Shashi Kapoor has a special connection with this Kolkata hotel room
Room number 17 at the Fairlawn Hotel in Kolkata has been named after late Bollywood legend Shashi Kapoor
The legendary Shashi Kapoor is no more. The late actor-producer had a special connection with Room Number 17 at Kolkata’s Fairlawn Hotel. This is because, whenever Shashi Kapoor went to Kolkata he would always stay in that specific room. The hotel's manager Ravindra Pal is aware of the significance of the room to Shashi Kapoor. Ravindra says that Kapoor and his wife Jennifer Kendal stayed at the room on his first visit to Kolkata during their honeymoon. The room then became very special for Shashi Kapoor after that.
Interestingly, Shashi Kapoor would always call the hotel's management in advance to book the room before departing for Kolkata on each occasion. Ravindra Pal also reveals that Shashi Kapoor was very fond of roaming Kolkata and admired the people of the city. The 'Deewar' actor also loved the Bengali language and was very fond of the sweetmeat, Sandesh.
There are several pictures of Shashi Kapoor at the Hotel Fairlawn. Manager Ravindra adds that he was extremely interested in sight-seeing and the local theatre, when visiting Kolkata. Fans would wait outside the hotel's gate to see Shashi Kapoor and the actor would happily oblige by meeting them and even signing autographs. He said that it is for this reason that the hotel room will be renamed after Shashi Kapoor in his honour.
Ravindra stated that Shashi Kapoor had a special attachment with Kolkata as he was born here. Kapoor would visit the place of his birth in the city and was often fond of talking about his childhood days.
Hotel Fairlawn manager Ravindra Pal has seen all of Shashi Kapoor's film and considers 'Kanyadaan' to be his favourite one. Kapoor would talk about literature and art on several occasions. Ravindra says he has met Shashi Kapoor at least a hundred times and the actor would always address as him as 'my friend.'
What always fascinated Ravindra is that Shashi Kapoor would not hesitate in exchanging pleasantries with the hotel's gatekeeper and housekeeping staff after arriving. He would request to have some tea in Bengali, saying "Ami Cha Khabo." Kapoor preferred having tea from a roadside stall.
Shashi Kapoor even presented Ravindra Pal's wife with a Lord Ganesh idol. Ravindra says that whenever people stay at the hotel room they feel honoured that it was occupied by Shashi Kapoor.
Ravindra says the hotel staff was devastated after hearing about Shashi Kapoor's passing. He says he would always remember his smile which was just as sweet as Sandesh.