The Show Must Go On: An Ode To Raj Kapoor

Raj-Kapoor

The “Original Showman” of Bollywood, Raj Kapoor or Raj Sahab would have turned eight nine on December 14, 2013 had he been alive. An actor, a writer, a producer and a director, Raj Kapoor was a man ahead of his times. Raj Kapoor was the eldest son, amongst the six children of Prithvi Raj Kapoor and Ramsarni Devi Kapoor.

To some, he was Hindi cinema’s most passionate champion; a dedicated filmmaker in love with the very process of filmmaking and to some he was a legend who smartly localized the Chaplin Hero, a die-hard romantic and a man with unmatched passion for the world cinema. It is said that Raj Kapoor ate, slept and dreamt cinema. He always broke the mould, went against the tide to make what he believed in and as they say the rest became history.

In 1935 Raj Kapoor featured in his first movie Inquilab at the age of eleven but his first job was that of a clapper boy in a Kedar Sharma film in 1942 where he was hired by Ranjit Movietone and was paid a sum of ten rupees a month. Bombay Talkies was his next stop. The money was much more – a hundred rupees a month, but Devika Rani, who ruled the studio was not at all impressed with him.

At twenty one, Raj Kapoor produced, directed and acted in Aag. A modest success, he next made Barsaat, which straightaway put him into the bigger league. Teaming with Nargis, this film set the tone for the RK Films and then followed Awara, Shree 420, Chori Chori, Jagte Raho, Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Prem Rog, Ram Teri Ganga Maili and many more.

His most ambitious project was Mera Naam Joker, which not only took six years in the making, but even fell flat at the Box Office. This failure broke Raj Kapoor. But, as he always said that the SHOW MUST GO ON, he once again got up and gave a stupendous hit, the film was Bobby (1973) and couple that became a rage was Dimple Kapadia and his own son Rishi Kapoor.

Kapoor family is the oldest and probably the most respected families in Bollywood, with generations working in the industry. Prithvi Raj Kapoor to Raj Kapoor to Rishi Kapoor to Kareena Kapoor to Ranbir Kapoor. Recently Time magazine included Raj Kapoor’s 1951 classic Awaara among the twenty new entries added to its all-time hundred list of the greatest films made since 1923.

Raj Kapoor was this gusty filmmaker who bereaved all odds and made every film from his heart.

We shall always miss you, Raj Kapoor Sahab…