Poonam Dhillon: Like all Kapoors, Rishi loved food

Updated: May 01, 2020, 07:18 IST | Shaheen Parkar | Mumbai

I was a newbie then, but he was willing to work with fresh faces said, Poonam Dhillon.

Rishi Kapoor and Poonam Dhillon
Rishi Kapoor and Poonam Dhillon

I have lost count of the number of films I did with Rishi Kapoor, especially in the early '80s. There were movies like Biwi-O-Biwi (1981), Tawaif (1985), Sitamgar (1985), Zamana (1985), Ek Chadar Maili Si (1986), Dosti Dushmani (1986) and many more.

I was a newbie then, but he was willing to work with fresh faces. At that time, he was the only star who had no qualms about teaming up with novices. I would tell him that he deserved to be in the Guinness Book of World Records for collaborating with the maximum number of new heroines. He could rattle off names [of all those he worked with], and would often wonder where some of them disappeared.

He was a natural and spontaneous actor, one who would laugh and fool around with the unit off camera, but instantly [transform] into the character when [we] rolled.

You could see the passion in his eyes as he enacted scenes.

Like all Kapoors, he too loved his food. The most distinct memory I have is going to RK Studios and [enjoying] the lavish spread and hospitality of the Kapoors.

I was in touch with him even when he was in the US for treatment. If I messaged him late at night, he would wonder why I was awake at that unearthly hour. Former minister Arun Jaitley, who passed away last year, was also seeking the same treatment at the same hospital in New York. As I also knew him, Rishi would often tell me that he would invite Jaitley to his home for a meal.

When he came back, we caught up with each other. He was not pretentious. He would not hide that he loved his drink. His wife Neetu would ensure that he had healthy meals, but, as soon as she would leave the room, he would quickly take a bite of [the food he was forbidden from eating]. He was childlike.

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