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Neetu Kapoor: Want to keep my mind occupied

Updated on: 12 April,2022 07:34 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Letty Mariam Abraham |

Neetu Kapoor, who lost husband Rishi to cancer, on bouncing back as she turns a judge with Dance Deewane Juniors

Neetu Kapoor: Want to keep my mind occupied

Neetu Kapoor

After a chat with her, you’re bound to leave the room with a wide smile on your face. That’s the Neetu Kapoor effect. At 63, her zest for life is contagious. After losing husband Rishi Kapoor to cancer in 2020, the past two years have been hard on her, but she believes in having a positive outlook towards life. The veteran actor has been roped in as a judge on Dance Deewane Juniors. Though she is aware that she may not be on par with co-judges Nora Fatehi and Marzi Pestonji when it comes to shaking a leg, she is not one to be bogged down. Her recent viral video, where she is seen matching steps with Fatehi on Naach meri rani, is a clear example. “I wanted to try it. I cannot [dance] like Nora Fatehi. I got 50 per cent of her steps; the rest, well, I am not as young as her,” smiles Kapoor.

In the past, Kapoor and husband Rishi were often invited on reality shows as guest judges. Now, she is a permanent fixture on the reality show — a role she wholeheartedly welcomed. “I told Marzi and Nora that I won’t eliminate anyone; it’s their job. I’ll leave the technical things to the experts. I am going to be all heart and just love the kids.” The veteran actor notes that dance in Hindi cinema has evolved over time. “During my days, there was one thumka, one classical style, and the Bhagwan dada dance. Today, one witnesses so many dance styles, from locking and popping to tutting to freestyle. It’s a learning process for me. Irrespective of the dance form, the key is to put your heart in your performance so that the audience can feel your joy.”

Riddhima, Rishi, Ranbir, Neetu Kapoor and Alia Bhatt
Riddhima, Rishi, Ranbir, Neetu Kapoor and Alia Bhatt

One of the prominent leading ladies of the late ’70s, Kapoor left showbiz in 1980 to tie the knot with Rishi and subsequently concentrate on her family. Looking back, she has no regrets about losing the prime years of her career. “I began working as a child artiste. My mother would say that it has become like a job because I had no desire or want [at the time]. At the age of eight, I already had received so much fame, love, and a barrage of awards. Post that, I only wanted to get married and find some peace of mind. I had a demanding husband, and kids to take care of. There was no room for anything else. My husband was always looking for me, so I never wanted to leave him alone.”

Now, she admits things are different. While little can fill the void left by the passing of a partner, Kapoor has rediscovered her passion for movies. “My husband is gone, and my children don’t live with me anymore. There is a vacuum because there is nothing to do. I did Jug Jugg Jeeyo because I wanted to. The same goes for Dance Deewane Juniors. I want to keep my mind occupied. I don’t want to sit at home and think that he is gone, or think about sad things. I like being in a happy space. I can go on with my life. I am only doing [the show] out of love and desire, because I want to be happy.”

Currently, busy prepping for son Ranbir Kapoor’s wedding with Alia Bhatt. She refuses to divulge details of the upcoming nuptials, claiming that she is “not aware of the dates” as both Ranbir and Bhatt are “unpredictable”. “I feel like [screaming from the rooftops], but they are too private, and I respect that. Alia is the purest form of a human being. There is no negativity in her. She doesn’t think ill of anyone; she is talented, lovely, and beautiful.”

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