Rishi Kapoor Goes Candid

Book Title: Khullam Khulla | Rishi Kapoor Uncensored

Author: Rishi Kapoor with Meena Iyer

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

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Rishi Kapoor has been my childhood hero whose acting used to have a light and frivolous carefree feel to it. There were innumerable of his movie songs that I remember swinging to with no sense of movement. But heck who cares how you danced as long as you were happy with the song.

So this year’s The Hindu Lit for Life 2017 book festival was a welcome invitation to pick some books. So, as usual, I hit the bookstall like I was the bull in the Jallikattu with the right touch of patience. I didn’t wish to be the charging bull in a China shop.

Anyway, I was skimming the shelf for a book to pick. Of late my interest in Creative Non-Fiction has become an obsession. So naturally, Autobiographies comes under Non-Fiction category, my eyes zeroed in on the two prominent celebrities and the book was being charged for on my card.

I was waiting for a workshop to begin, so I just found a nice cozy corner that I could possibly find in the crowded festival venue. Soon everything public just vanished as Rishi’s words captured my imagination.

Words have a way with my mind and I must say that there has been a great effort on the writing team to make it simple and easy to understand. I felt so relaxed as I was reading up the incidence and experience of the actor spoken from the angle of someone finding his way around his profession.

Rishiji didn’t get everything easily though he did have someone to launch which meant that he had to come with the baggage of expectation. With his father being a recognized actor, it is far more intense because the old timer attitude for actor’s sons and daughters make it filmistan as an immediate superstar is rather hard on the child.

Even though Rishiji doesn’t talk a lot about his time trying to manage all those thoughts that became a part of his character set in the industry. He is very careful with his angle towards his emotion. There is a marked restraint of a seasoned actor and yet he does speak of his relationship with such candor that the reader will like him for his plain speaking.

But there was some aspect of his industry based relation that seems to be rather affected. My inference on this point has been based on the way the book flowed from the point of his entry in cinema with the scene of walking in the rain in a raincoat for a song sequence in Raj Kapoor’s movie.

There is much of little of everything that Rishiji speaks about in his work that gives the reader an insight into the actor’s mind. Given that the Kapoor family is known as actor-producers, I am wondering if Rishi Kapoor was a reluctant actor but eventually got interested in his career while being subjected to pampering and heightened expectation.

Though his friends are almost all from the film industry and I didn’t get to know anyone with whom he had created a bond. That reserved part of Rishiji is clearly felt throughout the book.

Seriously, there is no information about having an incident in the set expectations for his multiple angles shot and repeating the scene multiple numbers of time until it is perfect. His gripe about not being able to pull off n-number retakes from different angles seemed so out of sort for his sensitivity.

Eventually, as we encounter the grown-up Rishji it was very interesting. The fan following that one finds in past and in the present and maybe even in the future is that actor is 360 degrees from social media boom day. I fear for the current day actors because they can’t be themselves away from the maddening crowd.

That way Rishiji era hero is given an innumerable view of the past, present, and glimpse of the future trend of an actor. His book brought out that beautifully. Because, after all, Romeo of Shakespeare, is still the young man with his heart beating in synch with the romance in the air.

Rishiji has evolved in his movies and his book might seem like a list of movies that he had done and nothing much. But without his knowledge, the color that he had given his work reflects in the angle of narration.

An enjoyable read if you are a fan of Rishiji if you are more for the old-fashioned restrained hero who couldn’t be wrong. But Rishiji as a person, I would love to have a cuppa with him and talk about his work. If you want that feel, then I suggest that you grab this book and a cup of steaming tea and rock that conversation.