The legendary Dharmendra who turns 82 on December 8 is in no mood for celebrations.
“Shashi (Kapoor) is gone. And I am in no mood to celebrate. I’ve told my family not to plan anything for my birthday. Dil nahin karta. Shashi was younger than me. We were friends and colleagues and I always admired his work, as he admired mine. It’s heart-breaking when a colleague and friend leaves,” Dharamji’s voice drops to a wistful low.
I remind the eternal matinee idol that Shashi Kapoor was suffering. “Yes, I know. The worst curse in old age is bad health. But knowing that a loved one is suffering does not take the pain away from your loss. That way I am selfish and very emotional. I want my loved ones around at any cost.”
Dharamji admits losing loved ones is his greatest fear. “Every time a colleague goes, I am overwhelmed with emotion. Shashi’s going has affected me deeply. I mourn for the loss of a friend. His family, specially his brother Raj Saab with whom I had the privilege of working in Mera Naam Joker, is very dear to me.”