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When Satyajit Ray played photographer to Shashi Kapoor

The legendary actor Soumitra Chatterjee paid tribute to Kapoor, sharing a picture of himself with the Hindi film star, shot by the great Satyajit Ray himself.

Photo: Soumitra Chatterjee / Facebook

Shriram Iyengar

Shashi Kapoor and Satyajit Ray never worked together, but actor Soumitra Chatterjee's recent Facebook post provides evidence that even Ray loved to capture the stylish demeanour of the Hindi film star in his camera.

Chatterjee, who worked with Ray on such classics as Apur Sansar (1959), Devi (1960), Charulata (1964) and Kapurush (1965), shared a picture of himself and Kapoor at the Berlin film festival in 1965, clicked by Ray himself.

The actor shared the post with the words, 'Deeply saddened at the demise of Shashi Kapoor, such a legendary actor. May his soul rest in peace.' The description below the picture reads: 'Photo taken at Berlin by Satyajit Ray in 1965'. 

Kapoor is pictured wearing a dapper suit and stylish Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses while Chatterjee is lounging around in fashionable style himself. The picture captures the seriousness and youth of Shashi Kapoor. 

The 1965 Berlin film festival was a special moment for Kapoor, whose Shakespeare Wallah (1965) was screened there. The film was one of the many Merchant-Ivory productions that Kapoor was part of. Shakespeare Wallah won Madhur Jaffrey a Silver Bear for Best Actress at the festival. 

The very same festival saw Ray's Charulata, starring Chatterjee, compete for the Best Film award. Ray won the Silver Bear for Best Director, and the OCIC award for Charulata.

While they never worked together, it is not impossible to imagine the genteel, urbane acting of Shashi Kapoor finding space in a Ray feature. That space though was occupied by Chatterjee, who embodied the vulnerable hero for Ray in 14 films.

As the world of Hindi cinema mourns the passing of Shashi Kapoor, the nostalgic moment shared by Soumitra Chatterjee is proof of how widespread the love for the actor really is.

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