When Ranbir Kapoor revealed ‘most precious gift’ dad Rishi Kapoor gave him in emotional note
Bollywood icon Rishi Kapoor is no more. The 67-year-old actor breathed his last on Thursday morning at the Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital in Mumbai, after a long battle with illness.
True to his unfiltered nature, Rishi’s memoir Khullam Khulla: Rishi Kapoor Uncensored was a candid and entertaining account of his life. The book featured an emotional foreword written by his son and actor Ranbir Kapoor.
“As I sit down to analyse my relationship with my father, I would say that the most precious gift he has given my sister Riddhima and me is that we can love our mother unconditionally. He showed us by example that she was at the centre of all our lives and our home. With her as our bedrock, none of the ups and downs in our lives could really touch us,” he wrote in the foreword.
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“The second gift is that he has been a good husband to my mother,” Ranbir wrote. While Rishi had his ‘fair share of intense fights’ with wife Neetu Kapoor, he truly loved and immensely respected her, setting an example of a successful marriage for Ranbir and Riddhima.
Ranbir, who made his Bollywood debut with Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Saawariya in 2007, was inspired by Rishi’s work ethic. “I saw his enthusiasm even at that age, after all those years in the industry. He had it in him to better his craft, go shopping for his costumes or examine every minute aspect. He is that kind of man; very detail-driven. This is something I deeply admire,” he wrote.
Though Rishi did not experiment too much in the first two decades of his career, he ‘worked hard to reinvent himself’ in his second innings, Ranbir said. Talking about their equation, he said that their relationship was ‘one of complete reverence’.
Ranbir admitted that his relationship with Rishi was ‘formal’ but added that there was ‘no sense of loss or vacuum’. He wrote, “I do wish sometimes that I could be friendlier with him or even spend more time with him. Sometimes I wish I could just pick up the phone and ask him, ‘Dad, how are you doing?’ But we do not have that. We do not have a phone relationship. Of course, he does message me.”
Ranbir said that he would want to be ‘friendlier’ and ‘more connected’ with his own children. “Having said that, I love my father dearly and have immense respect for him. I’m inspired by him and never want to let him down. I know he has only my best interests at heart. His confidence in me and my work makes me take pride in it. I persevere that much harder because of this,” he wrote.
Ranbir revealed that though Rishi appeared to be ‘boisterous and loud’, he was actually ‘very reserved’ and bottled up his emotions. He added that his father got himself ‘into a spot sometimes with his frank speak’ on Twitter, but had ‘no agenda and no hidden motive’.
Praising Rishi’s performances, Ranbir wrote, “I can honestly say I do not see anyone on the same level as Rishi Kapoor. There is a certain naturalness about him, a certain spontaneity. And he was like this way before anyone else. Most actors of the earlier generation had a distinct style to their acting, but my father was very natural and effortless. The way he enacted his songs, the way he serenaded his heroines on screen was laudable.”
Ranbir lauded Rishi for being able to ‘entice an audience’ despite not having a toned physique. “See Chandni, Deewana or Bol Radha Bol, or for that matter any of his work in the 1980s and ’90s, and you will see that, despite his weight, his charm remained infectious,” he wrote.
“Now, with his second innings – Agneepath, Do Dooni Chaar, Kapoor & Sons, and others – my father is winning more accolades and awards than he ever did in his first stint. Nothing can keep a good actor down. A man who has withstood the test of time for forty-four years in showbiz must have something special in him – there’s little else I need to say in summing up here,” he concluded.
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