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Padmini Kolhapure says niece Shraddha Kapoor had no plans to join Bollywood: ‘Then one fine day…’

Padmini Kolhapure talks about her regret of not becoming a playback singer, her bond with niece Shraddha Kapoor and her bond with co-stars Rishi Kapoor and Dilip Kumar.

Written by A. Kameshwari | New Delhi |
Updated: September 2, 2021 8:25:55 am
padmini kolhapurePadmini Kolhapure confessed that she wanted to be a singer but destiny had different plans for her. (Photo: Padmini Kolhapure/Instagram, Express Archive)

The 1982 film Prem Rog is a cult classic, and is considered a milestone movie for actor Rishi Kapoor. But did you know that the late actor had inhibitions about starring in the Raj Kapoor directorial? Recently, indianexpress.com spoke to Padmini Kolhapure, who played the lead role of Manorama in the film. The actor remembered Rishi Kapoor and said, “I have so many memories (with him). I have done a couple of films with Rishi Ji. Talking about Prem Rog, I remember when he was doing the film, he was like, ‘What am I doing in the film? It is Padmini’s film, it is Manorama’s film. The story is going to be around her.’ But little did he know about the impact he created on people’s minds. I think that is probably one of his great films.”

Apart from Prem Rog, Padmini had shared the screen space with Rishi Kapoor in Zamaane Ko Dikhana Hai, Pyar Ke Kabil and Yeh Ishq Nahin Aasaan among others. “I had met him a few years back. He was always full of life. What he came across as was who he was,” she added.

Padmini Kolhapure with Rishi Kapoor A still from Prem Rog. (Photo: Express Archive)

Not just Rishi Kapoor, Padmini had the fortune to work with Dilip Kumar too. Earlier this year, when Dilip Kumar passed away, Padmini wrote an emotional note paying tribute to the legend. “Yusuf Uncle. Rest in Peace. Thank you for being in my life. Thank you for your love your care. You have taught me volumes! Will miss you till eternity.. not just me all your fans your well-wishers here and the world over. I have witnessed the adulation the love the respect you had in the hearts of your admirers. I can go on and on and on. Saira Baaji you have been the strongest pillar and support prayers and strength to you,” she wrote.

Padmini Kolhapure with Dilip Kumar Padmini Kolhapure has featured in films with Dilip Kumar. (Photo: Express Archive)

When we asked her to describe her bond with him, she shared a memory that has remained etched in her heart forever. Sharing how fond Dilip Kumar was of her, Padmini said, “Dilip ji used to have a lady to look after him. She came to meet me saying that she would make pudding for me. One day she was making it, he was getting late for the shoot. He asked – ‘What are you doing. Why are you making this pudding?’ When she said she is making it for me, he was so fond of me that he said, ‘Accha accha, uske liye bana rahi ho. Aaram se banao, acche se banao.'”

The actor, who was last seen in Arjun Kapoor’s Panipat, recently launched the music label Dhamaka Records in association with her son Priyaank K Sharma. The duo launched ‘Hum Hindustani’ as the first song under the label. The song featured many veterans including Lata Mangeshkar, Amitabh Bachchan, Sonu Nigam and others. When asked if her fans would see her exploring Bollywood as a singer, Padmini replied, “Let’s see what my son has in store for me. I can’t say anything right now.” But was she ever keen to be a singer? “I wanted to become a playback singer but then destiny took a turn. Of course, took a great turn. But I do sort of regret not being a playback singer. I just loved singing, even now I love to sing.”

Padmini Kolhapure Padmini with Asha Bhonsle at a studio. (Photo: Express Archive)

For the unversed, Padmini is the niece of legendary singers Asha Bhonsle and Lata Mangeshkar. Her father Pandharinath Kolhapure was also a musician. So, how was it growing up with them? “I have learnt so much from them. My father used to sing and teach. At recordings, I have heard how Lata ji or Asha ji used to sing. The problem is because they are such perfectionists with such great voices, it is hard to like any other voice. I cannot think beyond Asha Bhonsle, Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar, Mohd Rafi and more. Whenever I hear retro songs, I go into a frenzy. In my room, 24/7 my radio is on. The songs take you down the memory lane.”

While witnessing Padmini’s singing skills is still a faraway dream, she has also been keeping herself away from Bollywood. When questioned about it, she answered, “I just take something or just relax. I am not running or rushing to work. I take it as it comes. I have worked all my life. I want to jump only on a script that excites me.”

The actor, who has hits like Woh Saat Di and Pyaar Jhukta Nahin to her credit, said she is content with her journey as an actor. “God has been kind. It wasn’t difficult. I was introduced by Dev (Aanand) uncle as a child artist and then by Raj (Kapoor) uncle and Nasir uncle as the leading lady. So, for me, it wasn’t a struggle of any sort. I wanted to become a singer. So, in any case, if my career as an actor wouldn’t have worked, I would have become a singer,” she stated.

padmini kolhapure Padmini Kolhapure’s first film as a lead actor was Nasir Hussain’s Zamane Ko Dikhana Hai opposite Rishi Kapoor. (Photo: Express Archive)

Do star kids are pushed to carry their parents legacy forward? “Not at all. There is no stress for Shraddha or Priyaank. We just encouraged them,” she said, adding that Shraddha Kapoor “didn’t even think about getting into movies.”

“Priyaank had the ambition to get into films but Shraddha and Siddhant never expressed that they wanted to do movies. Suddenly, one fine day, she just decided,” she explained.

On the work front, Padmini will be seen in Taapsee Pannu’s maiden production venture titled Blurr. She will also be making her OTT debut this year.

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