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A biography of Bollywood legend Shashi Kapoor set for launch

Chapters from the personal and professional life of the enigmatic Shashi Kapoor that hitherto remained disclosed is set to come to the fore as a biography on the versatile actor is set for a release this month.

‘Shashi Kapoor the Householder, the Star’, authored by film journalist Aseem Chhabra, attempts to delve into the nature and nurture of Kapoor, who proved his might as more than a natural star born into the first family of Hindi film industry as he became the commercially viable superstar and a critically acclaimed actor.

The Rupa Publications, offers glimpses of Kapoor, the family man son of Prithviraj Kapoor, husband of Jennifer Kendal, and father to Kunal, Karan and Sanjna, while it tracks the emergence of a bright-eyed boy who made his acting debut in brother Raj Kapoor’s directorial maiden ‘Awaara’ (1951) to one of the busiest performers in the 1970s.

Kapoor, who was in 2014 felicitated with the Dada Saheb Phalke Award, the highest honour in Indian Cinema, belted out films like ‘Waqt’, ‘Deewar’, ‘Trishul’ even as his forays into the non-commercial arena of filmmaking yielded nothing less than ‘Junoon’, ‘Kalyug’ and ‘Utsav’, all considered masterpieces.

Set for its official launch on May 6, the biography also traces the affable Bollywood star’s forays into world cinema as also his pioneering works in the theatre circuit.

Stakeholder to three National Film Awards, Kapoor outshone some of his contemporaries, including megastar Amitabh Bachchan and flamboyant Shatrughan Sinha, with his foreign ventures including the most famous ‘The Householder’ besides ‘Shakespeare Wallah’, ‘Heat and Dust’, ‘Bombay Talkie’, among other British and American productions.

The 216-page book, whose first edition goes on sale later this month, also takes into account the astute businessman that the suave superstar has been, citing among others his prowess as the distributor of ‘Bobby’, the launching pad of nephew Rishi Kapoor, which revived the debt-stricken RK Films, the production company founded by his eldest brother Raj Kapoor.

The biography also highlights his enterprising skills as the founder of production company ‘Film-valas’ and producer of off-beat films like ’36 Chowringee Lane’, ‘Vijeta’ and ‘Ajooba’, displaying his thrust on quality cinema irrespective of box-office returns.

With luminous and thus-far undisclosed stories by the actor’s family, colleagues and friends, a compelling foreword by filmmaker Karan Johar, and stunning photographs from Merchant Ivory’s archives, the biography is as captivating as Shashi Kapoor, the star.

Priced around Rs 330, the hardcover is available for pre-order online.

Inputs from PTI


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