New Delhi: Naseeruddin Shah, the ace Bollywood
actor, while congratulating the newly appointed Vice Chancellor of
AMU – Gen. Zameeruddin Shah expressed full confidence in his
ability to bring about the much desired change in AMU.
Shah is two years younger to Gen. Zameeruddin Shah and greatly
lauds some of the positive traits in his character.
Determination, Naseer feels, is one of the great qualities of his elder brother’s
character which makes him achieve what he wishes to achieve.
Naseeruddin Shah feels that his elder brother's determined approach
to change his own self after appointment in the NDA inspired him
to become a better actor. In his views given about Gen. Shah,
Naseeruddin Shah says that Zameer changed completely as a person
after he went to NDA (the National Defense Academy in Pune).
“The change in Zameer, changed, or
rather straightened out, my life too. He almost became austere in
his ways, which he still is today. I was really inspired by the
determination with which he quit his old habits and thinking. And
I figured that if I focused in the same way on my acting, I could
make a serious career of it too. His being a good soldier inspired
me to be a good actor", Naseer says.
Recounting those early days of childhood, Naseeruddin Shah says:
“Zameer is two years elder to me. Since my mother was unwell
when he was born, he was sent to live in our village, Sardhana,
near Meerut, and was brought up by an aunt of ours. He came to
live with us only when he was around four years old, and I was
two. Then, when I was 5 and Zameer, 7, we both were sent to
boarding school, St Joseph School, in Nainital.”
Naseeruddin Shah further says: “In fact, I don’t know whether I’d
have been an actor if it hadn’t been for my brothers. Were it not
for the two of them (the other being Zaheer), I’d have probably
lost faith in myself. They were the only people in the world I
could talk to about my acting aspirations. They were the only ones
who listened to me, and didn’t laugh at me. Today, they do watch
most of my films and, I believe, are proud of me.”
Naseeruddin Shah was interviewed by Piali Banerjee when
Gen. Shah became the Deputy Chief of Army Staff. Recounting those
days when Zameeruddin Shah joined the NDA, then went to fight the
1971 war and then went on to become the Deputy Chief of Staff,
Naseeruddin Shah had said: “Soon after his graduation from NDA,
Zameer went away to fight in the Longewala battle in the 1971 war.
And that’s a period in his life that’s more or less blank for me.
I was scared, of course, at that time, but I was more interested
in knowing all the details about what was going on at the war-front.
"Meanwhile, my parents reacted in their own ways. My dad had
a ball worrying, my mother retreated into prayer. Even now, Zameer
never talks about those war days. If I ask him questions, he only
answers in monosyllables, so now I’ve learned to leave him alone.
They must be his private memories, which he’ll talk about whenever
“So, I guess, we’re close in a way, but not so close in other
ways. We don’t meet often, but when we do, we pick up from where
we left off. Since neither Zameer nor I are too fond of talking,
we communicate in other ways, like playing tennis, or going riding
“Zameer follows a typical military discipline. Even on holidays,
he is almost always erect, and maintains his regular routine.
Yeah, he can be rather funny when he wants to be but nowadays, as
a general, he is almost always surrounded by people and does have
an image to live up to. “
Right now, of course, he has a good life. A big house, plenty of
staff… In fact, I’ve got to see plenty of interesting places,
where I wouldn’t otherwise have gone, because of his postings.
However, what’s interesting is that Zameer is very aware of what a
general’s life is, after retirement. He has seen his seniors go
through it, and is well-prepared. In that sense, he is a true
Gen. Zameeruddin Shah’s relationship with the Bollywood actor
Naseeruddin Shah has always been a matter of interest for people.
In one article written by Gen. Shah in an army magazine, he
mentioned six questions that are most frequently asked about
brother Naseeruddin Shah. The most popular among them was, “Is
Naseeruddin Shah your real brother?"