Gulzar: Shammi was full of life... Gautam was gentle

Sep 19, 2011, 08:30 IST | Subhash K Jha

Noted poet/lyricist Gulzar mourns the death of his two close friends

Noted poet/lyricist Gulzar mourns the death of his two close friends

If the inimitable Gulzar saab has lately been more reclusive than usual, it is with good reason.

Two talented men actor Shammi Kapoor and photographer Gautam Rajadhyaksha he's had immense respect for are no more. It's not been an easy period for the poet and lyricist.


"I still haven't had the courage to visit Shammi's wife, my bhabhi Neelaji. I'll do so soon. His going was a deep blow for me. Shammi Kapoor taught me how to drink," Gulzar saab reminisces. 

"It was during the making of Ramesh Sippy's Andaz, which I had written, I'd see Shammi taking vigorous swigs from the bottle.
He initiated me into drinking. He was a star onscreen, but a Sufi in person. He was so full of life till the end. I miss him."

Tuesday was yet another bad day for him. Photographer Gautam Rajadhyaksha passed away quite suddenly following a massive heart attack.

Says Gulzar, "Not that we met that often, but whenever we did I felt very comfortable with him. Gautam was a gentle soul.

I wrote the foreword to one of his books. He wrote the history of the heroines with his camera; he was quite an author in more literary and literal ways.
I had been to his home for a meal recently. He was very much in character, a gentle, warm and welcoming host. It's difficult to lose two such endearing people in such a short span of time."

Gulzar saab is now working on the lyrics of two big Hindi films Yash Chopra's next Shah Rukh-Katrina-Anushka Sharma starrer with music by A R Rahman and Vishal Bhardwaj's comedy with Ajay Devgn-Anushka.

Hopefully, work will provide some temporary solace.

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