Sunday 20 January 2008

Documenting Beauty: An Objectification of Shashi Kapoor, Or, The Tenets of Shashism

It only took one comment from Beth to tip the PPCC over into madness: yes, we thought, yes, why not, dammit! Why can't we document in painstaking, embarrassing detail all that we love and covet of Shashi Kapoor? With the same celebrity worship that Bridget Jones has for Colin Firth, we too can have journal entry upon journal entry of schoolgirl gushing for the god of our idolatry. We're not worthy!

Let us hence enlist all that we love of Balbir Raj Kapoor, third son of Prithviraj, better known as Shashi.

1. When Shashi smiles, golden rays of the sun shoot from his teeth.

A lightbulb is not a good metaphor, because the power of Shashi's smile surpasses even the strongest, eco-friendliest lightbulb. This is not megawatt, this is ultraviolet. It is rumored that Hema Malini got a bad case of sunburn thanks to Shashi's smile during the making of Janemaan Tum Kamaal Karti Ho in Trishul. After rushing her to the hospital for third-degree burns, she had to go through a week-long regimen of moisturizer and unattractive peeling (hence why she wears such a modest outfit throughout the song). To prevent this from happening again, Shashi was asked to refrain from brushing his teeth for the making of the song in the hope that some plaque would dim the smile. Unfortunately, it did not, as Shashi does not develop plaque.

Scientists are still unsure as to where the powerful light comes from, as Shashi's smile is only meant to be viewed using special sunglasses and even then, most scientists faint at the sight of it, but many theories indicate that it is, indeed, originating in the canines.

2. The croaky-sexy Shashi voice has been known to be more effective than hypnosis and more pleasurable than the consumption of opiates.

While many believe that Frank Herbert was inspired by Alfred Korzybski's General Semantics in the writing of Dune, legend has it that Mr. Herbert actually watched Aa Gale Lag Jaa shortly before he started his novel. Mr. Herbert was so compelled by Shashi Kapoor's voice (particularly in the scene when the latter, "Aur teri khubsoorat khubsoorat Mummy-ka.") that he caught fire and, like Hema Malini, had to be rushed to the hospital and doused in extinguisher. After coming to and recovering from his burns, Mr. Herbert then realized the power of The Voice, and decided to model the hypnotic powers of Lady Jessica's and Paul Atreides' "Bene Gesserit" voice in Dune on Shashi's vocal acrobatics. Examples of the original Voice can be found throughout the late 1970s-early 1980s canon: Kabhi Kabhie ("Poojaaa.", "Kya baa-aat hai, beta?"), Silsila ("Mere bhaaai hai."), and so forth.

3. Shashi's designer curls have healing properties.

Not many know that the ancient herb, myrrh, was actually just an extract from Shashi Kapoor's hair clippings. When Achilles' lover, Patroclus, was killed in the Battle of Troy, Achilles demanded that his lovers' body be wrapped in myrrh. Since myrrh was so difficult to obtain (it required Shashi to get a haircut), Achilles had to wait until the making of Namak Halaal, when Shashi shed his 1970s godly locks and went for a more conventional 1980s style. Similarly, the curls in Shashi's hairstyle are often used as the yardstick against which geometric properties are measured; for example, it was not until Archimedes was watching Immaan Dharam that he discovered the formula for the area of a circle. Leonardo da Vinci modelled many of his drawings on Shashi, and the famed picture of a man standing in a circle is actually (an admittedly poorly rendered) Shashi standing inside a perfect curl of Shashi's hair.

4. The way Shashi wobbles his head has inspired a new form of yoga.

With the increasing popularity of Hatha yoga in the West, not many practitioners realize that many of the original moves were modelled on Shashi's powerful and compelling body language. Even though most red-blooded human beings as well as several species of birds cannot withstand the power of Shashi when he wobbles his head, and more often they are rendered immobile and coma-like by it, ancient yogis deep in the Himalayas have discovered that wobbling your head the way Shashi does (left-right, just so) not only improves blood flow to the brain but also enhances your sense of smell. Thanks to the yogi's many years of deep spiritual practice and mental discipline, they were able to maintain consciousness even in the face of Shashi's head-wobbling just long enough that they could see how he did it (left-right, just so). They were then rendered immobile and coma-like, with several catching fire.

