Nostalgia with Ruhan Kapoor, “I had posters of Elvis Presley and Tom Jones on my cupboard”

The singer-actor talks about getting picked by Yash Chopra to play the romantic lead in Faasle, giving his salary to his mom and his first car—a red Maruti 800
Ruhan Kapoorat 22 (top) and at 56 (above)
Ruhan Kapoorat 22 (top) and at 56 (above)
Updated on Jan 15, 2022 11:32 PM IST
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ByDinesh Raheja

When you were 22, what stage of your career were you at?

I was doing theatre when I was selected by Yash Chopra to play the romantic lead in his directorial venture, Faasle (1985).

Learning the subtle nuances of singing from his father Mahendra Kapoor at their home in Mitra Kunj building, Peddar Road, Mumbai 
Learning the subtle nuances of singing from his father Mahendra Kapoor at their home in Mitra Kunj building, Peddar Road, Mumbai 

What was your bank balance like?

There is a tradition in my house—my father (renowned playback singer Mahendra Kapoor) gave my mom all his earnings. I did the same. I would take pocket money.

At a Diwali party with Yash Chopra and Rekha at Hotel Holiday Inn, Mumbai
At a Diwali party with Yash Chopra and Rekha at Hotel Holiday Inn, Mumbai

What was your frame of mind then?

I had assisted Manoj Kumarji on Kranti when I was 16, was familiar with filmmaking and had seen great actors performing. So, I was relaxed about facing the camera.

Ruhan’s family with Dilip Kumar and his wife Saira Banu post a show of Mahendra Kapoor Nite with Dilip Kumar, at the Hilton Hotel, Miami, USA in 1983
Ruhan’s family with Dilip Kumar and his wife Saira Banu post a show of Mahendra Kapoor Nite with Dilip Kumar, at the Hilton Hotel, Miami, USA in 1983

Your romantic status?

Being an artiste, I was a romantic but I was totally involved in theatre and films.

What was your family equation like?

My three sisters Benu, Anu and Poonam were my strength. They criticised me but were always supportive.

(From L to R) Rajan Sippy (extreme last), Karan Shah, Khushboo, Atlee Brar, Ruhan Kapoor (in blue), Neelam, Shekhar Suman, Farha flanked by three newcomers
(From L to R) Rajan Sippy (extreme last), Karan Shah, Khushboo, Atlee Brar, Ruhan Kapoor (in blue), Neelam, Shekhar Suman, Farha flanked by three newcomers

Your fashion sense?

My fashion sense was pretty American—I would wear whatever I want.

Your fitness levels?

As a child, I had flab and tires. Once I grew older, I enjoyed working out at Talwalkars gym where fitness exponent Madhukar Talwalkar was my teacher.

With Farha at a photo shoot for the Prakash Mehra produced film Imaandaar
With Farha at a photo shoot for the Prakash Mehra produced film Imaandaar

Your most prized possession then?

When I got my first film, I bought my first car—a red Maruti 800. I remember the car number 5575.

Which posters adorned your walls?

I wanted to be an actor-singer like Elvis Presley, while Tom Jones was my favourite singer. Their posters were on my cupboard.

Shooting for the song Aayee Hai Baraat from Love 86 with Karan Shah at Madh Island Beach, Mumbai
Shooting for the song Aayee Hai Baraat from Love 86 with Karan Shah at Madh Island Beach, Mumbai

Your singing idol?

My father. His rendition of Chalo Ek Baar Phir Se Ajnabi Ban Jaye still gives me goosebumps.

From HT Brunch, January 16, 2022

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Tuesday, May 17, 2022