'He could make you feel special just by the way he looked at you'
When it comes to Shammi Kapoor, I am not a journalist. Never was. I was just playacting as a journalist to get a chance to meet him.
At the risk of sounding scandalous, this was one man I'd have loved to have an affair with... and I wish I hadn't been a kid when he was playing hero.
But I will always be happy that I got an opportunity to tell him so. The response I got from him was a tolerant laugh. He must've heard these proposals a billion of times from women of all ages.
However, I got the next best thing: a very satisfying friendship with the actor. Once he understood that I was really crazy about him and knew practically all the shocking and amusing details of his life - culled religiously from his family and friends - he grinned at my gall and tolerated me.
The first time I met him was at RK studios where he was shooting a character role and I, a newbie journalist, was there to cover the shoot.
On spotting him sitting out a shot, I edged towards him and introduced myself. I remember him looking me up and down, and how I nearly died of mortification.
Shammi Kapoor had eyes like no other human being. He could make you feel special just by the way he looked at you.
That is not to say that that first look made me feel special - it just made me self conscious and fully aware of my jeans and turquoise blue T-shirt and the fact that I was too thin.
But after I got to talk to him, drool over him, and communicate my absolute adoration of him, something changed. It felt strangely special getting Shammi Kapoor to listen to how special I thought he was.
I went home walking on air.
A couple of months later I got an authentic assignment from a well known daily to interview him. I set up the meeting and went to his house.
What he didn't know was that I had visited his house several times as a kid, in his absence, and coerced his servants to give me photographs of him. So I was familiar with his home.
This time he invited me into a tiny room, his computer room, where he spent a lot of his time surfing the net in the days when surfing had not caught on in India. He proudly showed off his Mac and took me on a virtual tour of Paris to visit the fashion houses there.
I sat watching with fascination, occasionally pinching myself furtively to check if all this was for real.