Exuberant actor-director Randhir ‘Dabboo’ Kapoor seemed absolutely hale and hearty, when I met him, in his spacious cabin, which has classic vintage portraits adorning the walls, at the iconic R.K. Studios at Chembur. Denying any health-scare, the outspoken, glib actor said he was discharged from hospital after a few essential check-ups and insists that “I am now fighting fit”.
The charismatic Kapoor, whose diva-daughter Kareena, recently made headlines when she married Saif Ali Khan, has three upcoming films including the light-hearted flick Society’ directed by Rahul Dholakia which has (hold your breath) the stunning Dimple Kapadia playing his on-screen wife! The two other movies of which Randhir is part of the lead cast are Super Nani co-starring Rekha and also Ramaiya Vastavaiya.
Meanwhile, Randhir who was a close buddy of the legendary ‘late’ composer R.D. Burman, has been invited today (RDB’s death anniversary) by the popular Pune-based PanchamMagic fans club where he would be sharing nostalgic anecdotes.
Jogging into a flashback, the cricket connoisseur, Randhir is agog with fond memories. “The versatile genius Pancham was instrumental in boosting my career with chartbusting music as in the runaway hit Jawani Diwani (1972) and several other films which had his brilliant score. We had a common dear friend the ‘late’ producer Ramesh Behl who produced Jawani Diwani. Once we became best of buddies, RDB was my obvious natural choice for our RK banner venture Dharam Karam (1975) which I also directed. In which he gave us amazing songs, especially the Mukesh number ‘Ek Din Bik Jaayega’. Even my dad Raj Kapoor appreciated Pancham’s compositions for its distinct style,” he smiles wistfully.
Post ‘pack-up’, wasn’t RD known for his fetish for good food? Amid a hearty chuckle, the RK scion recalls, “Not just eating, maestro Pancham who also had a witty sense of humour, was an excellent cook. After my late-night sittings with him, he would affectionately cook delicious non-vegetarian food for us. While the rest of us would be busy sipping drinks, RD would be busy with his ‘khaana pakaana’ whilst humming some dhun.
We would end up spending at least four late nights in a week, together. At one of the sittings, RD hummed a tune which I instantly got hooked onto. But he initially refused to use that tune for any of my songs, as he had already ‘committed’ it to some other leading film-maker. Much later, the film was ‘shelved’ and luckily Pancham incorporated that same tune for the song ‘Tujhsa Haseen’ in my movie Harjaee (1981), which is among my top favourites,” shrugs the candid Kapoor who appeared peeved and furious over the recent remix of the all-time classic RDB hippie anthem Dum Maro Dum.
“A composer who ‘murders’ RD’s original iconic song should be publicly flogged and can never be forgiven”, reacts Randhir in an outburst of emotional anger.