While there has been no dearth of anxious visitors and callers from India inquiring about Rishi Kapoor’s health in New York, the one whose concern has touched the now-recuperating actor in the US the most, is none other than Asia’s nightingale Lata Mangeshkar.
Not only has Lataji been inquiring about Rishi’s health from the Kapoor family—whom she’s very close to—she has been telephoning him regularly in NY for first-hand health bulletins. Says Rishiji from NY, “I have to tell you. After my family, Lataji has been the most concerned about my wellbeing. Am really truly moved by her gesture. She calls me often here and truly cares. Shall always cherish her genuine love. How can I ever forget I have been in her arms as a two month old. Seek only her blessings!”
Speaking of her enduring closeness to the Kapoor family and to Rishi Kapoor Lataji says, “How can I forget how close I was to Raj Saab and Krishna Bhabhi. We were like a part one big family. Raj Saab loved me like his own sister . From his second film, Barsaat I was an indispensable part of his cinema. The times we had creating composing and singing those immortal songs in Awara, Sree 420, Sangam, Bobby, Satyam Shivum Sunderam and Ram Teri Ganga Maili are among my most precious and cherished memories of my career. Bahot pyar tha Raj Saab ko mere liye.”
Rishi, says Lataji, was born in front of her eyes. “I remember the birth of all of Raj Saab’s children Randhir Rishi Rajeev, Ritu and Reema. I have always been fond of all of them.When Randhirji turned director in Henna I sang all the heroine’s songs for his film. I also sang a song for Rajeev’s film Prem Granth (Main kamzor aurat). But I didn’t sing when Rishi turned director in Aa Ab Laut Chalen. He didn’t ask me.”
Rishi Kapoor tells me me Lataji has been sending him gifts over the years. Says Lataji, “When I heard Rishiji was unwell I was very disturbed. Since then I’ve been keeping track of his recovery. I am so pleased he is almost recovered. I pray for him to be fully cured and to come back home soon.”
Lataji’s parting shot, “By the way Rishiji’s son Ranbir was born on the same day as me(September 28).”
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