Rishi Kapoor: A Journey from teen heartthrob to ‘Chintu Uncle’
Bollywood veteran Rishi Kapoor passed away in early morning of 30 April 2020. The Second son of legendary film director and actor Raj Kapoor and Krishna Kapoor, Rishi was fearlessly battling Cancer from almost one year.
The talented and versatile actor was a child artist. He had a walk along role at age 3 in 1955, Raj Kapoor film ‘Shree 420’. The classic song, ‘Pyar Hua, Ikraar Hua’ had him walking in rain with his siblings.
He was next on screen in father’s magnum opus, ‘Mera Naam Joker’. He marked his debut with the role and won accolades as he received the ‘Best Child Artist’ Award for same.
Rishi Kapoor’s first leading role was opposite actress Dimple Kapadia in 1973 film titled ‘Bobby’. A coming of age film, it clicked with the masses and helped the star achieve instant fame. Rishi in particular received critical laurels. He was even awarded ‘The National Award for Best Actor’ for his portrayal.
The roaring 80’s brought with it many multi-starrers. To name a few, ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’, ‘Kabhi Kabhi’, ‘Khel Khel Mein’, ‘Sagar’ ‘Ajooba’ and many others had Rishi starring alongside different actress. The Box-Office may be a fickle friend, but many of these feel good films have turned into home theater gold.
Offering a childlike innocence to his roles, reel life followed real when Rishi Kapoor found love in the industry. His wife and actress Neetu Singh, fondly remembers those initial exchanges where they hid not just from the papparazi, but from the eyes of their peers. Breaking the hearts of millions of fans, the couple tied the knot on 22 January 1980. Their filmography captures their real-life romance on screen with sizzling chemistry.
The actor whom we lost in a shocking and sudden manner is survived by wife Neetu Singh, son and actor Ranbir Kapoor and daughter Riddhima.
Transition as versatile character artist:
Like a phoenix, Rishi Kapoor reinvented himself in early 2000s. Never one to fear being typecast, Rishi exceeded expectations when he transitioned into a character artist. After all, he was known versatile for a reason. This evergreen artist of the Indian film industry not only starred alongside senior generation of actors but was also equally comfortable with the newcomers of recent times.
Kapoor, who had never played a completely negative character in his entire career, was initially hesitant to sign on the Hrithik Roshan starrer, ‘Agneepath’. His portrayal belied his age and his charisma stole the show.
His final few films like ‘102 Not Out’ in which he played son to his yesteryears co-star Amitabh Bachchan and ‘Kapoor and Sons’ showed him experimenting his looks while staying true to his character. These few films from his entire filmography helped him reach a new prominence and popularity on the big screen.
Off the Screen:
While many in his generation would fumble with everchanging technology, Rishi Kapoor was one of the few, who embraced social media as a creative outsource.
Kapoor, had been quite active on social media, ruled the domain with his tongue in cheek take on fashion brand ZARA:
Buy two get one begging bowl free. Sale at Zara's pic.twitter.com/keoWmlbw70— Rishi Kapoor (@chintskap) June 27, 2016
Being a true blue Punjabi, he was known for enjoying a drink or two.
Jai Ho! Immense contribution to all of us! Keep walking! pic.twitter.com/3PYrKxtHsl— Rishi Kapoor (@chintskap) July 24, 2018
He would never fear retribution and called out internet trolls on various topics including religion.
I am angry. Why do you equate food with religion?? I am a beef eating Hindu. Does that mean I am less God fearing then a non eater? Think!!— Rishi Kapoor (@chintskap) March 15, 2015
He had posted his last tweet on April 2. In the tweet, Kapoor said, “An appeal to all brothers and sisters from all social status and faiths. Please don’t resort to violence, stone throwing or lynching. Doctors, Nurses, Medics, Policemen etc…are endangering their lives to save you. We have to win this Coronavirus war together. Please. Jai Hind!” He appealed people not to resort to violence, stone-throwing or lynching amid the COVID-19 crisis.
An appeal 🙏 to all brothers and sisters from all social status and faiths. Please don’t resort to violence,stone throwing or lynching. Doctors,Nurses,Medics, Policemen etc..are endangering their lives to save you. We have to win this Coronavirus war together. Please. Jai Hind!🇮🇳— Rishi Kapoor (@chintskap) April 2, 2020
While the world mourns the passing of this silver screen legend, we too hate to say goodbye. A charismatic personality, he was known for his his jovial nature and witty remarks. A legend through and through, he will be remembered as a marquee for the Indian Cinema. He will always stay with fans through his work and memories. His legend will stay in our hearts forever!