Fragrance of Yesteryears brings you a great personalty of tinsel
town, the superstar and multi-talented icon of the 50s. His family has
been entertaining the masses for many decades, and he is the paramount
to which many are compared.
We are of course talking about the showman of Indian cinema - the one and only Raj Kapoor
debut as an actor was made at the mere age of eleven, and by the age of
twenty-two, he was assistant director for many Bollywood majors,
including Bombay Talkies. By the time he was twenty-four, he had
established his independent production house - R.K's Studios - and was
all set to make his first film as a director. Aag
(1948), a film in
which he also starred in, was the prelude to the most creative phase of his career, the beginning of the 50s.
was during this period of time that his artistic collaboration began
with Nargis, who went on to become the main female lead in many of Raj
Kapoor's films. The great chemistry that developed between the two
actors on screen resulted in much gossip and speculations about their
personal relationships. What is true and what is not is still up in the
air, but it is a fact that Raj Kapoor
was married to Krishna Kapoor, who
was the sister of actors Rajendra Nath and Prem Nath.
Two of the most iconic films of the era, and subsequently classics of Indian cinema, are Raj Kapoor
starrers. Both Awaara
(1951) and Shree 420
had Raj Kapoor
reinterpreting Charlie Chaplin, and giving him an
original Bollywood twist. The characters in the two films were
decisively influenced by Charlie Chaplin's characters and dress styles:
the romantic young drifter, with no money, but rich in dreams and
ideals, must deal with the grim reality of the metropolis. The mix of
candour and morality, social commentary and comedy, and the high sense
of rhythm and show, all delicately balanced, it is not wonder this sort
of cinema was appreciated even outside of India! The success of the
films opened Indian cinema doors to new markets in Russia and the Middle
While the man continued his career as
an actor with great success, as a director, he was unable to recreate
the magic of these classics. Mera Naam Joker (1970), an ambitious remake of Chaplin's Limelight, was a declared a flop.
slump came to an end, however, when in 1973, Raj Kapoor
Indian cinema as a director. His film was aimed at the young people of
the new generation, their dreams and their problems. Bobby
milestone for popular Hindi cinema, featuring Raj Kapoor
's middle son
Rishi Kapoor as the male lead, and marking the debut of Dimple Kapadia,
who went on to be a huge star.
aside his acting career in the 80s, but continued as a director and a
producer, with much success. However, his health worsened steadily, and
in 1988, he sadly passed on due to a severe form of asthma, merely a few
weeks after receiving one of the highest honours by the President of
the Indian Republic.
the first film whereby three generations of a family appeared onscreen
together: Raj Kapoor
, Prithviraj Kapoor (his father) and Diwan
Basheshwarnath (his grandfather).
2. Raj Kapoor
admitted to considering suicide after failing a subject in school.
He got married at the age of 22 to Krishna Kapoor, whose brothers were
actors. The acting bug is still in the family: his granddaughters are
Karisma Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor, daughters of Raj's eldest son Randhir
and wife Babita; his grandson is Ranbir Kapoor, son of youngest Rishi
and his wife Neetu Singh.
Editors: Anhdara & Jenifer