Veteran actor Rishi Kapoor died at 67 on Thursday morning. The news sent shockwaves across social media as many mourned the loss of a legend. Fondly known as ‘Chintu’, Rishi was much more than his scintillating performances onscreen. He was a good husband to co-star turned wife Neetu Kapoor and above all a great father to his actor-son Ranbir Kapoor and daughter Riddhima Kapoor Sahani.
While Riddhima didn’t venture into Bollywood, all eyes were on Ranbir who headlined for his charm ever since his debut with Sonam Kapoor in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Saawariya in 2007. A year later Ranbir starred in Bachna Ae Haseeno, titled after Rishi’s hit song from the film Hum Kisise Kum Naheen (1977). Like any doting father, Rishi was also proud of his son’s achievements. However things turned sour when Ranbir made news for his relationships than his acting career.
The Kapoor clan that had their head held high for decades faced controversial moments with Ranbir. His relationship with the top-most actresses of tinsel town took a toll on Rishi too. Despite the chaos and gossip around his son’s Casanova image, Chintu was supportive of his son no matter what.
Ranbir dated Deepika Padukone in 2008, but drew flak for allegedly cheating on her with Katrina Kaif while filming Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani (2009). After the relationship ended, DP appeared on Karan Johar’s chat show Koffee With Karan with Sonam Kapoor. The statements made by the two on Ranbir as a boyfriend didn’t sit well with Rishi who hit back at the two divas.
Karan asked Sonam what she thought of Ranbir when she said, “Ranbir is a great friend but I don’t know if he’s a great boyfriend. I have known Ranbir all my life and as a boyfriend, I don’t know, I mean, she (Deepika) did a great job hanging onto him for so long.” Deepika laughed and said, “Thank you!”. Later in the episode, Deepika said that she would like to gift Ranbir a pack of condoms and if she ever woke up as RK one day, she would like to go back to sleep. She also rated him the least on sex appeal.
In an interview with a tabloid, Rishi reacted on the same and said, “Well to put things in the right perspective, all I can say is that with both the girls it is a case of sour grapes. I have known Sonam’s father Anil for years. All I will say to the girls is: instead of doing all this concentrate on your careers. Why do you run shows that have so much gossip? I have done Koffee With Karan earlier with Neetu, my brothers and sister; there was great camaraderie and laughter on our show. We didn’t run anyone down. I don’t think you should encourage people to wash dirty linen in public. You will never see Ranbir running anyone down.”
“What can I say to Anil? Everyone is family here and these girls are like my children. I don`t want to get into fights involving my son`s friends. It just shows their (Deepika and Sonam) class. I would like to tell them to stop giggling all the time and instead grow up and behave maturely. They are there on the show because they are their father`s daughters and not because of their work! I would advise them to stop talking about their colleagues and running them down,” he added.
Fast forward, things turned better between Deepika and Rishi. The two also announced their collaboration for the Indian remake of Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway’s flick The Intern. However, due to the sudden demise, things will have to be reworked.
Ranbir and Katrina went on to date for six years. Pictures of them holidaying in Ibiza went viral in 2013 confirming their relationship. While Rishi remained cool about his son’s new girlfriend, Neetu was reportedly sceptical and avoided being in the same room as Kaif. However, Kat maintained that she adores Rishi and called him a legend. "I have worked with Rishiji (Rishi Kapoor) in Namastey London and he was super kind to me. I think he is a wonderful, fascinating, eccentric, person. He is a living legend and I feel happy when I see him," Katrina said. Sadly, the couple ended their relationship in 2016.
Ranbir is reportedly in a relationship with Alia Bhatt, they were first spotted together at Sonam’s wedding in 2018. Alia didn’t take long to blend in with the Kapoors. She was probably the only one so far who shared the same industrial background. Bhatt also visited Rishi during his cancer treatment in New York, and shares a great rapport with Neetu.
Rishi was asked by a leading daily if he approves of Alia and Ranbir's jodi. To which the 66-year-old actor replied, "It's Ranbir's life. Who he wants to get married to is his prerogative. Neetu likes her, I like her, Ranbir likes her. Get it?"
He added, "I can't be judgmental. After all, my uncles Shammiji and Shashiji and I chose our life partners. Ranbir is entitled to choose his." Rishi and Alia have also worked in the film Kapoor and Sons.
Rishi died in a Mumbai hospital on Thursday, his brother Randhir Kapoor said. "He is no more. He has passed away," Randhir told PTI. Rishi, who was suffering from cancer, was taken to the H N Reliance hospital by his family on Wednesday.