Rishi Kapoor never wanted to do the stereotypical father’s role. He was unwilling to play even his own son Ranbir’s father, unless it was the kind of father that Shashi Kapoor played to Rishi in Yash Chopra’s Kabhi Kabhie.
Hence the only time Rishi came together with Ranbir– in the disastrous Besharam—they were not father and son.
Rishi had explained to me, “If you notice, I didn’t play my own son’s father in Besharam. It is not vanity, just sanity. I can’t do the stereotypical father’s role . They don’t challenge me as an actor at all. So I avoid doing father’s roles. It’s just too unexciting. To my good fortune I am getting roles that do not require me to be the so-called father.”
Rishi preferred to be a non-interfering parent in real life. “I’ve been working for the last 42 years. And look at how much has changed. In Bobby the parents tried to bully the lovers. One can’t do that anymore. Couples today work together towards achieving a common goal, whether it’s a house, or holidays abroad or whatever. The parents have little say in their children’s life. They are independent individuals with minds of their own. If today I was to behave like Pran Saab in Bobby my kids would laugh in my face. Today parental intervention is permissible only to the point where the kids respect your opinion.”
Said Rishi, “I remember poet Pradeep’s song Dekh tere sansar ki haalat kya ho gayi bhagwaan kitna badal gayaa insaan in I.S. Johar’s Nastik. They were singing about how much has changed back then in 1950. They’re still singing the same song. We’re always complaining.”
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