The Kapoor Family Site by Shammi Kapoor

Libra Syndrome

The Libra Syndrome

I have never been too shy in admitting about the number of times I have fallen from the cycle, tripped over a stone on the road and twisted my ankle, or in trying to jump over the railing of the five gardens in Matunga I broke a bone of my left arm, that was the second time; the first was when we were racing down the lane on roller skates and I tripped over the gutter cover and broke both the bones of my left arm. You see, I was born in October--a Libran.

Listed below are some such incidents which are not vaguely remembered:

While playing on the terrace of a house in Kolhapur, while running fast I slipped and dashed against the low parapet and cracked my shin bone. It was excruciatingly painful.

While burning fireworks on Diwali day at our house in Matunga, I lit a mirchi phataka which got into my shorts and I ducked under a truck parked near our house. As the cracker travelled up my pant I jumped up and cracked my skull against the underside of the truck.

While on a holiday trip to Bhabhiji's home town Rewa, I went horse riding with Rajindernath, Bhabhiji's brother. My horse got frightened by an Alsatian dog barking and chasing us downhill and he ran away with me shrieking on top of my voice. We dashed against a brick wall and I landed on my back on top of a heap of stones. When I returned to Bombay after being away for over a month, I had grown taller by 31\2 inches. Some fall that!

Once on a date with a starlet of some beauty, I picked her up from her Hotel Sea Belle on Marine Drive, and took a turn round to head for the suburbs. I thought a quite dinner at the Juhu Hotel and a romp on the sands would be ideal and not too expensive. But things did not work out that cheap. While driving with one hand on the wheel, the other across the damsel and my eyes God knows on what, I dashed into the gas ladders kept by the roadside to ignite and repair the road lights. The whole ladder fell on the open car and we could not fathom out what hit us. Luckily there was no body hurt but the damage to the car was extensive. I took a turn to leave the girl when I heard the police sirens and they chased me to the hotel where I dropped my date. The police officer understood my plight and took me in his police van to my residence at Matunga.

While shooting for "Tumsa Nahin Dekha", a junior artiste was doubling for me in a horse chase. I did not like his style of handling the animal and offered to do the shot myself. I was in the lead being chased by three horsemen. Just on the top of the hillock my horse tripped and I went over him, again on my back and the other horses went over me but without treading upon me. I was bedridden for a fortnight.

Before starting "Dil Deke Dekho," I did a reading stint. Ayn Rand, the author of "Fountainhead" had written a new book called "Atlas Shrugged." It was a massive novel comprising some 2000 pages and I was bent upon doing a start to finish job. It took me 36 hours of non-stop reading but left me with a kidney ailment. I do not know how the two are connected but the pain was excruciating. After all the medicines failed to give me relief, it took a homeopath, Dr.Sinha to help me out. He gave me some pills and a pethidine injection to abate the suffering. I passed out and due to pain, woke up in the middle of the night. So that I may gain some respite from my predicament I lit a cigarette and in the middle of a soothing puff, passed out again. When I woke up the next morning my kidney trouble had vanished; instead there was sharp, shooting pain in my right arm. The cigarette had burnt a hole in the dunlop pillow and my arm had sizzled like a steak while I slept under the dope effect. I have a huge beauty scar in that memory.

After finishing the first shooting schedule of "Ujala" at 3 AM I sat down with the unit to kill a bottle of Scotch. After a couple of hours Naresh Saigal, the Director of the movie and I left for home in my jeep. Near the crossroad of Chembur a bus drove in fast from the left, denying me my right of access. I suppose it being a very early hour we both thought we had the roads to ourselves and before either one of us could apply the brakes; we collided. I flew through the windscreen and Naresh was struck on the forehead by the dashboard and he passed out. I had a deep gash on my forehead and the blood was flowing beautifully. I managed to get to a phone in someone's flat nearby and I rang Geeta. When she heard what had happened she shrieked then took control of herself and said she would drive down immediately. While I was speaking on the phone the flat owner brought a pail and kept it under my head so the blood dripping from my forehead would not soil his carpet. There is a curved mark on my forehead where Dr. Charley Pinto patched me with 25 stitches and he was mighty proud of his craftsmanship. He was not a Plastic Surgeon but he had done a better job than the best of them.

I was doing a song number for a Madras production called "Pyar Kiya Tho Darna Kya". I was doing the twist on the bonnet of a moving car and as I reached the peak of my movement the driver applied the brakes of the car suddenly and I went overboard. The car came to a halt with my neck just a few inches away from it's front tyre. Some twist this Eh!

