AA GALE LAG JAA... COME IN MY EMBRACE
I was 14 when I watched the Hindi movie, ‘Aa Gale Lag Jaa’. That was the first time I got charmed by Shashi Kapoor. Ever since then, to me, he has been like a breath of fresh air. I have loved him in his every film… Particularly for his playfulness and boyish charm…
Certainly, 79 is not a very advanced age to go. But, then, like so many of his fans, I, too, couldn’t bring myself to bear the thought of his illness and suffering. When I first saw his images on wheelchair - pale, withdrawn and burdened with overweight - I lived in denial. I wanted to see him as fresh and boyish as I first saw him in ‘Aa Gale Lag Jaa’. But, soon, I came to terms with the reality… That, Shashi Kapoor I raved about was not only a screen idol, he was also a normal human being just as we all were… That, he loved his wife, Jennifer Kendal, so much, that when she died, he lost the anchor of his life…The zest for life had begun to fade away… The self-neglect had allowed the illness to romp home…
So, today, even though we feel sad to see Shashi Kapoor gone, we need to console ourselves saying, he is no more in pain and suffering… He is joined by Jennifer… It’s peaceful out there!
Shripad, my ex-student, who lives in Chennai, was sad, too. He messaged me, this morning, “Sir, our dear Shashi Kapoor is no more!”
We were witnessing a deluge of video clips from Shashi Kapoor’s movies since the moment the news of his death had come out. Obviously, the most shared one was from ‘Deewar’ – ‘Mere Paas Maa Hai’. That’s been a goose-bump scene for me too all these years… and it shall continue to be so for a very long time…
So, I tried to console my Shripad… of course, on a lighter note: “Don’t worry Shripad... Our dear Shashi Kapoor is safe… Unke paas maa hai!”
Maybe, I should have written, “Unke paas Jennifer hai!”
“The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.” Did W.R. Wallace, while saying this, have in his mind only mothers or wives, too?
“Aa gale lag jaa”… Come in my embrace!