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When he spoke his lines, you believed every word: Amitabh Bachchan remembers Rishi Kapoor

The actor paid an emotional tribute to his long-time co-star Rishi Kapoor on the I For India Facebook concert.

Our Correspondent

Even as he joined a star-studded team including the likes of Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Akshay Kumar to support the I For India campaign on Facebook, Amitabh Bachchan looked grief-stricken. The actor paid a moving tribute to his long-time co-star Rishi Kapoor, who died last Thursday.

Describing the early years of watching 'Chintuji', as Kapoor was popularly known in the film industry, prepare for Bobby (1973) in the famed make-up room at the now-defunct RK Films and Studios in Chembur, Bachchan said, "He had a walk that was confident, determined. A style and a stride which were very similar to his grandfather, the legendary Prithviraj Kapoor."

Speaking about his co-star of films like Kabhi Kabhie (1976), Amar Akbar Anthony (1977), Naseeb (1981), Coolie (1983) and, more recently, 102 Not Out (2019), Bachchan said, "When he spoke his lines, you believed every word of it as there was never an alternative, its genuineness was beyond question."

Through it all, the actor said, Kapoor never lost his sense of playfulness. "Even in the most grave sequences he would discover that comedic spark and we would all just crack up," he recalled. "Not just on set, if you were with him at any formal event, he would find that little distractive light-hearted gem to expand on and lighten the situation.

"When there was a lapse in shooting, he would never stop and sit still," Bachchan continued. "He would bring out his pack of cards and start playing, or he would bring out his very elaborate bagatelle board and ask all of us to join in. It was not fun. It was a competition."

Speaking of Kapoor's long illness, Bachchan said, "During the time of the diagnosis of his illness, he never ever lamented his condition. It was always 'see you soon. Just a routine checkup at the hospital'." The veteran put this down to "the sense of life that he inherited from the legendary ultimate showman, Raj Kapoor".

Bachchan added, "I never visited him in hospital. I never wanted to see distress on his smiling cherubic face. But I am certain when he went, he must have gone with a gentle smile."