‘Bobby’ Completes 48 Years: Rishi Was Not Raj Kapoor’s First Choice For The Film

Mumbai: Raj Kapoor’s iconic trendsetting movie, ‘Bobby’ was released this day 48 years ago. The lead pair, Raj Kapoor’s son and a young Dimple Kapadia became a rage. The movie also set the tone for Rishi Kapoor’s long and successful career as a romantic hero.

A desperate Raj Kapoor made Bobby to bail himself out of the losses incurred due to the box office failure of his previous films, ‘Mera Naam Joker’ and ‘Kal, Aaj Aur Kal.’

Ironically, the senior Kapoor could not afford Rajesh Khanna, the reigning star at that time, so he cast his son Rishi in the film. Even more ironically, Dimple Kapadia went on to marry Rajesh Khanna after her debut film.

Rishi Kapoor told Bollywood Hungama at the time, “Bobby was a film made because Raj Kapoor had to be bailed out. He had this studio mortgage. Whatever money he earned all his life, was always invested in his films. It all kept rolling. It was never invested in any other kind of industrial zone…it was always his films. He was so passionate about his films.”

He added, “So, Bobby was made at a time when Raj Kapoor needed a successful film. And the easiest way out after Mera Naam Joker debacle was to take big stars and make a film as there was a 100 percent hit chance since Raj Kapoor was making it. That is why Rajesh Khanna and that time, I am told, Sharmila Tagore and Mumtaz were keen to work with Raj Kapoor. They would do anything to work with him. He didn’t believe taking stars in the film, in the sense that, his vision and thinking were different,” he added.

In his memoir Khullam Khulla, Rishi wrote that he was in a serious relationship with a girl named Yasmin Mehta, which came to an end after tabloids wrote about a budding romance between him and Dimple. “By the time Bobby was released in 1973, Stardust, which was the most popular magazine of its time, published a story about a budding romance between Dimple and me. Dimple, who by this time was already married to Rajesh Khanna, was not greatly affected by it. But it put an end to my relationship with Yasmin, I tried hard to get her back in my life, but she did not agree” he wrote.

Rishi Kapoor went on to win the Best Actor award for Bobby, which he later confessed to have ‘bought’ and was of course ashamed about it. The award left Amitabh Bachchan sulking because he was hoping to get it for ‘Zanjeer,’ Rishi said.

“I am sure he felt the award was rightfully his for Zanjeer, which released the same year. I am ashamed to say it, but I actually ‘bought’ that award. I was so naïve. There was this PRO, Taraknath Gandhi, who said to me, ‘Sir, tees hazaar de do, toh aap ko main award dila doonga.’ I am not the manipulative sort but I admit that I gave him the money without thinking,” Rishi Kapoor later wrote in his memoir.

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