Shashi Kapoor laid to rest with state honors

The body of late actor-filmmaker Shashi Kapoor being taken for cremation in Mumbai. Photo: IANS

Mumbai: The skies opened up Tuesday as legendary Bollywood actor Shashi Kapoor, the romantic screen icon of the 70s and 80s, was cremated with state honors at the Santacruz Hindu crematorium.

The actor passed away Monday evening at the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital here. He was 79.

Shashi Kapoor was given a state funeral, which was held amid massive security around 12 noon.

The actor-producer's body was taken to the crematorium from his Juhu home in an ambulance at 11.45 am.

His three children - sons Kunal and Karan and daughter Sanjna - were present along with the other members of the Kapoor family and scores of film personalities to bid farewell to the actor who straddled the worlds of commercial and art house cinema.

About a dozen policemen draped the actor's body in tricolor, which was later removed for the rituals. There were three rounds of fire to honor the late actor, who spent more than four decades in Hindi cinema.

This was followed by a minute's silence. The actor's body was given an electric cremation.

Crowds pour in

Hundreds of fans with umbrellas and raincoats gathered at the crematorium, undeterred by the warnings of a cyclone and heavy rain.

Celebrities including Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan, Shyam Benegal, Shah Rukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Ayan Mukherji, Hansal Mehta, Nandita Das, Lara Dutta with husband Mahesh Bhupati, and Maharashtra politician Ramdas Athawale paid their respects to the actor.

Writer Salim Khan, who gave Shashi Kapoor the iconic one-line "Mere paas ma hai" in Deewar along with Javed Akhtar, was also present.

An emotional Amitabh, who also visited the veteran actor's residence to pay their respects, was seen hugging the actor's family members.

Sanjay Dutt, Naseeruddin Shah, Anil Kapoor and Aamir Khan were resent for a prayer meet earlier in the day.

Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Poonam Dhillon, Shakti Kapoor, Dev Mukherjee, Sachin Pilgaonkar, Seema Pahwa, Supriya Pathak, Suresh Oberoi and Saroj Khan were also present at the cremation.

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