Saira Banu’s Instagram timeline is a treasure trove of memories. The actress often shares personal and professional anecdotes involving her late husband, Bollywood legend Dilip Kumar. On Wednesday, Saira Banu shared a lovely post celebrating the bond between Dilip Kumar and another Bollywood veteran – the late Shammi Kapoor. About Shammi Kapoor, who was also Saira Banu’s first co-star in Junglee, she said, “There are so many interesting anecdotes about Junglee for Shammi ji would keep creating stories, he was particularly like a Pied Piper with so many pretty ladies lined up and following him around wherever we shot.”
Sharing a story, Saira Banu continued, “Once our shooting at the Studio in Bombay was suddenly cancelled because Shammi ji was not well, so Appaji, Sultan bhai, and I took off to the city at Eros Theatre to see a foreign movie and what do we see! A huge Chevrolet Impala Car convertible swinging around the road at full speed Shammi ji at the wheel whizzing away and a fair young lady with dangling long earrings sitting right next to him. So much for Shammi ji’s feigning sickness!!! We laughed away, his sickness was a scream!”
In the same post, fans were also treated to another fun story. Saira Banu said, “Another time in Srinagar the Stars and unit were having lunch at Oberoi Palace Hotel and of course next to Shammi ji sat a sophisticated and very fashionable lady fan and her husband. At the table, there were bottles of Tabasco Sauce and suddenly a conversation brewed up between Shammi ji and the Lady. Soon enough their conversation got into a challenging one where it was ‘Yes I Can do it’ and from the Lady ‘No You Can’t do it’. Then Shammi ji poured the whole bottle of Tabasco Sauce into a glass and drank it right down. It was like fire water and heaven knows what got into him to do this but he was soon bashing the table in anger and pain and vomited. Thereupon the shooting was cancelled for Two Days. What a lark!”
Saira Banu also spoke about the two great actors coming together in Subhash Ghai’s film Vidhaata after a gap of several years. “It was a joy to see them working together, Two Maestros at their art together! They shot a song in Lonavala and it was a joy for me to watch them and spend those days where they ate together, lived together, and shared their work. It was a blessing for me to experience,” she gushed.
Explaining that Shammi Kapoor was also a guest at Saira Banu and Dilip Kumar’s “silver wedding anniversary”, Saira Banu said, “Shammi ji remained a member of the family. Sahib and I were lucky enough to have Shammi ji and Neila ji attend our “Silver Wedding Anniversary” and the recorded tape is so precious to us. I want all of you to see that tape where he is embracing Dilip Sahab and then waving out from the garden to my grandmother upstairs on the balcony of the house.”
In a separate post, Saira Banu referred to her debut film Junglee which was headlined by Shammi Kapoor. “To prepare for Junglee, they familiarised me with lights and the camera. Mukherjee Uncle [Sashadhar Mukherjee] placed me in front of the camera and asked me to relax and speak freely In front of the camera. I asked if I could recite an English line that had left a deep impression on me. I still recall that moment vividly when I recited, ‘It is a breach of good manners to inflict upon another the irritating necessity of deciphering an ill-written scrawl!’ In school, if our homework was untidy we were made to write this dozens of times! So I said this in a very matter-of-fact manner,” an excerpt from her post reads.
Saira Banu and Dilip Kumar got married in 1966. They have featured together in films such Sagina Mahato, Bairaag and Jwaar Bhaata.
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