Be it the charismatic young man holding a violin in ‘Karz’ or the quick-witted old man romancing a cut-out of Mandakini in ‘Kapoor and Sons’, Rishi Kapoor never failed to enthral audiences. Unfortunately, last year, the world lost this lovable actor. On the legend’s 69th birthday (September 04), we take a stroll down memory lane, remembering some of his most khlullam khulla statements from his biography, Khullam Khulla: Rishi Kapoor Uncensored’, available on Audible.in, and also look at what wife Neetu Kapoor and superstar son Ranbir Kapoor had to say about him too. Listen to the entire audiobook for much, much more!
Born with a silver spoon!
“I was born lucky and stayed lucky”, said actor Rishi Kapoor in his audiobook. The actor was not just another Kapoor man in the Raj Kapoor family; Rishi’s maternal side (Krishna Kapoor – Mother) of the family was also quite famous. Raisaheb Kartar Nath Malhotra (Krishna Kapoor’s father) was an inspector general of the Central Provinces. While remembering his childhood, the actor mentions, “My childhood was a dream, like an unending mela.” He further highlights how people from the film fraternity were constantly flowing in and out of his house. While Rishi has always been open about his family, he talks how Deewan Sahab was his favourite family member and is fond of his story of digging a tunnel to reach his girlfriend’s house. While the actor feels blessed to be a part of the Kapoor family, he also agrees that “Acting was in my blood and there was simply no escaping it.” To add to this, he says, “The Kapoors have also been proud of their profession.”
The love of his life: Neetu Kapoor
The actor remembers, “When I started dating Neetu, I didn’t formally speak to them (my family) about it but they sensed where I was headed. My father tactfully fended off all proposals by telling the family that I was seeing someone and that they presume I would be marrying her.”
And in Neetu Kapoor’s words? “I knew Rishi Kapoor well. I wanted to live with him and raise a family. I wanted this, despite the fact that he was the most troublesome boyfriend in town. He made me cry almost daily, but I still wanted to see him every day.” And later? “He is the most straightforward man there is. Though I admit, it’s not easy to get to know him…I truly believe I couldn’t have asked for a better man or a better life than I’ve had with him.”
Fact: Rishi and Neetu worked on 11 films together before they got married!
Being a proud father
Rishi Kapoor is blessed with two exceptional children: Riddhima Kapoor and Ranbir Kapoor. In the audiobook, the actor mentions how he is proud to have the two of them. He says, “Neetu and I were over the moon when Ridhima was born.” He further adds, “My father was delighted when Ranbir was born, his first and only proper grandson.” Through a series of stories, the actor mentions how like every other father, he has a special corner for his daughter (Riddhima Kapoor). He mentioned he quit smoking because Ridhima refused to kiss him because of the smell!
PS: Raj Kapoor, in his will, has left a family heirloom especially for Ranbir – A beautiful gold coin with inscription in Afghani and Peshawari script and a gold necklace!
The privileged second innings
The first half of Rishi Kapoor’s acting journey was filled with romantic hero roles. While discussing his roles in the second half of his career, he says, “There is a huge difference between what I was and what I am”. While talking about his role in Agneepath, he says that this was one of the roles that he had to prepare for. “I worked hard to transform my image, including my body language”. He also mentions that films like Do Duni Chaar, D-Day, Kapoor and Sons “tested my metal as an actor”.
Last but not least, here is what actor and son Ranbir Kapoor has to say about his father on this special occasion. The actor admires the three things that Rishi Kapoor gave him. First, his mother Neetu Kapoor. Second, how he was a good husband to his mother; while talking about this, he says, “None of the ups and downs could really touch us.” He adds, “He has been a good husband to my mother. My parents have had their fair share of intense fights, they have sulked with each other and all of that, but he truly loves my mother in a truly solid way.” Lastly, how he taught him to respect his work. Ranbir, through this audiobook also tells the listeners how he is inspired by his father. He says, “I saw his enthusiasm even at that age. He had it in him to better his craft.”