The evening Rajiv Kapoor was being cremated, I was full of memories of him, but all those memories faded away when I saw his elder brother Randhir Kapoor (Dabbu) standing before his dead body before it was consigned to the flames and the first question that hit me straight in my heart was, how many deaths would this man would have to be a witness to, knowing that he was a man so full of life and who loved to laugh as much as he loved the good things of life.
I had seen him at many funerals, but what baffles me is why this lovable man had to bear so much of sorrow because of the passing away of the members of his close family and how he has survived all the onslaughts of cruel death.
ALI PETER JOHN
Dabbu had become a star, he was a young man who had learned from life
He had watched his grandfather and grandmother, Prithviraj Kapoor and Rama Devi giving up their bodies when he was still in his teens and was aiming to be an actor or a director. I don’t know what feelings must have passed through his young mind at that time, but I know that it must have left a deep scar on his mind.
He had become a star, he was a young man who had learned from life( he had only studied till his 9th standard at a convent school) and was known as a young man who didn’t take life very seriously and was happy with whatever came his way. He had some very good friends like R D Burman and had long drinking sessions with them, but life was beginning to be cruel to him and proved it to him when both his friends, R D and filmmaker Ramesh Behl died one after the other. It must have been a big shock for Randhir ( Dabbu) but he kept his grief to himself and carried on living life in the only way he knew to, without taking life seriously because “life was a bitch”
But the power of death showed him its face when he lost his grand uncle Trilok Kapoor, an actor who excelled in playing “Gods”
And then came the most ghastly attack of death when his father the great Raj Kapoor died, leaving him to carry on his legacy. He was a good successor to his father, but he knew that he couldn’t be like his father however hard he tried, but he didn’t stop trying in his own way and kept the RK banner flying.
But death was in no mood to give up giving him some more jolts and jerks. He had to surrender to the dark clutches of death when his uncles Shammi Kapoor and Shashi Kapoor died after long ailments. He was also a witness to the deaths of Shammi’s wife Geeta Bali, one of the best actresses and Jennifer Kapoor.
He first lost his sister Ritu Nanda, the mother in law of Shweta Bachchan
But never in the last many years was death so cruel to him as it was during the last three years. He first lost his sister Ritu Nanda, the mother in law of Shweta Bachchan who succumbed to cancer, and if this shock was not enough, he lost his brilliant actor-brother Rishi Kapoor and was to be the first to break the shocking news of his death. Hardly had he recovered from this great loss, he lost his mother, Krishna Raj Kapoor who he was taking care of at the Deonar Cottage where she had lived ever since she married Raj Kapoor during the time he was still struggling to build his empire with her being his constant support even at the time when there was darkness all around.
I knew how close Dabbu was to both his brothers and I can imagine the sadness in his heart
And now comes the death of his younger brother, Chimpu who he loved like a father more than a brother. I knew how close Dabbu was to both his brothers and I can imagine the sadness in his heart as he sits alone and recalls memories of those good old days when there was life, love and laughter all around the Kapoor Khandaan.
WILL THIS JOURNEY THROUGH HELL ON EARTH END FOR THIS JOLLY GOOD FELLOW? WILL LIFE AND DEATH BE KIND TO HIM NOW? I LEAVE IT TO THE POWERS THAT CAN MAKE OR BREAK POOR AND HELPLESS HUMAN BEINGS LIKE US? AND WHY CAN’T WE LEARN FROM THE EXPERIENCES OF DABBU THAT LIFE IS JUST A JOKE PLAYED BY SOME ALMIGHTY POWER THAT DOES WHAT IT WANTS WITHOUT CARING TWO HOOTS FOR WHAT MAN HAS TO SAY ABOUT WHAT IT DOES WITH MAN ?