Kidar Sharma slapped Raj Kapoor, when he was his assistant, before casting him in his film.

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In the book, Raj Kapoor Speaks, Kapoor’s daughter Ritu Nanda recounted the incident told to her by her father. “One of my tasks was to give the clap before every shot. I had a good vibe with camera man, and he had agreed to take a close-up of me before every shot and give me the photographs. I used to comb my hair immaculately and then bend my face a little forward over the clapper-board to get a nice close-up. No one had noticed this till, one day, I clapped hard and moved away as usual, but this time the actor’s beard got caught between the clapper-board and the stick. The entire unit burst out laughing and a furious Sharmaji gave me a stinging slap on the face. I was stunned… but I never said a word; I knew the mistake was mine. I walked quietly off the set. As a result of this episode, I got my first lead role. Sharma-ji later said, ‘I was struck by the depth and pain in those intense eyes.’”

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Celebrating Cinema

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