‘My father was a man’s man’https://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/entertainment-others/my-father-was-a-mans-man/

‘My father was a man’s man’

As a little boy,Aditya Raj Kapoor would lock his fingers in his father’s bracelet and hold on to it tightly.

As a little boy,Aditya Raj Kapoor would lock his fingers in his father’s bracelet and hold on to it tightly. It was the only way he couldn’t lose his father,Shammi Kapoor,in the milling crowd of fans. “I am wearing that bracelet now,” said Aditya,holding onto his father’s memory,a relationship which he defines as ‘adventurous’.

“He was a man’s man,who was larger than life itself. And the best thing about him was that he led by example,which I am doing now with my kids,” says Aditya.

In town for the ongoing Chandigarh Carnival,Kapoor was a guest of honour at the carnival’s Film City set,which has been dedicated to the memory of his father. Complete with water features,snow,shikaras and Kashmiri flower girls,Kapoor lauds this recreation of the ‘yahoo’ moment.

Aditya tells us that it was never easy to be a superstar’s son,apart from being born in the first family of the Indian film industry. “Once my father was a superstar,there were a thousand people between him and me,” he recalls,confessing,that the relationship was tough,especially after the death of his mother,the legendary actress,Geeta Bali,who died of small pox. Aditya was nine then.

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“She was like a rock,” he says,calling her the pathan of the family; someone who held everyone and everything together. “Not many people know,but she is the reason,the person,behind my father’s super stardom. She was his strength and goaded him to become a film star and in turn,he was madly,deeply in love with her. He was a true romantic and he was lost for a long time without her. We all were,” says Aditya,as he rewinds to his father’s films like Teesri Manzil,shot after Geeta Bali’s death and how the song Tumne mujhe dekha was dedicated to her.

But in spite of being born in a house full of legendary actors,acting was never Aditya’s first choice. “It’s not difficult to be an actor in the Kapoor household and I get my acting talent from my mother. She,however,wanted me to receive an education,be a gentleman and packed me off to Lawrence School,Sanawar. Sanjay Dutt was with me then,” says Aditya,who adds how his mother studied only till class five and getting a proper schooling for her kids was very important for her. But when her death left a dent in the family,Kapoor says that he didn’t know how to cope with it. “I was wild,out of control,took to alcohol,and after assisting my uncle Raj Kapoor for five years,I found my spiritual guru in Nainital,” he says.

Aditya says that he is done with days of corporate life and is back to family business — films. “2012 will see me in two comedy films — as a father in Say Yes to Love directed by Mahrukh Mirza,and Soni De Nakhre directed by Marathi filmmaker Vicky,” says Aditya. The latter will also mark the debut of Sheena Singh,Sadhna Singh’s daughter. In the meantime,a production house,theatre and scripts are also on the anvil for Aditya.