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Bollywood star par excellence danced, sang and charmed his way into a million hearts- Entertainment News, Firstpost

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I remember seeing Masoom only closer to my adolescence. One of the many moments that touched me, involved Minni, the youngest of Naseeruddin Shahs’ two daughters in this wonderful film by Shekhar Kapoor. Minni looks at Rishi Kapoor as actors Karz plays on TV in front of her. Kapoor turns away from Om Shanti Om track in the film and Minni wholeheartedly supports her beloved Chintoo mama singing and dancing with him.

This is essentially the effect that Kapoor had on its audience, even if it was a five-year-old child. He took them for a ride of joy with his energy and charisma and established a bond with them. For some it was the pop sensation Monty (Karz), for others, it was the delicious Akbar Illahabadi of Amar Akbar Anthony, when many simply regarded him as the middle-aged mister Duggal Do Dooni Chaar. But in each of these performances, Kapoor has always managed to connect with its audience.

    Death of Rishi Kapoor: the quintessential Bollywood star danced, sang and charmed his way in a million hearts

Young Rishi Kapoor. Image credit: NH Films.

Kapoor became an overnight sensation after his father Raj Kapoor threw him in Police officer when he was only 21 years old. Police officer published the same year as Zanjeer, the film that propelled Amitabh Bachchan to stardom. While Bachchan continued to dominate the Hindi cinematographic landscape over the next decade with his character Angry Young Man, Kapoor was probably the only contemporary to find stardom while being ke hat. He was everything that Bachchan was not. He was young. He was brave. It was sharaarti, musical and he could dance. Listen to one of his films from this phase – Rafoo Chakkar, Khel Khel Mein, Hum Kisise Kum Nahin, Karz or Saagar Kapoor could be as intense as Bachchan, but more than anyone, he was the ultimate Bollywood by being romantic and charming.

His talent as a dancer was perhaps Rishi Kapoors’ greatest gift to the film industry.

After his uncle, the inimitable Shammi Kapoor brought his own unique style to swaying and pirouetting in Hindi movie songs, there was a big void before young Rishi arrived and took over from him. The success of Shammis forced several heroes of Hindi films, not naturally endowed with dancing talents, to traumatize the public with their clumsy movements of the members. A number of prominent men, including Shashi Kapoor, Dharmendra, Rajesh Khanna, Vinod Khanna, Shatrughan Sinha and even Jeetendra, the man given the nickname of Jumping Jack, because of his limitations more than serving as being a real compliment to his dancing skills, had marked us enough with their jerks and twirls in the period after Uncle Shammi hung up his dance shoes.

But then came Rishi, announcing himself with chutzpah and the sound of the trumpet in Bachna ae haseeno. He simply danced his way into our hearts, whether through the phenomenal sequence of qawwali Purdah hai purdah of Amar Akbar Anthony, or Aa dil kya mehfil hai tere ((Hum Kisise Kum Nahin), or Paisa yeh paisa (Karz). Rishi was as naturally endowed with impeccable rhythm and grace as Sachin Tendulkar for the game of cricket or Adele for singing. No other actor could show without limit the narrow and confined space at the top of a train (a rear projection gadget) with its dynamism as Rishi did in Hoga tumse pyaara kaun. Even when he performed a devotional song like Shirdi waaley Sai Baba, he packed it with such force that you couldn’t help but become a devotee.

It was Rishi alone, who saved the dancing hero of Hindi cinema, and proved to be the crucial link with the next generation of dance stars like Govinda and then Hrithik Roshan. Even today, when you see Ranbir Kapoor shaking a leg, you see a continuation of Rishi Kapoor through the son.

Hindi cinema has mostly been mean to stars looking for a second wind. Few have escaped the clutches of Father Times in a script-hungry industry for those of the fall of their careers. But here too, Kapoor has managed to hold on much better than several others before or by his side. Starring important roles in a number of important films such as Chance by chance, Chintoo Ji, Agneepath, D-Day, Kapoor and Sons and Rajma Chawal, Kapoor shone until the very end. His Mulk, where he embodies a character from the minority community, denouncing the stereotypes and inequalities of which Muslims were victims in India today, remains one of the most important films of our time on the social level.

Rishi Kapoor in a Mulk still. Image via Twitter

Rishi Kapoor in a Mulk still. Image via Twitter

Rishi Kapoor was an integral part of my childhood. I can’t tell you how many times I watched and enjoyed movies like Hum Kisise Kum Nahin, Amar Akbar Anthony, Karz or Naseeb growing up. I loved watching Chintoo ji prance in Kabhi Kabhie, to the extent that I felt a strong sense of betrayal when he turned out to be the villain in the hit thriller of Keshu Ramsays, Khoj. But through all these very many films, the important lesson I learned from him, thanks to the Jeevan ke din chhotey sahi song of Baden Dilwalais to live life to the full.

Jeene ka rangeen mausam, yeh khubsoorat zamaana
Apney yahi chaar pal hain, aagay hai kya kisne jaana
Jeena jisey aata hai voh, inmein hi mauj mana le
Kal ki humein fursat kahaan, sochey jo hum matwaale

Rest in peace Chintoo mum. And thanks for the movies.

Publish Date: Apr 30, 2020 1:28 PM
| Update date: Apr 30, 2020 1:28 PM

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