Srinagar (NVI): Junaid Shah, Ranbir Kapoor’s doppelganger, passed away after a cardiac arrest at his residence in Ellahi Bagh area of Srinagar this morning, leaving family and friends in deep shock.
Junaid shot to fame due to his uncanny resemblance to ‘Rockstar’ and ‘Barfi’ actor Ranbir Kapoor. The 28-year-old had recently returned to the Valley to take care of his ailing father.
At the age of eight, Junaid developed interests in acting and mimicking Bollywood actors. At his school in Srinagar, he was known for his stylish looks, especially for his hairstyle. His friends would often call him “hero”.
With his age, Junaid Shah, a resident of Elahibagh, Soura on Srinagar outskirts, grew up tall, handsome, and fairly smart. At the age of 20, he started getting offers to play in drama serials and small plays. With his parents’ consent, he traveled to Delhi and then Mumbai.
On his 21st birthday, people started calling him a replica of Bollywood star Ranbir Kapoor and rightly so. At times, many people would identify him as Ranbir. “Even people from the film industry wouldn’t believe he wasn’t Ranbir. His hairstyle, height, smile, skin color, all was the same as that of Ranbir,” said Raees, Junaid’s close friend in Srinagar, who traveled to Mumbai many times to spend time with his friend in the past.
Junaid was busy in choosing the best of the offers he had got from various television channels and even from some well-known film directors for his role in some movies. After a call from his family recently, he had to return to Srinagar as his father was not keeping well.
“We called him back as my health started falling. He told me he was coming. I never knew he is coming to leave us forever,” said Nisar Ahmed Shah, Junaid’s ailing father, in a broken voice. Junaid went to sleep late last evening after having a chat with his family members in Srinagar, never to wake up again, leaving his family members, neighbours, friends and a huge chunk of Bollywood industry in a deep shock and grief. According to doctors and family sources, Junaid died of sudden massive cardiac arrest.
The family’s former neighbour and veteran Kashmir journalist, Yusuf Jameel said that Junaid died due to “massive cardiac arrest overnight.” “Our old neighbor Nissar Ahmed Shah’s son Junaid passed away due to massive cardiac arrest overnight. People say he was a lookalike of Bollywood actor Ranbir Kapoor. I say he was a big hope, strength & salvation of his ailing father and his mother and that of the whole Kashmir. Magfirah!” Jameel tweeted.
Junaid had gained popularity way back in 2012-2014 when his pictures went viral with people comparing him to Ranbir. Junaid also featured on many TV channels, including Zoom TV, MTV and Zee TV. He became popular after young Kashmiris widely shared his pictures with Ranbir Kapoor on Facebook.
He became an instant hit not only among the Valley youth, but all over the country. Ranbir’s late father and Bollywood veteran Rishi Kapoor too had reacted to his picture on Twitter. “OMG. My own son has a double!!! Promise cannot make out. A good double,” Rishi had tweeted.
When the news of Junaid’s death spread this morning, a pall of gloom descended on his family, neighborhood and friends, who flooded his Srinagar residence. He was later laid to rest at his native place in Srinagar.