Shimla, once the summer capital of the British once used to be a quaint little hill station, elegant, cool and almost poetic. A friend who visited the the town in the lower Himalayas said that the small town feel is long gone and it is an over commercialized tourist destination. I guess, with time everything changes.
The conversation, however made me think about the North Indian hill stations – Kashmir, Kasuli, Dharamsala, Mussorie and Nainital. I visited them either as a kid, or a teen or a college student. But most of my memories of these places are cinematic. Shimla, for instance is etched in my memory thanks to a movie called Kudrat. (See video at the very bottom of the post.)
Other locales are fresh in my head, thanks to my love for movies by Indian actor Shammi Kapoor, who was like Elvis Presley of India. He even had Elvis’ moves down pat. His movies, almost always had him in some lovely hill station, trying to woo a lovely young lady. The music was so much fun. One of my favorite movies starring Shammi Kapoor was Professor, though I loved Tumsa Nahin Dekha and Junglee. I still love his movies and well now have built up a digital collection, which is how I remember summer vacation spots in India.
Check out some of the videos I found on YouTube. You can read more about him on Wikipedia. Back when I was a general reporter in India, I got to meet Mr. Kapoor and interviewed him for The Sunday Mail. It is one of the best days of my life. in the pre-web days. (How I wish I could get hold of the archives of that paper!) Why did I end up writing this post? Maybe as an example of how places, people and memories are intertwined with movies and other aspects of popular culture. Anyway enjoy the videos 🙂
Chhodo Sanam Kaahe ka Gam, Kudrat – Hindi Song – Hema Malini @ Yahoo! Video