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Bidding farewell to a legend

Wearing his father, Shammi Kapoor's trademark rudraksh necklace, Aditya Raj lit his father's funeral pyre at the Banganga crematorium on Monday. HT reports. In pics: Farewell Shammi Kapoor

bollywood Updated: Aug 16, 2011 01:11 IST
HT Correspondent

Wearing his father, Shammi Kapoor's trademark rudraksh necklace, Aditya Raj lit his father's funeral pyre at the Banganga crematorium on Monday morning.

Kapoor, 79, whose feisty dance moves won him the tag of India's Elvis Presley, died on Sunday at Breach Candy Hospital because of renal failure.

The actor's funeral procession left his Malabar Hill building, Blue Heaven Apartments, minutes after 10 am and reached the crematorium at 11 am. Aditya Raj led the procession, followed by his son Kunal, who arrived from the US.

The entire Kapoor clan including his grandnephew Ranbir, nephews Rishi, Randhir and Rajiv and Shammi's younger brother Shashi Kapoor, who came in a wheel chair, were present to pay their last respects.

Actor Amitabh Bachchan, filmmaker Prakash Jha, Kapoor's and industrialist Anil Ambani were among those who carried the body on their shoulders.

Actors Priyanka Chopra, Madhuri Dixit, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Anil Kapoor, Vinod Khanna, Danny, Shatrughan Sinha, filmmakers Rakesh Roshan, Satish Kaushik, Sudhir Mishra, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Ashutosh Gowariker, Ramesh Sippy with son Rohan, Subhash Ghai and Nikhil Advani were among the mourners.

"Gone! Enveloped by flames, reduced to ashes into his abode in Heaven... Shammi Kapoor!" tweeted Bachchan, an hour after the funeral. Bachchan, who Kapoor affectionately called 'Babua', later wrote on his blog that Kapoor had got tired during the last few days.

"Never one to give up, he spoke for the first time in a tone that conveyed that he had had enough, to Jaya (Bachchan) a few days ago.

'I am tired, I can't take it anymore', he lamented, with choked emotion."

"A million memories hurry past as you drive down to his Blue Haven residence. A cozy warm and welcoming apartment where we had spent many wonderful evenings and nights with him and his effervescence. There as I walk past his still pale figure embalmed and kept in a freeze container, you feel as though he would spring out of it and with his feisty elan invite you over to dine with him."

Bachchan said that he was mesmerised by Kapoor when he saw him in Dil Deke Dekho and "his style, his dance, his clothes, his puffed hair style that lazily yet provocatively would often fall on his forehead, all became images that every young around the country wanted to emulate".

Kapoor, who was fond of driving cars, had expressed his desire to ride a Rolls Royce to Bachchan.

"When I offered to send him mine to keep and drive at will, he would resist it. 'Let me come out of the hospital then we shall both go for a drive in it' he had excitedly told me. We never could get that ride together."