Actor Shabana Azmi has just returned from Srinagar after bidding a final ‘Yahoo’ to Shammi Kapoor. Some of the late actor’s biggest blockbusters, including Kashmir Ki Kali (1964), were filmed there and he was almost like the state’s goodwill ambassador.
That’s why wife Neela Devi, son Aditya and daughter Kanchan, along with their spouses, agreed that since Srinagar and the Dal Lake had been synonymous with the 1960s superstar, his ashes should be immersed there. They flew out to Srinagar with some of his friends from the film fraternity, including Azmi, Amitabh Bachchan, Vinod Khanna, Biswajit, Asha Parekh, Tina Ambani, Vinod Chopra and Poonam Dhillon.
“After the ritual, everyone got into a shikara (boats), one of which was playing Shammiji’s hit songs, including Yeh Jheel Si Neeli..., and soon we were all singing and dancing. It was a fitting tribute to a man who always celebrated life,” says an emotional Azmi, who had shot a song from Fakira (1976) in Srinagar with the late actor.