Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh: The romance of a lifetime

Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh: The romance of a lifetime

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Veteran Bollywood actor Rishi Kapoor passed away on Thursday in a hospital in Mumbai, at the age of 67. A prolific actor with the talent to portray a vast range of characters on screen, Rishi Kapoor entertained the audience and set the screen ablaze at a time when Bollywood was going through a paradigm shift. The rise of Amitabh Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor and Dharmendra ushered in a new era, and Kapoor's debut film Bobby went on to create new milestones in the genre of romance in the Hindi film industry.

Read: Remembering Rishi Kapoor: A terrific actor who lived life his way

Rishi Kapoor acted in numerous romantic films throughout his career, and perhaps fittingly, the 'chocolate boy', along with Neetu Singh, scripted a saga of romance that is celebrated in Bollywood and cited by his fans even to this day. And it all began in Kashmir.

Also read — Rishi Kapoor endured illness with dignity, grace: West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee

Off-screen, Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh were close friends in the initial period, and the latter was someone on whom Rishi could depend emotionally, helping him during mentally strenuous periods. As per the legend, when Rishi Kapoor went abroad to shoot for his film Barood, a sense of loneliness gripped him. It was then that he realised the true essence of Neetu Singh in his life and poured his heart out in a telegram. Neetu Singh was elated and they began dating.

Rishi Kapoor along with his wife Neetu Singh and son Ranbir Kapoor. (PTI file photo)

They dated for five years before tying the knot. At the time of marriage, Neetu Singh was at the peak of her acting career and was nominated for a Filmfare Award as Best Supporting Actress for Kaala Patthar (1979). But she decided to bid adieu to the film industry, raising murmurs about restrictions in the Kapoor family. She dismissed all the allegations, stating that it was her independent choice. They got married on Jan. 22, 1980, at the Bombay Presidency Golf Club in Chembur and the reception was at RK Studios where almost the entire film fraternity was present.

Also read — Heartbreaking: Film industry mourns Rishi Kapoor’s death

On-screen, Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh formed one of the most glamorous and applauded couples. Together they acted in more than a dozen films, of which films like Khel Khel Mein (1975), Rafoo Chakkar (1975), Kabhie Kabhie (1976) and Amar Akbar Anthony (1977) proved to be box-office successes. Neetu Singh's comeback to Bollywood after almost 26 years once again paved the way to reignite their magic on the silver screen, and their cameo appearance in Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012) portrays a bond that they shared during their magical journey.

Also read — Veteran actor Rishi Kapoor passes away at 67

The death of Rishi Kapoor has left a colossal void in the Hindi film industry. Along with his acting, however, he also dazzled in the role of a lover whose passion transcended the make-believe world of films to enter the grounds of reality. In an age of constantly changing romance dynamics, Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh's saga will live on and continue to define the meaning of true love.

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