5. Like Schroedinger's cat, direct observation of Shashi Kapoor influences the Power and possibly leads to the exponential implosion of the universe.

In the United States, the FDA has issued a warning label which will soon be printed on Shashi Kapoor DVDs: "Watching Shashi Kapoor is dangerous to your health." This is due to the many documented cases of unknowing viewers catching fire at the sight of a head-shake or a good dance shuffle. Scientists recently discovered the alarming fact that watching Shashi Kapoor DVDs changes the very nature of those DVDs, hence leading to the exponentially-increasing probability of the universe imploding on itself like how the Witch King does in Lord of the Rings. A convention is hence being organized: "Beware the Temptation: How to Look Away." Most Shashist academics think this is futile.


Janeheiress said...

Okay, I'm nearly convinced. What movie would you recommend someone who hasn't watched a Bollywood film more than 14 years old to start with?

Beth Loves Bollywood said...

As editor of the Journal of Shashist Studies, I am pleased to know of thorough research in our area of interest, and in my capacity as International Relations Minister of Shashi Pradesh I must state heart-felt appreciation for a work that will surely add to the efficiency of the mission of my office.

a ppcc representative said...

JaneHeiress: In terms of pure Shashiness, Aa Gale Lag Jaa is a good introduction. A friend of mine described it as "Shashi Heaven" and OMG it is. In terms of Shashi within a larger framework of a quality film, Kaala Patthar is a personal favorite. A lot of people also like him in Kabhi Kabhie, but that movie never did it for me.

Ed. JSS and Honorable Minister: Thanks! Anything to further the cause!

Bollyviewer said...

Hi There! I discovered your blog a few weeks ago and have enjoyed all your posts - especially this one.

It does a great job of documenting the effects of Shashimania. But in the hazardous effects you have missed out on a few things that I would like to point out:

Hazardous effect 1
Watching Shashi Kapoor movies is not just injurious to health it is extremely addictive. One Shashi movie leads to a craving for one more and then one more and so on....

Hazardous effect 2
This is actually a side-effect of the previous one - the addiction leads to lowering of movie viewing standards. The subject is willing to watch any crappy movie with Shashi in it (and he has several of those!).

For those of you who can bear to watch Shashi Kapoor sans his curls may I recommend some of his earlier films with Sharmila Tagore namely "Aamne Saamne" where you suspect him of trying to kill her, "My Love " a cute love story set in Kenya and "Suhana Safar" - an adaptation of the 1936 Clark Gable classic "It Happened One Night" The movies are watchable just for the beautiful lead pair alone!

Beth Loves Bollywood said...

Anamika - well said! I have experienced these phenomena, and as you say, the effects can be grave indeed.

Also, check it:

Beth Loves Bollywood said...

Ironically, a basically unrelated search for something I wanted to reference in my writeup of Pyar Ka Mausam has led me to this - which was much deserving of revisiting, to be sure - and I enjoyed the reminder of Hazardous Effect 2, which, by having watched Pyar Ka Mausam, I am currently suffering. I'm sure there is worse out there to encounter, but it is certainly very low on my Shashi list.

How is is that I have not caught fire or been blinded yet? How is it the PPCC hasn't? Or perhaps the PPCC has and recovering from said incident(s) is why the PPCC has been relatively low profile lately?

Anonymous said...

Oh, how I love this post! Any time I'm having a tough day, I just click over here and get a lovely dose of wonders! I totally agree that "Aamne Samne" is beyond awesome. PPCC please review it! :D

ad libber said...

My love for this post knows no bounds. I have been happily sharing this with any friends of mine beginning to fall into the clutches of gasping Shashi-love, and just want to thank you for this delightful post.

Unknown said...

I absolutely loved reading this blog post... I have only recently caught shashites ( after watching Bombay talkie and shakesphere walla, hez sooo drool worthy gorgeous) n Anamika u so darn rt about watching the shitty movies just for the sake of watching him in action,
My Spotify history has variation of Sashi searches, just to hear his voice when I can't c his face ������ I sooo enjoyed the scientific evidence to support ur theories.... u rock gal!!