Nostalgia with Rajit Kapur, “I only had some pocket money, no bank balance”

Published on Aug 05, 2022 09:09 PM IST
The actor talks about being insecure and vulnerable, landing his first big TV series and working as a stage manager at 22
Rajit Kapur at 25 (left) and at 59 (right)
Rajit Kapur at 25 (left) and at 59 (right)

Describe yourself as a 22-year-old.

I was naïve, insecure and vulnerable.

Your favourite memory from that time?

When I landed my first major TV series Ghar Jamai at the age of 22, and acted with Farida Jalal and Satish Shah.

With KK Raina in the 1990s Doordarshan show, Byomkesh Bakshi
With KK Raina in the 1990s Doordarshan show, Byomkesh Bakshi

Where were you career-wise then?

I was floundering! I was working with Janak Toprani as a stage manager.

What was your bank balance then?

I only had some pocket money, no bank balance.

A non-smoker, he tried a cigarette while playing Byomkesh Bakshi
A non-smoker, he tried a cigarette while playing Byomkesh Bakshi

What were you focussing on, professionally?

I was making efforts to meet directors for work on TV and in theatre.

How did that impact your mindset?

It wasn’t easy. You often had to wait for hours in people’s offices. So, I attempted to do my MA post B Com in Kalina, after I passed the entrance exam. But that lasted only three months before I quit.

During a shoot for Elbee Services in 1989
During a shoot for Elbee Services in 1989

Your biggest moment till then?

I had tasted fame and was recognised in my neighbourhood as I had performed a children’s play on Doordarshan when I was 12 years old.

Rajit in Buddhadev Dasgupta’s 1994 film, Charachar
Rajit in Buddhadev Dasgupta’s 1994 film, Charachar

Any romance in the air... how was the dating scene?

I only had silent crushes—a new one almost every three months!

What was your fashion sense like?

Obnoxiously rebellious. I wore bright coloured flared trousers in red, yellow and green. I had many friends who would refuse to be seen with me! (laughs)

Rajit when he was 18 years old
Rajit when he was 18 years old

What was your go-to outfit for a date?

A full-sleeved polka-dotted shirt, flared trousers and high-heeled shoes.

Sporting a moustache for the series Kshitij Ye Nahi
Sporting a moustache for the series Kshitij Ye Nahi

What did you do for fitness?

I swam regularly, and played badminton occasionally.

Your most prized possession then?

My Fiat JKA 8521, whose doors and bonnet would open randomly while driving. I called it my “Jalopy”.

Playing Puck in Shakespeare’s play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, when he was 16
Playing Puck in Shakespeare’s play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, when he was 16

Your celebrity crush then?

Mumtaz, Shabana Azmi and Parveen Babi.

And your role model?

Vinod Khanna.

From HT Brunch, August 6, 2022

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Ananya Ghosh is an assistant editor with Hindustan Times Brunch. She has 10 years of experience as a journalist having worked as a copy editor/feature writer in various publications.

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