While shooting at the Sun & Sand Hotel pool for "Budtameez" I was doing a dive when I saw a very pretty girl walk up to the pool. However before I could bring my face back from her and concentrate on the jump I had overrun the diving plank and landed flat on my chest. The performance was very shameful and the pretty girl did not think it worth her while to give me a second look. Three days latter I complained of a dreadful heart attack type pain in my chest and I immediately drove up to my mother's place and told her I was having an attack. She sent for the doctor who after going through my history of activities in the past week called for Xrays to be taken. Apparently I had cracked three ribs and unaware of this mishap I had been working and gallivanting all these days as usual. This was not the only time that such an incident occurred.

I went to the marriage reception of my partner's son and had a scuffle with another partner over some very irritating incident. The next day I felt a stinging pain in my calf muscle so I had an Xray taken with a portable machine at home. It was a foggy print and did not show anything amiss. The pain seemed to abate after a few days so I did not bother about it any more. I was directing a film called "Bundelbaaz" and continued my activities as usual. However every now and then I used to get a shooting pain at the same spot whenever I touched it. I went for a long outdoor shooting stint to Kashmir in winter and walking in the snow was rather painful. When I came back to Bombay I went to Dr. Dholakia, a very prominent orthopaedist. He took some Xrays and informed me that I had been living all this while with a broken bone. It had perhaps not registered on the portable machine I had used at home. He also said there was no sense in plastering the bone now since it was joining up on it's own. That is nature for you. I sure spent some very painful moments all those months going about with a broken Tibia.

It is often said that I had broken practically all the window panes of the Palace Oberoi Hotel in Srinagar, Kashmir. This is not true, but I have had some very close encounters with glass. I have many scars on my body including one on my bottom which I got when someone pushed me and I fell on a glass table. I had to take 3 stitches. Once at the Srinagar airport I broke the panes of the bathroom window because I did not want to leave for Bombay. Another time while in Srinagar for "Janwar" I got into a bad mood because someone I knew as a friend started abusing me in a inebriated state. I thought if I hit him I might kill him so I struck my fist through the window of the President Suite of the Palace Hotel. As I pulled my fist back through the broken glass I severely lacerated my hand and cut open an artery. I could feel the blood gushing and that was a very near thing. I lost consciousness and at that late hour a doctor was summoned by that very same friend. He saved my life. I took 8 stitches but due to a cut tendon would never have any movement in the little finger of my right hand. There are a lot of stitches on my body and most are the result from cuts I received from glass.

My knee trouble started in 1964. I was shooting for "Raj Kumar" in Ooty. I was singing a song seated on an elephant and to steady my self on it's bareback I entwined my feet in the rope tied round it's neck. At some time during the shot the elephant started twisting it's neck and I could not extract my right leg from it's neck. That I think was the beginning. I must have torn some tissue or ligament but I did not take any notice at that moment. The next day we went to Bangalore where I was to shoot for "Kashmir Ki Kali". I started feeling a shooting pain in my right knee and inspite of this I went for the climax fight at Khemmangundi (some iron ore depot where they had a rope trolley) and while hanging from it I was supposed to jump on the villain's back. In so doing I landed on my right foot and the pain I felt in my knee was something I cannot define. I though I had broken my leg. They carried me to a car and sent me back to the hotel where a doctor examined it and said I had strained my knee cartilage. I came back to Bombay and after a few days rest again reported for the shooting of "Kashmir Ki Kali" climax which was being filmed in a wood cutting factory. I was supposed to be in a jeep which comes crashing through the glass door and I jump out and give chase to the villain. This is when I broke my cartilage for the first time. After this there was an unbroken period when I was often laid up in bed with a broken cartilage for a couple of weeks. One time I was doing a song number for "Laatsaheb" in Mahabaleshwar. To suit my action to lyrics I jumped from a height into a pond only to land on a square piece of rock which was hidden under the water. I cracked both my knees. Another time , while shooting for "Tumse Accha Kaun Hai", I jumped over a barbed wire, a ditch and a small stream to land on the cemented road. I slipped, fell on my knees and from there I was back on my bed for another bout with the Irani bone setter who was treating me. This was perhaps one of the biggest blunder I committed. I should have consulted a professional orthopaedist.

IS THERE SOMETHING TO BEING A LIBRAN !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!