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Shabana Azmi Opens Up About a Memorable Moment with Shashi Kapoor on the Set of Fakira

While recalling how great of a person Shashi Kapoor was, Shabana Azmi shared an incident on the set of Fakira.

In Pic: Shabana Azmi and Shashi Kapoor

Veteran actress Shabana Azmi had the privilege of sharing the screen with the legendary Shashi Kapoor in the 1976 film ‘Fakira’. It was a significant milestone in her early career, as the budding actress found herself acting alongside one of her favorite stars. Reflecting on this experience, Shabana Azmi recently recounted an incident from the sets that highlighted Shashi Kapoor’s unique way of showing affection and his commendable character.

In an exclusive interview with Zoom, Shabana detailed how Shashi Kapoor mentored her during the shoot, albeit in a manner that came across as stern. She expressed her admiration for him while recognizing his unconventional methods. Shabana recounted, “We were shooting for Fakira, particularly the song ‘Dil Mein Tujhe Bithakar’. I arrived on the set before Shashi Kapoor and noticed that the choreography by Satyanarayan ji was quite intimate. Being very young at the time, I felt extremely uncomfortable and burst into tears before running off the set. I was terribly nervous because I was not prepared to perform those intimate scenes.”

The story didn’t end there. Shabana continued to share what happened next: “I retreated to my makeup room and confided in my hairdresser about my reluctance to do the scenes. Tears were streaming down my face when there was a loud knock on the door. In walked Shashi Kapoor, demanding to know why I was upset. Hesitantly, I told him, ‘I can’t do these scenes’. To my surprise, he retorted, ‘Why? When you decided to become an actress and told your mother, “Mummy, mummy, mai bhi actress banungi,” didn’t you realize you would have to do such things? Stupid girl,’ and stormed out.

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Perplexed and a bit hurt by his harsh words, Shabana turned to her hairdresser and deemed Shashi Kapoor’s behavior as ‘mean’. However, the incident took a heartwarming turn. Shabana recalled, “After about half an hour, I mustered the courage to go back to the set. To my astonishment, I found that Shashi Kapoor had changed every move in the choreography to make me comfortable. This gesture revealed the kind and considerate person he truly was.” She concluded her story with evident gratitude and admiration for her late co-star.

### On the Work Front

Shabana Azmi continues to be a prominent figure in the film industry. Most recently, she appeared in Karan Johar’s film Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani, a box-office success that saw her sharing the screen with high-profile actors like Alia Bhatt, Ranveer Singh, Dharmendra, and Jaya Bachchan. Notably, her performance in a kissing scene with Dharmendra received widespread praise, further solidifying her reputation as a versatile and brave actress.

### About Fakira

Released in 1976, ‘Fakira’ is a Bollywood action film that follows the adventures of its titular character, Vijay, also known as Fakira, played by Shashi Kapoor. In a Robin Hood-esque role, Fakira fights against crime while maintaining a secret identity. The movie isn’t just about action and crime; it weaves in elements of love, betrayal, and moral dilemmas. Shabana Azmi’s character, Neeta, plays a critical role in Fakira’s journey towards justice, balancing out the intense narrative with an emotional subplot.

Shabana Azmi’s anecdote provides a rare glimpse into the off-screen dynamics between two of Bollywood’s most revered actors. It underscores the compassionate yet disciplined nature of Shashi Kapoor, while also conveying the challenges and growth that Shabana Azmi faced as a young actress in the industry. This incident not only highlights Shashi Kapoor’s mentorship but also offers an endearing snapshot of the bond they shared beyond their iconic on-screen performances.