Dabboo, Nitin Mukesh and I have just returned from four concerts in Russia – in memory of dad. This was at the request of the Indian embassy there.
Eighteen years have elapsed since he passed away; it’s amazing how, even as far as Russia, they still sing his songs and quote scenes from his films. Today the generation of my son Ranbir may be more tuned into Shah Rukh Khan, Kareena, Abhishek. It’s the same in Russia for the younger generation..but still Raj Kapoor continues to cast a spell on the Uzbekis as he does in India, age or generation no bar.
Mum, Dabboo and Chimpu are in Delhi, they will have a pooja on the occasion of the 83rd anniversary of my dad. I couldn’t make it because of absolutely unavoidable commitments. I will have a pooja for him in my own way There are . shows being held in Delhi as tributes to dad. After all, he’s public property not family property.
Dad’s most imperishable films continue to be Awara, Shree 420 and if I may so at the risk of being immodest, Bobby. I may be a bit out of sight and out of shape today but my pairing with Dimple (Kapadia) continues to be compared to the Raj Kapoor-Nargis team.
Before dad went, he had been toying with the subject of Henna and had the basic idea for Ghunghat ke Pat Khol..again on the issue of women’s emancipation. His cinema often asked – why should women be subjugated? When he did Prem Rog in 1980, he did wonder if the subject of widow remarriage was outdated..which is why he set it against the backdrop of a surviving clan of Thakurs.
Dad was a pucca Peshawari, a chronic believer in love stories. When dad was breathing his last in hospital, Yusuf saab was at his bedside, saying, “Raj, look we have to go to Peshawar again..you can’t leave without tasting your favourite kababs.”