While Jeetendra recalls Sridevi, son Tusshar remembers equation with father

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Jetendra and son Tusshar Kapoor. Photo: Genesis BCW

In two back-to-back episodes of Zee TV’s long-running reality show, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Li’l Champs, father Jeetendra and son Tusshar Kapoor, respectively, were guests, and they both went down memory lane, Jeetendra on one of his favorite and most successful co-stars, Sridevi, and his son on his famous dad himself.

The special episode Dancing Heroes featured Jeetendra, and as two of the contestants danced to his Himmatwala hit song, Taki o taki, the actor fondly recalled his co-star, Sridevi.

Said Jeetendra, “Sridevi was a truly great artiste. I still remember that whenever I used to rehearse with her, she would get all the steps right immediately. On the other hand, I needed at least six to seven rehearsals. To make it easier for her, I used to tell her that I will practice with the choreographer, but she was so humble and kind that she insisted on doing the practice with me as many times as needed to get my steps right. That was the kind of respect she gave me.”

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Sridevi made her Hindi debut in the 1975 Julie as a child artiste and in the 1978 Solva Sawan, but her first Hindi hit that set her on the path to superstardom in Hindi cinema was Himmatwala in 1983. After this, she became a hit team with Jeetendra, and even did two of his home productions, Sarfarosh (1985) and Aag Aur Shola (1986), which did not get success. They also co-starred in other hits and successes like Justice Chowdhury, Mawaali, Tohfa and Ghar Sansar and worked in a total of 16 films romantically and one film, Maqsad, where she was teamed with Rajesh Khanna while Jeetendra was paired with Jayaprada.

In the next episode, Fathers—The Superheroes, wherein Tusshar Kapoor was one of the guests, the actor’s revelation on his bond with his father Jeetendra left everyone in awe. The Mujhe Kucch Kehna Hai-Khakee-Kyaa Kool Hain Hum—Golmaal franchise-The Dirty Picture actor stated, “I am a 1980s kid, so there has always been a sense of respect for my father. But as decades passed, and when I became an actor, papa and I always had so much to talk and share about. He used to give me advice on improving my acting skills. The respect I have for him is irreplaceable and will always be there. Regardless, I must mention that it took me decades to become friends with my father.”

This was obviously because Jeetendra was at his peak in the phase and barely had time to meet his children—Tusshar and also TV czarina Ektaa R. Kapoor— and most of his films would be shot in Chennai.

Jeetendra and Tusshar have co-starred briefly only once, in their 2003 slasher film, Kucch To Hai, in which the senior actor had played a cameo as Tusshar’s father. The film was produced by Jeetendra’s wife, Shobha Kapoor, and Ektaa.

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