‘It was always ‘See you soon’, ‘Just a routine visit to the hospital’, ‘I will be back shortly’.’
‘I never visited him in hospital. I never wanted to see distress on his smiling, cherubic, face.’
Amitabh Bachchan broke the news of Rishi Kapoor’s sad demise on social media.
Amitabh and Rishi — born 10 years, one month and seven days apart — worked in several memorable movies during the 1970s and 1980s: Amar Akbar Anthony, Kabhi Kabhie, Naseeb, Coolie, Ajooba.
In the new century, they reunited for Delhi 6 and 102 Not Out.
On his blog, Amitji saluted Rishiji:
IMAGE: Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor in 102 Not Out, their last film together.
I had seen Chintu at his home, Deonar Cottage, Chembur. Young, energetic, bubbly, mischief in his eyes. On those rare moments when I was privileged to have been invited to an evening at Rajji‘s (Raj Kapoor, Rishiji’s late father and movie legend house.
I would see him more often at RK Studios when he trained as an actor for his film to be made. BOBBY. A diligent enthusiastic, youngster, ready to pounce onto every learning that came his way, in that famous large and legendary make-up room of Rajji at the end of the first floor corridor of make-up rooms.
He had a walk that was confident and determined, a stride and style that was similar to that of his grandfather, the legendary Prithvirajji (Prithviraj Kapoor, the stage and movie thespian). A walk I had noticed in one of his earlier films. That walk I never found it in any other.
IMAGE: Rishi Kapoor flanked by his uncle Shashi Kapoor and Amitabh Bachchan.
We worked in several films together.
When he spoke his lines, you believed every word of it. There was never an alternative, its genuineness was beyond question.
And there has never been any other (actor) that could lip sync a song as perfectly as he would.
His playful attitude on set was infectious. Even in the most grave sequences he would discover that comedic spark and we would all just crack up!!
Not just on set. If you were with him at any formal event, he would find that little distractive lighthearted gem to expand on and lighten the situation.
When there was a time lapse as the shot got readied during a shoot, he would bring out his playing cards or at times pull out his rather complicated Bagatelle board and invite others to play. A competition, not just for fun. Serious competition.
During his diagnosis and his treatment he never ever lamented his condition. It was always ‘See you soon’, ‘Just a routine visit to the hospital’, ‘I will be back shortly’.
Joie de vivre, the exuberant enjoyment of life, was a gene he inherited from his father, the Legend, the Ultimate Showman, the Iconic Raj Kapoor.
I never visited him in hospital. I never wanted to see distress on his smiling, cherubic, face.
But I am certain when he went, he must have gone with a gentle smile.