Actor Rishi Kapoor had shared many moments from his and his family’s past in his tell-all memoirs, Khullam Khulla. One of the chapters dealt with his father’s relationship with Nargis and Vyjayanthimala. While he said that things didn’t change at home when his dad Raj Kapoor had a relationship with Nargis, his mother Krishna Raj Kapoor put her foot down when it came to Vyjayanthimala.
“I was very young when my father had an affair with Nargis Ji, and so was not affected by it. I don’t remember feeling anything was amiss at home either. But I do remember moving into the Natraj Hotel on Marine Drive with my mom during the time Papa was involved with Vyjayanthimala,” he had written.
“My mother had decided to put her foot down this time. From the hotel, we shifted for two months into an apartment in Chitrakoot. My father had bought the apartment for Mom and us. He did all he could to woo her back, but my mother didn’t give in until he had ended that chapter of his life,” Rishi wrote.
However, Vyjayanthimala had dismissed the affair, saying that it was all a ploy for film promotion. At that time, Rishi had addressed this too. “In an interview published a few years ago, Vyjayanthimala denied ever having an affair with my father. She claimed that he had manufactured the romance because of his hunger for publicity. I was livid. How could she be so blasé; and pretend the affair never happened? She had no right to distort facts just because he was no longer around to defend the truth,” he said.
“When his (Vaijayanthi Mala) book came out, many friends in the media contacted me to know my reaction. I told them what I thought. With time, my anger subsided. I admit that people throw light on uncomfortable facts for their own reasons, but I can say with full certainty that if Papa was alive, he (Vaijayanthi Mala) would not have denied the affair so openly or he (Raj Kapoor) would have been exposed to publicity. Don’t say hungry. My father lived most of his time on his own terms,” the actor had said.
Raj Kapoor and Vyjayanthimala worked together in Nazrana (1961) and Sangam (1964). While Nazrana was directed by CV Sridhar, Sangam was directed and produced by Raj Kapoor. The film also starred Rajendra Kumar.