How Saira Banu Made Shashi Kapoor Happy

‘There are a few things you never forget about people, especially when you make them happy with the smallest of gestures, and for Shashi ji, it was a packet of Shrewsbury Biscuit.’

Photograph: Kind courtesy Saira Banu Khan/Instagram

Saira Banu got nostalgic about Shashi Kapoor — her co-star from films like Koi Jeeta Koi Haara and the unreleased Sadiyon Se Hain Pyar — on his 86th birth anniversary on March 18.

She posted pictures of them together and wrote, ‘The Kapoors and my family go way back in time through the bonds of fate and the shared love for cinema, forming a connection that went beyond mere acquaintanceship.

‘It started with the childhood bond that Dilip Sahib and Raj Ji shared, and my beloved mother, Appaji, who had worked with Prithviraj Kapoor in the past.

‘I can still vividly recall when I was to debut in the Film Industry, Yashji wanted to cast me and Shashi Ji in “Dharmaputra”.

‘At that point in time, as luck would have it, Appaji went ahead with “Junglee,” where I worked with Shammi Ji instead of Shashi Ji.’

Photograph: Kind courtesy Saira Banu Khan/Instagram

‘Despite the ebb and flow of our individual projects, our paths always seemed to converge, our shootings would often get scheduled in the same studio, where Shashi Ji and I would run into each other, and on days we would have lunch in the makeup room.

‘Later we worked on films like “Koi Jeeta Koi Haara” and “Sadiyon Se Hai Pyaar,” and I must admit those were more than just cinematic ventures.’

Photograph: Kind courtesy Saira Banu Khan/Instagram

‘When the casting of “Shagird” was to be done, Subodh Uncle suggested that Shashi Ji and I must work in this film instead of Joy Mukherjee, and but unfortunately as luck would have it, Shashi ji’s role was taken up by Joy Mukherjee again.

‘I also recall a very sweet incident, not many would know but Shashi ji loved Kayani’s Shrewsbury Biscuits, he just savoured the entire pack of these biscuits all at once. When I was shooting for Purab Aur Paschim, our shoot was set up in Poona, at Raj ji’s huge farm.

‘As soon as Shashi ji knew about this he immediately came to me and said “Saira, please get me Shrewsbury Biscuits from there”, and I always reciprocated his request with large packets of Shrewsbury biscuits no matter how busy I was with shooting.

‘There are a few things you never forget about people, especially when you make them happy with the smallest of gestures, and for Shashi ji, it was a packet of Shrewsbury Biscuit.

‘Shashi Ji and I often had this playful banter, especially when it came to musical numbers. He would laughingly say, “Dekho Yeh Beat Aise Nahin Hai, Yeh Offbeat Hai.” This banter is something that remains until the end of time.

‘Happy Birthday, dear friend! With love and fond memories.’