When Raj Kapoor cried in Manoj Kumar’s lap
On Raj Kapoor’s death anniversary, Manoj Kumar talks about working with him and more.Updated: Jun 03, 2020 14:09 IST
Veteran actor Manoj Kumar has revealed a miscommunication almost stopped him from making a guest appearance in Raj Kapoor’s iconic film Mera Naam Joker and how the two sorted it all out. Manoj says their interaction was so moving that Raj put his head in his lap and cried.
For Manoj Kumar, Raj Kapoor was a ‘karma yogi’ - a man who connects with God through his actions. So when Raj offered him a small role in Mera Naam Joker, he was more than happy to accept. However, the actor was shooting outside Mumbai when Taj Kapoor tried to call him and got a rude reply that it was wrong number. Raj assumed that Manoj was tried to avoid him. When Manoj learnt about it, he gave a call to Raj and the two soon met.
Manoj told Mumbai Mirror, “We met at 4 pm at (composer) Jaikishan’s residence, where I assured Raj saab that neither I nor my wife Shashi would dare discomfit him. I told him I was looking forward to working with not the showman but a karmayogi and went on to tell him about the earlier incident at Regal. Raj saab quietly heard me out, then, put his head in my lap and started crying.”
Manoj also revealed that Raj Kapoor asked him to rewrite his own scenes. “When I demurred, pointing out that (KA) Abbas saab (who wrote the story and screenplay) was a senior writer, he made me speak to him on the phone and he gave me his permission,” he further told the tabloid, adding, “Appreciating that dialogue (God and joker do things for others, not themselves), Raj saab called (DoP) Radhu Karmakar and a few others to listen to me as I narrated what I’d written, pointing out that I had encapsulated the philosophy of the joker in these lines.”
Mera Naam Joker was a 1970 film written by KA Abbas and directed-produced by Raj Kapoor. The film starred Rishi Kapoor, Padmini Kolhapure, Simi Grewal, Kseniya Ryabinkina, apart from Raj and Manoj.
Tuesday marked the 32nd death anniversary of Raj Kapoor. The eldest child of actor Prithviraj Kapoor, Raj was first seen onscreen a t the young age of nine in the 1935 film Inquilab. He then appeared in films like Neel Kamal (1947) and established his own studio in 1948, RK Films. Aag was the first film he directed.
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