SHAMMI KAPOOR was an absolute original, who redefined the profile of the Hindi film hero in the late ’50s and cast him in a unique, highly individualistic mould. He was a far cry from the self-righteous ‘hero’ of the time. He broke the existing rules, made his own. He became the first hero to break into the formidable cordon of the Big Three of the time: Raj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar and Dev Anand, who had dominated the scene unchallenged for more than a decade.
As film scholar Dr. Punita Bhatt succinctly avers, “Shammi Kapoor represented the blending of unique elements rooted in time, place, and his own talent. More important and less appreciated, is the fact that Shammi Kapoor’s contribution, like Dilip Kumar’s, has seeped into the mainstream of popular cinema in India, becoming a part of the larger tradition every actor is heir to.”
Journalist and film critic, RAUF AHMED has made a mark in mainstream print, film and television media. Starting out as a trainee at The Times of India, he joined the Free Press Journal as a Sub-Editor in the early ’70s, rose to be the Features Editor, then Magazine Editor of the Sunday Journal. He later joined The Times of India Group as Editor of Filmfare. During his tenure, he was instrumental in relaunching the Filmfare Awards in a new format in 1990. 1n 1994, he returned to mainstream journalism as Chief of Bureau of the newly launched daily, The Asian Age, Mumbai. After a three-year stint, he moved to The Indian Express Group to edit the weekly Screen. He then joined The Zee Group as Founder Editor of a premium film magazine, Zee Premiere. In 2011, he was Content Advisor on a documentary, Bollywood: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told, produced by Shekhar Kapur for UTV and directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. The documentary was the opening film at the Cannes Festival in 2011.
Rauf Ahmed is the author of Mehboob Khan: The Romance of History. He has also written on Dilip Kumar in Bollywood’s Top 20: Superstars of Indian Cinema.