I shot this picture of Rishi Kapoor on the sets of Chandni in the year 1988. The scene was lit up as per Yash Chopra's instructions and I took full advantage of the perfect chiaroscuro lighting.
When I met Rishi Kapoor for the first time in 1983, he was just like I had visualised - he was strumming a guitar at Mehboob studios while rehearsing for one of his many romantic capers. We barely exchanged hellos - he was scowling for most of the time, like a bear with a sore paw.
I met him again when I was penning a tribute to the showman Raj Kapoor in July 1988. I thought to myself: what better tribute than asking Raj's three sons, Randhir, Rishi and Rajiv, to speak about their father? But while Randhir and Rajiv sportingly acquiesced, Rishi Kapoor was disgruntled and unwilling. With a bit of persuasion, he relented and began speaking beautifully about his father.
He was dubbing for Raj Khosla's Naqab at Ketnav at that time, and in the lunch break, he asked me if I had a vehicle. When I said I had my bike, he snapped, "Then what are we waiting for? Let's go to my house and complete the interview."
At home, he ate salads ... only to follow it with a regular meal as well. He joked, "The salad was to make Neetu happy - she wants me to eat diet food and lose weight."
That is Rishi Kapoor - grumpy initially, but genial eventually. I had to go through another round of cajoling when I wanted Rishi Kapoor to attend the 'Talk To The Star Scheme' when I was editing Movie Magazine. He was required to come to our office on a pre-advertised date and time and respond in person to the phone calls from readers. After months of dilly dallying, he agreed to come on a Sunday and had a field day chatting animatedly with numerous callers.
In the late '90s, one day, I saw a hand waving frantically at me from a car at a highway signal around Santa Cruz airport. Almost before I could turn right from the steering wheel, the car window had been rolled down and a head popped out: "Don't you recognise me, buddy? I am Rishi Kapoor."
Neetu and Rishi are my wife Anita's favourite romantic couple onscreen. Recently, she couldn't stop raving about his performance as the naughty ninety year old in Kapoor & Sons. I second her wholeheartedly. He is a consistently fine actor ... and it's high time more award committees also thought the same.
-- Sourced from Dinesh Raheja, Editor, Bollywood News Service