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David Dhawan: “In Rishi Kapoor I’ve Lost  A True Friend & Collaborator”

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Director David Dhawan can’t get  over the  fact that his  dear friend  is gone.

“Chintu(Rishi Kapoor) and I were  much more than  professional  collaborators. Of course we  did  5 films together…which other director has done  five films with  Chintu?  But  more than this,  we were friends. Our families were friends. My elder son Rohit and Chintu’s son Ranbir are  very close friends. My  wife Laali and  Chintu’s wife  Neetu are  close friends.  We attend all the functions in each other’s families.”

David gets emotional as  he recalls his times with Rishi.  “I have been crying since  morning  when I heard the news  of his going. I couldn’t believe it. And to nake it worse,we couldn’t attend  his funeral. This is  the worst punishment God could have  given us.  Aur kitni imtihaan lega Bhagwan  hamara?”

Of  the  five films David has done  with Rishi Kapoor he is the fondest  of Bol Radha Bol. “That film was so much  fun to shoot. Me, Chintu, Juhi Chawla, Kader Khan …we all had a riot  shooting it.And  the  film was a superhit. The song Tu tu tutu tara was  a chartbuster. The thing about Rishi was,  he was  a clean-hearted  mooh-phat insaan. Jo dil mein woh zubaan pe. He  was famous for his plainspeaking. But he  had such a clean heart. I am going to miss him.It is sad when  friends start going away.It reminds  one  of one’s own mortality.”

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David remembers  Rishi’s  struggle with cancer. “He struggled so much. But he  never allowed anyone  to  feel his pain. He came  back from New York after treatment and all seemed well. But then this disease  can strike you any time. We fear  coronavirus so much when there  so many other  diseases on the prowl.”

David has started  taking care of his own health. “It’s thanks to my sons Rohit and Varun who have  made sure I  eat and exercise properly. They are sometimes harsh with me. But I  know it’s for my own good.”