If you have ever listened to Rishi Kapoor talking, be it about anything from one of his films to his wife or family, you would sense a feeling of familiarity. A familiarity that you can compare to the ones you have known for a while and the ones you can be comfortable around. When most of the world wears a mask that veils their face on social media and gets-off in real life, Rishi Kapoor never needed one.
And maybe that is because of the time he was raised in. The golden era, which they say. Even when he was admitted to the hospital for the treatment of his cancer abroad, there was an undying penchant in him that poked him to go back home. You can quote it as his wish to be close to his family and the country or the thirst to see his son getting married.
Despite the fact that he hails from the most storied clan that the Kapoors is, the pride of the same never took him off-track. At least that is what I have sensed watching him over time and period.
With time being a term, it would be obvious to take a trip down the memory when he first appeared on TV in 1950. He was a child actor back then. The Third child to Raj Kapoor and Krishna Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor worked as Raj’s child character in the film Mera Naam Joker in 1970, which marked the beginning of his career in the film industry.
After he started his career in earnest as an adult in the 1970s, his choice of roles spanned romances, comedies, socially themed dramas, thrillers, historicals and melodramas. His films often had impassioned declarations of love, innocence, humour, chart-topping songs, trendy dancing and colourful costumes.
And when one of his starrers took the blow, it was not the moment to shed tears for him but rather a moment of self and audience inspection. As a believer in the term ‘experiment,’ he once said that “There’s no actor in the world who has a hundred percent record. You learn by experiences. You’ll fall, you’ll get up, you’ll understand that this is what not to do, and this is what is to be done.”
Experiments were what he did throughout his life adapting to generation-shift in the film industry like a pro. From Mera Naam Joker in 1970 to 102 Not Out being his last and Agneepath in the middle, he adapted to whatever the audience asked for nailing one genre at a time.
His style of clothing might have changed with time but never did what he beheld within. The sparkling eyes, robust complexion, ready smile and selfless romantic that he had while shooting for Mera Naam Joker continued throughout his life of 67 years before death finally called him to entertain the biggest entertainer of all time.
The legend will forever live in our hearts.