Dimple Kapadia’s debut film Bobby is among one of the most talked about films even after 48 years of its release. The actor was just 17 when she rose to fame. But it was her personal life that grabbed as much attention. Kapadia married superstar Rajesh Khanna six months before the release of Bobby, which also marked the debut of Rishi Kapoor.
Dimple met Rajesh Khanna for the first time on a flight. She was flying to Ahmedabad for an event. At FICCI’s event, organised a couple of years ago, Dimple revisited her first meeting with the Rajesh Khanna. She recalled that it was after she signed Raj Kapoor’s film.
“We were going to Ahmedabad on a private flight for a function. I was born dramatic. Bachpan se drama ka shauk bohot jyada tha. He sat next to me. I was looking at him. Rajesh Khanna, I mean come on guys, give me a break. I very chalaak-ly told him, ‘Wahan toh bohot crowd hoga, bheed hogi. Aap mera haath pakdoge na? (That place will be very crowded right? Will you hold my hand?)’ He said, ‘Haan bilkul (Yes, why not).’ I replied, ‘Hamesha ke liye? (Forever?)’ And the rest is history. It happened,” she remembered and burst into laughter.
But Dimple Kapadia and Rajesh Khanna’s marriage did not last long. The two parted ways in 1982. Dimple, by then, was a mother to two daughters – Twinkle Khanna and Rinke Khanna. It is only two years later when she came back to the screens. On The Pritish Nandy Show, the actor said she could not understand the superstar. Revisiting pre-separation phase of her life, Dimple Kapada that the reason behind them parting ways was because the two were “different kind of people.”
“I think we were two very different kind of people. I was probably very young to understand what was happening to this man, who was a superstar. I have never been able to understand stars and their behaviour pattern at all because I am not one myself. I just couldn’t understand,” she said.
She credited Bobby and its success as the reason why she could get her foot back into the industry. “I see it as a lease of life. After 10 years, that’s the only film that took me where I was in life. Nobody would have given me work otherwise,” she said.
But interestingly, Dimple Kapadia didn’t get Bobby in her first shot. The actor was “rejected” because she “looked older than Rishi Kapoor.” However, Raj Kapoor gave her a second chance. He gave her the wings to fly and instilled her with confidence that she could pull off the role.
“I was in school and I read it in the papers that he (Raj Kapoor) is looking a new face. I said to my friends – that’s me. At that age, you can afford to be so confident. I was taken to the screen-test where I was promptly rejected because I looked older than Rishi Kapoor. But he gave me another screen test and I got the film. I kept trying real hard in certain scene to bring real tears. He would build me up. I am yet to meet a director like him. He makes you feel that you are capable of doing it. He instilled that kind of confidence in you,” she remembered.
On the work front, Dimple Kapadia was last seen in A Thursday. She will also be seen in Shah Rukh Khan’s Pathaan and Ranbir Kapoor’s Brahmastra.