Shammi Kapoor’s son says he became a ‘wounded animal’ after mother Geeta Bali’s death, father’s second wife made him ‘human’ again
Late actor Shammi Kapoor’s son, Aditya Raj Kapoor has recalled how his father’s second wife helped him get over the death of his mother, actor Geeta Bali. Aditya said that he became ‘a wounded, anguished, rebellious, howling animal’ in his youth and used to write ‘threatening letters’ to his father from boarding school.
In an interview, he credited his father’s second wife — Neela Devi — for helping him become a ‘human being’ again.
He told SpotboyE in an interview, “My mother Geeta Bali, an almost-uneducated woman, came to see me at the boarding school more often than my father. My mother had given up her career and my father’s had just started. So she had more time to visit me. My mother was the original Sridevi. She passed away when I was nine. The whole boarding school wept with me. She used to mother all my friends. Those were not easy years for me. Mom was gone. Dad had become so successful he had no time for me. Superstars today have organised lives. In my father’s time fans had no access to him through Internet, television or magazines. They’d barge into our home at any time. I was left with no space that I could call my own with my father.”
Calling Neela Devi his ‘second mother’, Aditya continued, “It was Neela Devi who made that space for me in our home. She devoted her life to my father, decided not to have any kids of her own because my sister and me were already there. No Hindu woman would do this. From boarding school I used to write threatening letters to my father. I used to tell him that I’d run away from school. I told him he could marry any woman he wanted. But I had to have a mother. Neela Devi filled that gap. She turned me from a wounded, anguished, rebellious, howling animal to a human being. Just goes to show, that a mother makes the family. But I never stopped missing my mother Geeta Bali. My first and second mothers were different people.”
Aditya was poised to make his acting debut when, based on the advice of his ‘guruji’, he decided to turn his back on the film industry. He returned to Mumbai in his 50s, and said that his father took on the role of his mentor, as he would have several years ago, if Aditya had entered the film business like him. Aditya has appeared in films such as Diwangi Ne Had Kar Di (2010), Isi Life Mein (2010), Say Yes to Love (2012) and Yamla Pagla Deewana 2 (2011). He also appeared in Ashutosh Gowariker’s series, Everest.
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