Bollywood's chocolate boy bids adieu...RIP Chintuji

Bollywood's chocolate boy bids adieu...RIP Rishi Kapoor

A veteran of 90-plus films, he would be remembered with a smile and not tears

Rishi Kapoor file photo

The original chocolate boy of Hindi cinema, Rishi Kapoor, has lost a two-year-battle to cancer. A veteran of 90-plus films,  he would be remembered with a smile and not tears,  the Kapoor family said. "He remained jovial, determined to live life to the fullest," a family statement said.

Similarly, his fans would agree that Chintu ji's longevity in the grand days of silver screen is going to be eternal. Rishi Kapoor was 67. He is survived by wife Neetu and son Ranbir and daughter Riddhima.

The Rishi-Neetu pair has given around a dozen films. Last year,  the couple had appeared in the Kapil Sharma show. Coming from the Kapoor clan, with his good looks and  smile, Rishi Kapoor was destined to make it big.

"Acting was in my blood,  and there was simply no escaping it," Rishi Kapoor had said in Khullam Khulla, his autobiography. As a child, he made a small appearance in the famous 'pyar hua ikrar hua' song in Raj Kapoor's Shree 420 - and in 1970, he appeared to play the younger version of his father in Mera Naam Joker. 

 

In 1973,  he comes with a bang in Bobby, starring opposite the stunning Dimple Kapadia, to become a heartthrob of millions.  It was a time when people needed something different than crime thrillers, masala action films and movies on the themes of angry young man.  

It was time when the troika of Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand were no longer the master stars and Amitabh Bachchan, Jitendra,  Dharmendra, Vinod Khanna and Shatrughan Sinha had come. Between 1969-71, Rajesh Khanna had already delivered his 15 hits becoming a superstar.

One has to remember the social setting - India had turned 25 in 1972 and just out of war. People were looking for something new and wanted to be away from miseries and problems.  
Rishi Kapoor taught people how to romance - perhaps taking over form where Dev Anand left. 

People liked Bobby and in the next two decades,  till the mid-nineties,  he went on to deliver romance-based themes,  with superb songs. He had the guts to star opposite new heroines and alongside top male stars.  

In the seventies,  he gave films like Rafoo Chakkar, Amar Akbar Anthony,  Khel Khel Me,  Hum Kisise Kum Nahin,  Doosra Aadmi. With Amitabh Bachchan,  he gave several hits like Kabhi Kabhi, Amar Akbar Anthony and Coolie. 

In eighties,he starred in Subhash Ghai's Karz,  a film themed on rebirth. And,  one cannot forget Sagaar, in which he acted with Dimple Kapadia after a gap of a decade, and his friend Kamal Haasan. The RD Burman music flowed like honey worth every drop.

In nineties, he paired with Vinod Khaana and Sridevi to deliver Chandni, from the stable of Yash Chopra, the czar of romantic triangulars. He also gave a romantic thriller in Karobaar,  a film of Rakesh Roshan.

After the new millennium ushered in,  Rishi Kapoor was selective in choosing films.  In the remake of Agneepath,  his role as an antagonist drew reviews. His role in Student of the Year drew applause.

Other films like Do Duni Chaar,  Kapoor & Sons,  Hum Tum, Fanaa,  Namastey London also brought laurels to him.  In102 Not Out,  he plays the role of 76-year-old son of Amitabh Bachchan's character. Again, Mulk was hugely appreciated. 

In 2019,  he gave his last two films Jhootha Kahin Ka and The Body. His final film Sharmaji Namkeen was in production stage. He lived life, king size,  but in films, touched commoners.