The Show Man of the Indian film industry, Raj Kapoor, is back in focus thanks to a memorial dedicated to the superstar that has been set up just outside the city.
Rishi Kapoor and Randhir Kapoor at the inauguration
Titled the Raj Kapoor Memorial — The Golden Era of Indian Cinema, it has been set up in the Rajbaugh campus of MAEER's MIT College in Loni Kalbhor. It was inaugurated on Friday by his sons, and actors Randhir and Rajiv Kapoor. The event was organised by the college's World Peace Center.
Seven artists across the country have worked hard on the sculptures for over a year. The artists are Raghunath Kamble, Dayaram Tamboli, Rajendra Kumar, Vijay Khagaokar, Dilip Rohe, Navnath Waghchaure, Shivaji Gore and Sanjay Singh.
Set amidst a picturesque location, the memorial is an added attraction to the campus after the Vishwa Shanti Kala Academy.
The memorial features statues of the actor from his acts from Aag to Satyam Shivam Sundaram. Moreover, there are also 5-6 feet tall statues depicting scenes and actors who featured in the movies acted and directed by the filmmaker.
Exhibits at the memorial
Talking about the memorial, founder professor Dr Vishwanath D Karad said, "It was the dream of Raj Kapoor and his family that this land should be used for educational purpose. This great artist has given a unique message to society. Therefore we built this memorial to reflect Indian culture, through cinema."
While there are around 50 statues on display, it's the Raj Kapoor and Nargis statue from Shree 420 and the joker statue from Mera Naam Joker, which are grabbing eyeballs.
The interiors of the memorial are colourful, and also have themed lighting, Bollywood-ish frames and floral arrangements.
It takes at least an hour to explore all the statues and the park built around it.
There are over 50 statues on display
After a trip of the memorial, Randhir Kapoor said, "I am very happy with the respect shown towards my father, Raj Kapoorji, the greatest showman of Hindi cinema. My father is not alive today but I feel that he is alive through this memorial."
The memorial is open for visitors. School groups need to take prior permission for a trip.
At Rajbaug, Loni-Kalbhor.
One of the glitches at the memorial is the lack of information with the statues. We saw a lot of youngsters visiting the premises out of curiosity but they failed to remember the names of the actors and movie scenes displayed at the memorial. It would definitely boost the overall experience if every statue at the memorial had information such as the actor's name, movie name, year it was made, etc.