Article Canada Hindi

Watch: Randhir, Rishi, Rajiv remember father Raj Kapoor in this nostalgic conversation

At the Toronto International Film Festival in 2011, Raj Kapoor’s sons had a conversation with actor Anupam Kher to celebrate the life and work of the filmmaker. On his 29th death anniversary (2 June), we revisit this special talk where the sons reminisced about their famous father.

An old photograph of Raj Kapoor, his wife Krishna and their three sons (from left) Rishi, Rajiv and Randhir

Sonal Pandya

The Toronto International Film Festival held a retrospective from 1 July to 7 August in 2011 titled 'Raj Kapoor and the Golden Age of Indian Cinema' and showcased films like Barsaat (1949), Awara (1951), and Mera Naam Joker (1970). The film series were held in conjunction with the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) awards that were held in Toronto, Canada, that year.

Anupam Kher, who was the moderator, began the conversation asking who was Raj Kapoor’s favourite among his children. Randhir Kapoor, being the eldest, replied to laughs from the seated audience that it was probably him. He also said that his father only discussed work at home, nothing else.

The conversation then veered to the Kapoors’ fascination with films and food. Kher joked that even on the sets of RK Films’ Prem Granth (1996), directed by Rajiv Kapoor, the issue of what had to be ordered for lunch took importance over the shot that had to be filmed that day.

Middle son Rishi Kapoor, who has had the most success as an actor among the brothers, discussed his father’s career. “When my father was young, India had just got its independence, so we had a lot of problems. The youth was very confused. There were many stories to tell, so the actors were given parts which we in today’s times don’t have."

Rishi said Raj Kapoor was absolutely focused and obsessed with his own work, but even though he was a successful filmmaker himself, he never interfered with any director when he was acting in someone else's film.

Raj’s youngest son, Rajiv, shared that his favourite film starring his father was Mera Naam Joker (1970). "I grew up watching that film. But over the years, and as I was getting close to Dad, learning and seeing his philosophy of life, today I must have watched Mera Naam Joker more than 150 times. That film speaks what he was,” he said.

Rishi also pointed out that Raj Kapoor never made any films for the [whole] family. He may have made films with [his] family, but they were never meant as family viewing. Kher also pointed out the filmmaker’s international appeal, especially in countries like Russia, to which Rishi replied, “I feel Raj Kapoor had the capability of reaching out to someone with his emotions. He made films where he could reach not the common man, but he reached a fellow human being.”

Krishna Raj Kapoor, the brothers' mother, also attended the gala tribute and was seated in the audience during the conversation.

Watch the full conversation below: