Anil Kapoor said on Saturday that celebrated actor Sanjeev Kumar’s creative collaboration with veteran filmmaker-lyricist Gulzar was comparable to the iconic pairing of Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro.

Kumar, real name Haribhai Jariwala, is widely regarded as one of India’s greatest actors. He worked with Gulzar on some of the filmmaker’s most acclaimed feature films, including Mausam, Aandhi, Angoor, Koshish, and Parichay.

Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, New York, New York, and Raging Bull were all released by Scorsese and De Niro around the same time.

Anil Kapoor stated that the first film he saw as a child was Sanjeev Kumar’s 1968 title Raja Aur Runk, and he has been a huge fan of his work ever since.

“I have seen every performance he did, from Dastak to Koshish, Sholay, Anamika to Manchali, and especially all the films he did with Jaya Bachchan ji.” Gulzar sahab directed many films with Haribhai. “It was like Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro,” Kapoor said at the book’s launch.

The biography, which was published on the late actor’s 84th birthday on Saturday, was co-written by biographer Reeta Ramamurthy Gupta and Kumar’s nephew Uday Jariwala.

Another link between Martin Scoresese and Sanjeev Kumar is that Satyajit Ray’s Shatranj Ke Khilari, in which the actor played a pivotal role, was included in the Hollywood filmmaker’s list of “40 films that one must watch before they die,” according to Gupta.

According to Kapoor, the 1977 film, based on Munshi Premchand’s short story of the same name, was his first introduction to Lucknow.

“I was in Lucknow two or three days ago, and I’ve never shot (for a film) here, but I remember Lucknow from Shatanj Ke Khilari.” “One of the greatest filmmakers, Satyajit Ray, made his first Hindi film, and he cast Sanjeev Kumar,” he added.

The actor expressed gratitude for having made his debut as a cameo in Kumar’s 1979 film Hamare Tumhare.

One of the most important lessons he learned from Kumar was that “there are no small or large roles.”

“That was the start of my career.” He taught me that there are no small or large roles. And if you have talent, even in a minor role, you will be noticed. In the same way, I began my career with small steps.

The Jugjugg Jeeyo star also reminisced the friendship Sanjeev Kumar shared with his father, filmmaker Surinder Kapoor, and cinema icon Shammi Kapoor.

“They were all drinking buddies.” My father and Haribhai both liked to drink. Shammi uncle used to throw a lot of parties at his Malabar Hill home, and Haribhai would come.”

By Piya

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