Of Raj Kapoor’s three sons, Rajiv Kapoor was the least known and his father’s favorite too, so much so that once Rajiv’s older brother, Rishi Kapoor had grumbled, “My father did Ram Teri Ganga Maili to launch Chimpu. But he didn’t Policeman for me. It was Dimple’s film through and through.
On Tuesday February 9, Rajiv, who lived in Pune, collapsed and died in his family home in Chembur (Mumbai), barely a year after the death of his brother Rishi.
A close family friend reveals: “Chimpu had his home in Pune where he lived alone far away from his family. He hardly met anyone from his own family. But he was very fond of Rishi’s son, Ranbir, whom he filled with expensive gifts, especially watches. He had a series of relationships. And finally he got married. But the marriage broke down. There were no children. At the time of his death, he was alone in Chembur and very ill. He had nurses looking after him. When in the morning a nurse entered his room, she found him dead on the floor. He probably collapsed and died going to the bathroom.
Those in the know say it was the heavy drinking that caused Rajiv Kapoor.
“He would start drinking early in the morning and drinking all day. We were once traveling to South Africa together for the IIFA. Rajiv started drinking from the moment the seat belt panel was off and continued until we landed 8-9 hours later. He had to be carried off the plane.
Rajiv Kapoor made a promising start with Ek Jaan Hain Hum in 1983. But it was Ram Teri Ganga Maili under his father’s leadership in 1985 which proved to be a spectacular success propelling Rajiv into the big leagues. However his subsequent films like Aasman and Zabardast box office failures. He even associated with his Ram Teri Ganga Maili heroine Mandakini in Hum In Chale Pardes. But the film was a disaster.
In 1991, Rajiv became director with the ambitious Prem Granth. Adapted by Thomas Hardy’s Tess of Ubervilles it starred Madhuri Dixit and Rajiv’s brother, Rishi Kapoor. Madhuri apparently let down Sanjay Leela Bhansali Khamoshi: the musical make Prem Granth. Rajiv did his best to replicate his father Raj Kapoor’s grand vision but failed miserably.
The failure of Prem Granth discouraged Rajiv hopelessly. He left the film industry and quietly moved to Pune. And now it is moved to an unknown address.
Also Read: Rajiv Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor’s Younger Brother, Dies of Heart Attack at 58
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