In the ‘Once Upon a Time’ series, we present anecdotes shared by famous film personalities.
Yesteryear actor Shashi Kapoor was a star in Hindi movies through the 60s and 70s. While he was popular for his work in blockbusters like Deewar, Kabhie Kabhie and Jab Jab Phool Khile, he also made a name for himself with his production house Film Valas that made films like Vijeta, Utsav and many more.
Shashi’s biography titled Shashi Kapoor: The Householder, The Star by Aseem Chabbra chronicles the impact that the actor had on his contemporaries. The book also has various anecdotes from many of his co-stars who vouch for his no-frills attitude. Sharmila Tagore, who acted with him in films like Aa Gale Lag Jaa, Aamne Samne and Waqt among more, recollects that Shashi would often introduce himself to the technicians on the set and have tea with them. It was this nature of the star that found a young fan in Saif Ali Khan.
Sharmila shares that during the shoot of Paap Aur Punya (1974) in Jaipur, Saif had accompanied her. Saif was just two at the time and had developed a special bond with his ‘Shashi Uncle’. Shashi was also accompanied by his wife and kids, and the family would often take Saif out with them.
During the shoot, Shashi Kapoor was filming a fight scene with the villain of the movie. The scene was such that the villain had a rope around the hero’s neck while he struggled desperately. Suddenly, the villain, who was to have more power in the scene, screamed. That’s when the crew realised that the 2-year-old Saif Ali Khan had bitten the villain on his leg. Sharmila smiles and recollects that Saif really wanted to help his ‘Shashi Uncle’ as he appeared in pain, and no one around was helping him.
Saif Ali Khan also spoke about this incident in 2017 in an interview with DNA. Saif further shared that later it was Shashi Kapoor who told him about the make-believe world of movies and that he need not get angry watching the fight.