Rakesh Roshan: Chintu always said, main camera ke saamne masti karta hoon

Updated: May 01, 2020, 07:12 IST | Upala KBR | Mumbai

When I met him in March before the lockdown, Chintu, Neetu and I reminisced about our good old days.

Rakesh Roshan, Jeetendra and Rishi Kapoor
Rakesh Roshan, Jeetendra and Rishi Kapoor

Our friendship lasted 45 years because we were similar in nature — we loved food and drinks, and were brimming with optimism. We grew close during the making of Khel Khel Mein (1975).

Eventually, Jeetendra joined us, and we three became inseparable. We would meet every day after our respective shoots.

Chintu and I did several movies together — Jhoota Kahin Ka (1979), Khel Khel Mein and Aap Ke Deewane (1980), among others. He would never prepare for his shots, and yet, when the camera rolled, he came alive! He was so spontaneous and natural. When we were shooting for Aap Ke Deewane, I asked him how he shone in each take without having prepped for it. With a smile, he said, 'Aise hi yaar, main camera ke saamne bas masti karta hoon…' He was such an integral part of my life that I couldn't imagine my first directorial venture without him. So, I requested Chintu to do a cameo in Khudgarz (1987).

[In 2018], our cancer diagnosis came months apart — his in August, and mine in December. But we both fought with a smile on our face. He was always brave and full of life. When I met him in March before the lockdown, Chintu, Neetu and I reminisced about our good old days.

I spoke to Neetu earlier this week when I learnt he was hospitalised and prayed for his speedy recovery. I woke up this morning to a message from a friend, asking if Rishi Kapoor was all right. When I called Dabboo [Randhir Kapoor], his number was busy. That's when my heart sank and I instinctively knew something was wrong. Then I rang up Ranbir who shared the news. It was so shocking that I started crying on the phone. Instead of me consoling him, Ranbir comforted me. He has been a pillar of strength to his father.

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