Veteran actor Rishi Kapoor has opened up about the colorful life of his father, filmmaker Raj Kapoor in his soon-to-be released autobiography, saying he loved his cinema, booze, and his leading ladies. Titled, 'Khullam Khulla: Rishi Kapoor Uncensored', the tell-all book sees the 'Bobby' actor talking about his father's affairs with co-actors and his passion for films, besides capturing the evolution of their father-son relationship.
Rishi practically begins the book talking about his father’s affair with yesteryears’ actor Nargis Dutt, who together, he writes, continue to be widely acknowledged as the most iconic pair onscreen. “My father, Raj Kapoor, was 28 years old and had already been hailed as the ‘showman of Hindi cinema’ four years before.
“He was also a man in love – at the time, unfortunately, with someone other than my mother. His girlfriend was the leading lady of some of his biggest hits of the time, including Aag (1948), Barsaat (1949) and Awara (1951).” Rishi writes that Nargis was Raj Kapoor’s “in-house heroine” and was understandably immortalised in the RK Studios emblem.
The 64-year-old actor has also shed light on the relationship his father shared with co-star Vyajanthimala, who had denied having an affair with the actor. He writes, “I remember moving into the Natraj Hotel on Marine Drive with my mom during the time Papa was involved with Vyjayanthimala.
“From the hotel, we shifted for two months into an apartment in Chitrakoot. My father had bought the apartment for Mom and us. He did all he could to woo her back, but my mother wouldn’t give in until he had ended that chapter of his life.” He remembers getting “livid” when Vyjayanthimala claimed that his father had “manufactured the romance because of his hunger for publicity”. “She had no right to distort facts just because he was no longer around to defend the truth...But I can say with absolute certainty that if Papa had been alive, she wouldn’t have denied the affair so blatantly or called him publicity hungry,” Rishi writes in the book.
In a cheek-in-tongue observation, the Karz actor also reveals his father’s fascination for a particular brand of whisky, which he refused to share. “My father loved his cinema, his booze, his leading ladies and his work. But for a man legendary for his hospitality, he was very possessive of his whisky.
“When we started drinking together, for him it was always Johnny Walker Black Label bought in London, while we were served locally procured whisky,” he writes, adding that “heaps of unopened Black Label bottles stashed away in his cupboards” were recovered after Raj Kapoor passed away. Much like his own relationship with son Ranbir Kapoor, Rishi too shared a bond with his father that was one of reverence. He says that it evolved from being driven by fear to one laden with “an indescribable love and respect that just kept growing”.
“When I finally got over the fear of my father, it was replaced by an indescribable love and respect that just kept growing, especially after I had the opportunity to work closely with him. “For me, Raj Kapoor was both father and guru, the person who taught me everything I know about my craft. I worked with him in three movies the most for any actor after Nargis-ji,” he writes in the book.
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