Raakhee: Shashi Kapoor saved me from a tiger

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Raakhee Gulzar shared a very special equation with the late Shashi Kapoor, whose 83rd birth anniversary is being celebrated today, on March 18. We got in touch with the senior actress to relive her memories with Shashi Kapoor. Going down memory lane, Raakhee said that Shashi had so many qualities that it would be a really long list to pen down. “He was punctual, he was jovial, and you always got the right vibes from him. I learnt so much from him during ‘Sharmeelee’.”

Raakhee revealed that she and Shashi Kapoor shared the same makeup man. “Frankly, he didn’t need a makeup man. His looks were already so accentuated. He was so handsome!”

But the memory that stands out the most vividly for Raakhee, we presume, is the time when Shashi saved her life. “Yes, he saved my life, and imagine, from a tiger. I was doing ‘Jaanwar Aur Insaan’ with him and a tiger was supposed to run after me and I was supposed to fall in a pit. Honestly speaking, I didn’t want to do that film but Shashi had coaxed me. I was not comfortable during the shoot either, but somehow I did it for him only.”

Going back to the tiger incident, Raakhee reveals that she fell into the muck as the shot required and the tiger, who was not supposed to jump into the pit, suddenly took a leap towards her. “Before I had blinked, Shashi dragged me out of the pit just in the nick of time,” she said.

And then? “Then, the tiger jumped into the pit but fell upside down. His mouth was taped but imagine if he had fallen on me. Sometime later, we learnt that the tiger had died due to the wrong fall.”

There were three films after ‘Sharmeelee’ which would have seen Raakhee opposite Shashi but they didn’t see the light of day. “There was ‘Jeena Teri Gali Mein’ by Prakash Mehra, which started and came to a grinding halt, ‘Captain Karanveer’ by Lekh Tandon, and ‘Witness’ by Raj Marbros,” Raakhee signed off.

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