Choreographer-turned-filmmaker Farah Khan recalls working with her childhood crush Rishi Kapoor. Excerpts:
I was all of 8 when ‘Bobby’ had released; I flipped my lid when I saw him. Rishi Kapoor was my childhood crush. All his films are my favourites, from ‘Hum Kisse Kam Nahin’ to ‘Zamane Ko Dikhana Hain’, ‘Khel Khel Mein’, and ‘Karz’, which is my all-time favourite.
I don’t think there has ever been a star who is also a great actor which was always ignored about Rishi Kapoor’s calibre as an actor. He was one of the top three best actors, who could lip-sync and played all the instruments so effectively. If you see ‘Sargam’, it looked as if he was playing the dafli—he got the rhythm and never missed a beat.
I got a chance to choreograph him at the beginning of my career for the film ‘Hum Dono’, which had Rishi Kapoor and Nana Patekar. It was a very surreal experience for me. Imagine he is your childhood crush and now getting to choreograph him! Slowly, we became very friendly as we both had this mad sense of humour. He even acted in my brother Sajid’s film ‘Housefull 2’. My last film with him was ‘Student of the Year’ of course, which was a recreation of the ‘Dafli wale’ song, but before that, he had a guest appearance in ‘Om Shanti Om’, which was a tribute to ‘Karz’. Of course, he was the same Chintu who would rag me like and I would turn around and tell him to keep quiet. He was not a short-tempered person but someone who was master of his craft and when he on set, he owned it.
There is one incident that happened on the sets of ‘Dance India Dance’ where Chintu was behaving like a school-boy. Mr Amitabh Bachchan was on the sets with him and therefore the school-boy behaviour.
I always kept in touch with him and used to chat with him after he fell ill and then went to New York for his treatment. I have worked with Ranbir Kapoor too; I used to always tell Chintu that, for me, there is no competition. It was always Chintu over Ranbir but after his father, the way he sings a song and the way he lip-syncs, Ranbir is the best in the new generation. He feels the song; that bit he has got from his father.