Swaroop Sampat remembers Sanjeev Kumar from his early days

Despite a relatively short life, thespian Sanjeev Kumar stood out for the range and diversity of his on-screen roles. In real life, too, he left an indelible imprint on the countless people he came across. Swaroop Sampat Rawal, who’s still remembered for her role in the sitcom “Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi”, is one of them.

“My father Bachu Sampat was a theatre veteran and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had tasked him with starting INT (Indian National Theatre). Those days, Sanjeev Kumar had just started out in Gujarati cinema and he used to call my father ‘boss’,” the actress-turned-educator, who was most recently seen in “Uri: The Surgical Strike”, recalled.

Swaroop Sampat was speaking at the book reading session of Reeta Ramamurthy Gupta and Uday Jariwala’s “Sanjeev Kumar – The Actor We All Loved” at the University of Mumbai’s Department of Communications and Journalism here on Tuesday.

Author Gupta added: “Students of cinema, journalism and indeed any kind of art will always find Sanjeev Kumar special – he was an iconoclast, a courageous risk taker and a stellar performer. It took him tremendous courage to grow from stunt films to other low-budget offerings to top-of-the-line cinema along the way, he battled depression and a heart disease that ran in his family, about which not much is spoken.”

Sanjeev Kumar’s cinema and personal tribulations are part of this biographical narrative that was officially released by Harper Collins on July 9, coinciding with the late actor’s birth anniversary.

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