“I grew up wearing Rishi Kapoor’s sweaters, dancing to his songs, idolising him on screen,” said Karan Johar

Karan Johar, a self-confessed fan of the late actor Rishi Kapoor, poured his heart out in a recent interview to NDTV’s Rohit Khilnani and recalled some of his favourite memories of working with the actor, who died on April 30 this year. Rishi Kapoor was a part of several films backed by KJo’s Dharma Productions, such as Agneepath and Kapoor And Sons. However, it was only in the 2012 film Student Of The Year that Karan Johar got a chance to direct Rishi Kapoor. The filmmaker recalled that before signing the film, Mr Kapoor said, “Karan you are directing the film, you don’t even have to narrate the part to me.” Karan Johar recalled how he got extremely emotional while directing the song Radha and said, “He gave the first shot on the sets of Radha. It’s so bizarre that my big song was Dafliwale that I used to dance to in my room as a child. I just burst out crying. I went in a corner, wiped my face and went to him and hugged him and said, you don’t know what this means to me.” Dafliwale is an iconic song from Mr Kapoor’s 1979 film Sargam.

KJo added, “There were a few people on my emotional bucket list as a filmmaker that I wanted to work with and Rishi Kapoor was right there on top.”

When the filmmaker was asked during the interview what came to his mind now that Rishi Kapoor is no longer with us, the Ae Dil Hai Mushkil director said that he felt like he “lost a piece of his childhood.” He said, “I knew that things were critical and things were tough for him. As a fan, not as a filmmaker or a friend of the family, just as a fan, I was heart-broken on that day because I felt like I lost my piece of childhood.” He explained how Rishi Kapoor’s films were deeply embedded in his cultural consciousness and said, “I grew up wearing Rishi Kapoor’s sweaters, dancing to his songs, idolising him on screen. He was my hero and when I would tell him that, he would laugh it off. My childhood is all Rishi Kapoor.”

Earlier, Karan Johar posted a eulogy for Rishi Kapoor on social media with a reference to the evergreen actor’s song Dard-e-Dil, from 1980 film Karz. An excerpt from his post read, “Today, I feel like an irreplaceable void has crept into my existence, a piece of my growing years has been snatched away. I am honoured to love him, to know him, to have a drink and reminisce with him….I still will. How can the romance of Indian cinema ever leave us? Never. Dard -e-Dil….but this legendary legacy will live on.”

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I was 7 years old and overheard that my parents were invited to see a preview of “Duniya meri Jeb mein”…it starred my favourite Rishi kapoor…it was school night and my very particular mother refused to let me come with her….I threw such a tantrum because i couldn’t bear the fact that I was being disallowed from seeing a Chintu kapoor film…the parents finally succumbed…i went ….with stars in my eyes…like i had every time I saw him on celluloid…he was my HERO! The very handsome,the exceptionally charming,the eternally Romantic RISHI KAPOOR…my childhood was dedicated to watching him sing his songs with abandon, wearing his printed sweaters and dancing in my bedroom…..doing the dafliwalle routine with a dinner plate in front of my school friends…and finally nearly fainting when I met him for the first time in Cochin on the sets of my fathers film DUNIYA…I looked at him like he was a monument that I wanted to keep marvelling at….when i directed him in SOTY i shed a tear silently after he gave his first shot … a major childhood dream was actualised ….today i feel like an irreplaceable void has crept into my existence…a piece of my growing years has been snatched away….i am honoured to love him…to know him…to have a drink and reminisce with him….I still will .. how can the romance of Indian Cinema ever leave us? Never. Dard -e dil….but this legendary legacy will live on! I LOVE YOU RISHI KAPOOR!❤️❤️❤️

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Rishi kapoor was diagnosed with cancer two years ago and flew to New York for treatment. He returned to Mumbai last September after having spent nearly a year in the US. He is survived by his wife Neetu Kapoor, son Ranbir and daughter Riddhima.