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“Chintu Gone, What Other Cruelties Does God Have In Store For Me?” Childhood Friend Nitin Mukesh Breaks Down

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Rishi  Kapoor’s father  Raj Kapoor and singer Nitin Mukesh’s father the great  Mukesh  were best friends,  so close as  to be considered brothers.

“And  the  tradition continued  with  our generation. I  was  close  to  all of Raj Uncle’s  children. Our  bonding began early in school .You see, the Kapoors lived in Chembur and we lived  in Malabar Hills.The  Kapoor girls Reema  and  Ritu went to one  school, and Daboo(Randhir) and Chintu(Rishi) went  to another school, both close to my home. The girls’ school  was over an hour before  the boys. Reema  and  Ritu and would come  over to our house and wait  for their brothers every day.That’s how close we were. I was close to all the  Kapoor  children but Chintu  more than the others because  he was  closer my  age.  Of course he had a temper problem  even as a child and  we’d run  as soon he got  into that mood. But in two minutes  he  would  forget  about his  anger,” says singer Nitin Mukesh  son  of the legendary Mukesh.

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 A  flood memories  return as  Nitin Mukesh  recalls  the  many experiences he shared with  Rishi Kapoor. “We went on several concert  tours  together  We we were in the US, West  Indies  and London together. But before that we’ve  spent innumerable Holis,Diwalis  and birthdays together.   Holi  and  Diwali and Raj  Saab’s birthday on  December 14 , we  of the Mukesh family had  to be there at the Kapoors’  residence in brand new clothes. Papa (legendary singer Mukesh) would get new clothes for us  for  all  the three occasions at  Raj Uncle’s place.”

The  friendship between  Mukesh’s  and Raj Kapoor’s family has  continued over the years.

Says  Nitin Mukesh fondly, “Chintu attended my sister’s wedding  , then my brother’s wedding,  and then he  was there throughout at  the Grand Maratha in Sahar for  my daughter’s wedding.And  then Chintu’s  daughter Ridhima   got  married in exactly the same  venue and in exactly the same  way.That’s  how close  Chintu  was  to  me. The fondness between us  was bequeathed  to us from our fathers. My father lived with us  in a  one-room tenement  on Napean Sea Road .  Raj Saab never  let us feel we were economically  below him. He  would drop in at  3 am  and the entire  neighbourhood would  know THE Raj Kapoor  had come to meet his  dear friend Mukesh.”

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 Nitin Mukesh shared a similar friendship with Rishi Kapoor.

“He always  made me feel special. When  I bought  property  in  Powai(outside Mumbai)  Chintu also did  the  same.When I  bought my first  luxury car he  was there  to cheer  me,this dear dear friend who owned  a  fleet  of luxury  cars…he’s  no more there to make  me feel special,”  Nitin  breaks down  and  cries,remembering the  last time Rishi  Kapoor came  home.

“It  was  the  day of Ganpati visarjan and Chintu had landed  the  night before  in Mumbai after  his medical treatment  in the US when at  9.30 am my wife woke me up urgently to say Chintu was  home. He had  landed  and probably not slept at all and come  straight to  my home. He had never missed a single Ganpati in  my house.That  was  the  love that he had  for me . That  was  the friendship we  shared. Chintu always  used to tease me  that  the first  song  he  sang  on screen  was by my father  and not me. You see  in Mera Naam  Joker when he was  14, I sang  that snatch  of  a   song  ‘With  A  Cheer, Not  A Tear’ for him . However  my father  also sang a song  Teetar ke do aage teetar  for Chintu  in  Mera Naam Joker. So Chintu insisted he sang my father’s song first.  But I confirmed  with  Raj Uncle and  he told me my song was recorded and filmed first. So Chintu, this one  goes to me.And that’s how I’d like to remember  you, With  a cheer,not  a tear.”

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