From one Bollywood biography to the next. Just finished Khullam Khulla—Rishi Kapoor’s ‘uncensored’ biography written with Meena Iyer. The comparison is unnecessary, but this one is a certainly more interesting read than KJo’s book.
For one, Rishi Kapoor has an impressive pedigree chart— so the nuggets of information that he doles out about each member of the Kapoor khandaan are fun to go through. Kapoor is frank and uninhibited about expressing his views. There are no holy cows for him and he speaks his mind about the bigwigs of the industry quite openly. What makes the book better is that he has no qualms about telling us about his own shortcomings either.
So there are honest confessions about how the success of Bobby went into his head, of how his brashness led him to ‘buy’ the Filmfare award for Best Actor for Bobby by paying thirty thousand rupees, and how he was a horrible boyfriend. He goes on to describe his initial cold war with Amitabh, maybe because AB thought he deserved the award for Zanjeer (or maybe he knew the story behind the award). In any case he says fate catches up, as he never received too many awards after that dubious act. There are several vividly recollected anecdotes about Javed Akhtar, Jeetendra, Dimple Kapadia and several others from the film industry which are amusing.
The book has a foreword by Ranbir Kapoor where interestingly he calls his Dad ‘overweight’. Rishi Kapoor, on the other hand, goes on to say he is traditional in his belief—sons and fathers should maintain a distance and cannot be friends. There are parts of the book which I really liked— especially when he talks about the differences between film making then and now. He simply hates sync sound and goes on to say that no one can lip sync to songs the way he did— something I agree with! He also has a record of introducing more heroines than any other actor.
I thought the most endearing part of the book was the Afterword written by Neetu Kapoor. She completely contradicts several statements that Rishi says, and calls him a difficult person to live with! But their love for each other shines through.
A nice book to read if you are a Bollywood buff like me. Especially because it traces the times from Prithviraj Kapoor to Ranbir Kapoor. Rishi Kapoor calls himself the hyphen between a famous father and a famous son. But he has a rich filmography to boast off, and his second innings as an actor has given him a chance to showcase his craft more than wearing colourful jerseys and romancing young heroines.