone among today`s actors resembles his traits, he said: "No. They are much better. Hrithik Roshan and all of them are much, much better. Even Shah Rukh Khan has done some excellent work...I did my things and they do their things.
Among the current lot who are ruling the Hindi film industry are scions of the Kapoor family too - Kareena and Ranbir.
The 78-year-old, who gave hits like ‘Junglee’ (1961), ‘Bluff Master’ (1963), ‘Kashmir Ki Kali’ (1964) and ‘An Evening In Paris’(1967), retired from movies long time back. But he surely keeps a track of the new films and says that he misses innocence and melody in today`s movies.
"In my time, there was a lot of innocence involved. They were very sweet films. There was no lecture, no politicising and there was a lot of good music. In today`s films, techniques have evolved. But where has the music gone? I miss the melody of my time.
"From the films of my time you walk with good music, you carry that tune home and may be you sing that in bathroom also. Today people are not singing in the bathroom because they don`t have tunes to sing," said Kapoor.
Despite his age, Kapoor keeps himself abreast with new technology. He was first among Hindi film celebrities to use Yahoo e-mail.
In fact, people used to think that Kapoor owned Yahoo Internet browser as their ad used to say something like `Shammi Kapoor has got Yahoo.com`.
"When my nephew Randhir Kapoor started using internet, he called me up and asked why I didn`t tell him that Yahoo belongs to me (because of that promo). I told him that it doesn`t belong to me. Had it been mine, I would have been in America. He regretted that it wasn`t mine or we could all have settled in America. Lots of people were under the impression that Yahoo was my company.
"When Jerry Yang (co-founder and former CEO of Yahoo) came to India, he opened Yahoo India.com. He invited me to the Taj (Hotel) and as a matter of fact they played my `Yahoo` song," Kapoor recalled.