Thursday, December 15, 2011

The debonair duo

One had an impish grin, the other had a cherubic smile. The one with a slim frame swayed as if his moves were inspired by the wind, the other jumped about with his full weight on shikaras while wooing the love of his life. One had a hair style which people said was inspired by Gregory Peck; at the same time, girls across the nation screamed for the other since he seemed to emulate Elvis' style of dancing.

They redefined suave. No, let me rephrase that. For the newly independent India, Dev Anand and Shammi Kapoor did not redefine suave... they defined it first-hand.

What I liked most about the films of these two gentlemen was their light-hearted nature. Not for them the pathos-filled heavy films of Dilip Kumar or the look-into-society Raj Kapoor films. These were two young boys about town, looking for a good life and a great life-partner (Tere Ghar Ke Saamne, Jewel Thief, Kashmir Ki Kali, An Evening in Paris to name a few).

Their songs remain etched in our memory. Whilst most of Dev Anand's famous songs were sung by Kishore, Shammi Kapoor and Mohammad Rafi complimented each other perfectly, right from that old black & white film "China Town" (remember 'Baar baar dekho'?).

One is spoilt for choices when trying to choose *that* one song by which one would like to remember each of these princes by. For Dev Anand, although 'Hum hai raahi pyaar ke' (Nau Do Gyarah) comes very close, the prize shall definitely go to 'Main zindagi ka saath nibhaata chala gaya' (Mohd. Rafi singing for him in "Hum Dono").

For Shammi Kapoor, while most would remember him with 'Yeh chaand sa roshan chehra' in "Kashmir Ki Kali", my personal favourite is him singing 'Aasman se aaya farishta' in "An Evening in Paris" (interesting how both "Kashmir Ki Kali" and "An Evening In Paris" are Shakti Samanta films). The madness of the romantic lover-boy suspending himself from a helicopter asking his lady love for another look while she is water-skiing in the lake below is exactly the kind of exuberance I would always like to remember Shammi Kapoor by.

RIP sires.

(image courtesy: The Hindu)

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