The actor recalls shooting for Shalimar, and cites Shah’s passion for cinema
Veteran actress Zeenat Aman remembers her Shalimar director Krishna Shah, who died Oct 13, as a warm and hospitable man, who loved cinema and was always excited about his new projects. “I met Krishna Shah for the last time about eight to nine months ago at his home in Juhu where he had a get-together for close friends. He was his usual friendly effusive self, looking after all his guests personally, making sure everyone was comfortable,” recalls Zeenat.
“Krishna Shah was a very warm and hospitable man. I had great fun shooting Shalimar with him. My god, that was 35 years ago. It seems like yesterday,” she added.
The 61-year-old actor says Shalimar was made simultaneously in Hindi and English and with international stars of the calibre of Rex Harrison and Gina Lollobrigida.
“Of course, Gina later backed out, and we had Sylvia Miles instead. In fact, the film created a whole lot news and speculation even before we began shooting.”
“I remember we were in Bangalore for the shooting in two languages English and Hindi. Dharamji (her co-star Dharmendra) and I were burning the midnight oil. When we were not shooting, he was with his English tutor brushing up his English dialogues, and I was with my Hindi tutor improving my Hindi,” she recalled.
Zeenat says Krishna Shah always made sure “all of us were comfortable”. “He loved cinema. I remember once when we met, he spent considerable time speaking of my cameo in Bhopal Express. He would always be excited about the next film that he was doing, and then the one after that… He would discuss the movies he wanted me to be in.”
“Now of course, he must be discussing his plans elsewhere. Shalimar might not have worked at the box office, but the songs by RD Burman play on to this day. Songs like Aaina wohi rehta hai, Hum bewafaa hargiz na the and One two cha cha cha…,” Zeenat said.