Any business one takes or any game, industry one mentions, there is always a first. We have the Nehrus/ Gandhis as the first family of Independent India, also the Tatas are the first industrial families. Similarly there is whole lot of mentioning of first families and the firsts always remain in peoples minds for time immemorial! Similarly the first family in Bollywood has been the great Showman ‘Shri Raj kapoor’s family’. But, since two years the media has done an about turn and is now taking pride in positioning the showman’s mantle on superstar Amitabh’s shoulders!! Intelligent choice, no doubt. But, still it is difficult to digest that , just because our ace showman’s family is unable to follow successfully in the footsteps of the great Raj kapoor, we should not discredit him and we should always pay respect where it deserves. Well, all said and done, lets take a peek into the kapoor family and find out as to who is successful and who failed for what reasons?
The great Raj kapoor and his wife Smt. Krishna Kapoor had five children. The eldest is Ritu Kapoor (Nanda). The second is Randhir Kapoor. Third is Rishi Kapoor. Fourth Reema Kapoor(Jain) and the last is Rajeev Kapoor. Ritu has married the Escorts corporate Czar , Mr. Rajan Nanda and also is an entrepreneur herself. She is the most celebrated Insurance agent of LIC and runs an office in Delhi and has a turn over of more than firty crores , all by managing the show single handedly. All insurance guys the world over state her as an example of how a bored house wife can start her own business and carve a niche of her own and come successfully out of her husband’s shadow. She is a role model. Her son is married to Shwetha Bhachan, daughter of Amitabh and it was seen as a fevicol bond which will last till eternity. So to say.
The second one needs no introduction. The irrepressible lazy bum that he is. His two daughters have made him proud, with the expert tutelage of their mother ‘Babita’. Babita was a very successful career woman with many jubilee hits to her credit. In direct contrast, Randhir Kapoor was a lukka! He used to loiter around and drink to glory , spend his father’s money and all along has been the black sheep of the family. With pumpkin like looks and a weird voice, how can he survive in Bollywood? The Khans, Jeetu and Rajesh Khanna etc were around with many USPs and the audience was wise then, as they are wiser now. The ticket paying people gave their hardest kick on Randhir’s rear and he succumbed to alcohol. More over, Raj Kapoor’s diktat for kapoor bahus was too much to take for. Babita, a very ambitious woman, she gave up her career, but was very angry on her husband’s lazy acts. Also his bad habit of splurging on his father’s money. Spitfire babe she was, she walked out on him with her two darling daughters in tow. The same lady with guts is holding the reigns of her two darlings, Karishma and Kareena and today is bollywood’s most enviable star mom. Randhir Kapoor is enjoying the biological status of being father and hops into parties and gets dead drunk. He goes on till doctors tell him to stop. After a while, again the cycle goes on….
Rishi Kapoor is someone who is the true flag bearer of the Kapoor family. He enjoyed the eternal lover boy image for two and a half decades and today still has the talent for great acting and is hunting for roles which goes well with his age. His devoted wife , Neetu Singh ? Kapoor, yesteryears successful actress, quit films after marriage (Raj Kapoor diktat? Heh!), but has been a good wife and a good mother. Their elder son ‘Ranbir is being launched in a new movie starring Anil Kapoor’s daughter Sonam. What a lauch? Their daughter ‘Ridhima’ is getting married to her prince charming soon. Rishi directed ‘Aa Ab Laut Chalen’ in 1998 and it was welcomed by the audience with open hands. The publicity and the timing of the release played a villain , still it raked in the moolah. The happy couple will go on with their life. As Rishi is the only Bollywood hero who introduced 26 heroines in his career. Cant avoid some memories of Tabu in Pehla Pehla Pyar, Divya Bharathi in Deewana to lot many other heroines young enough to be of his nieces’ age. The other sister Reema has married into a Jain family and she is away from movie publicity and puts in measurable appearances on special occasions.
The last one is Rajeev Kapoor aka Chimpu Kapoor. He acted in many a movies in the eighties .The first movie ‘Ram Teri Ganga Maili’ was a smash hit., thanks to his father. Then ‘Ek Jaan Hain Hum was a hit. He ran for two to three years, then the decline started. The very producers who used to make a beeline for his dates ignored him completely and frowned on the very mention of his name. They avoided him like plague and disaster struck very badly! Chimpu hit the bottle very hard. He put on oodles of weight and there was no takers for him. Under the R K Banner, he produced ‘Prem Granth’, but he alone was left to read it over and over again . He fell in love with Nagma and again married someone. Divorce followed. Now, he tries but fails again and again to come out of hibernation.
So, the theory of Raj Kapoor’s is the first family of Bollywood is not palpable to many journos , as Amitabh., Abhishek and Jaya Bhachan are three stars in the family who are going strong day by day. So , whoever is in the news is the showman today. It is the bitter pill the Raj Kapoor’s family has to swallow.
Author: Donald DSilva- Mumbai