Dimple Kapadia opens up about missing hubby Rajesh Khanna

The veteran actress talks about subjects close to her heart in an exclusive chat

After more than a year of her husband’s death, Rajesh Khanna whom she fondly refers to as Kaka, Dimple Kapadia talks about how he lives on in her heart and through her grandson Aarav who resembles him in every way. She reminisces about her past while talking about her two daughters and about other matters close to her heart.

So, life without Kaka? A long pause follows and with teary eyes she answers, “Do you think he has gone? No, he shall always remain with us.” Turning nostalgic and reminiscing when she was married to Kaka and had come to his house for the first time she says, “He was fond of antiques. He always felt house-proud. I remember before our house got into renovation just after my marriage, there were fabulous and stunning antique pieces. Since I was very small, people around took care of those antiques and unluckily they have been destroyed. With all those antiques, we would have had a wonderful museum. I really miss them.”

Talking about late Rajesh Khanna’s favourite picture, she added, “The favorite picture of Mrs Indira Gandhi with Kakaji is still there. It was his favorite picture and so it always hung in the middle of the drawing room.” She continues, “I got married while I was just sixteen. I do not have any regrets for having left the stardom for the sake of my family life. I feel that was my best period. My mother has brought up my daughters Twinkle and Rinke as I was a kid myself. My mom was hands-on grandmother. She took care of both my daughters. She is strong today too at the age of 75 years. We have an age difference of almost 17 years. However, she and my nephew are my responsibility.”

Coming back to her memories of her husband, she recalls, “One fine day the elder one’s [Twinkle] hair cut went haywire and so he got angry on getting a not very pleasant reply from the hair stylist. He blasted saying, “How can he talk to Rajesh Khanna like that!” Such was his spirit. He was not possessive, he always took me for granted and thought it was his birthright to say what he felt. And I was entitled to keep quiet. He would say, “You are lucky that you get to sit next to me!” He was a very clean hearted person.”

She adds about the similarity shared between her grandson, Aarav and his grandfather, “Aarav is exactly like him. He talks less like Kakaji. Whenever I get dressed to go out he will just pass by give a glance and with is head turning towards his right he would comment, “Nani you look exquisite!” And move on.”

Sharing about how Kakaji was right when he said Aarav will be the next super star, she says, “I can see the spark in his eyes. He is mad like Kakaji. I remember once while Kakaji sent a sweet box to Aarav just a year before he died. I told him how can you give him the box without writing anything on it? He then wrote, “To naughty one from the nana whom you love.” That was his style. He could have written, “From the Nana who loves you.” I have clicked a picture and preserved it. When Aarav grows up, I shall present it to him.”

Talking about how her looks can be deceptive, she shares, “For me looks really prove to be deceptive. It is because of the simple and reserved mannerisms I follow that people carry that wrong notion. I am indeed a fun loving and an easy going person who loves a positive atmosphere. I always walk away from irritating and uncalled situations. I always create a wall to avoid communication when things turn ugly.”

About her role in comedy ‘What the Fish’, she shares, “I chose to perform the Sudha Mishra’s character merely because the film ‘What the Fish’ is a comedy film. It would not be too much if I say this is my dream role. I wish I had been offered something like this during the beginning of my career. However, I am very happy and feel blessed to get to work with the new set of directors who have a lot of energy and come up with fresh and hilarious concepts in today’s competitive Bollywoood arena.” On opting for the character she quips, “I really loved the story of ‘What The Fish’. Also, other parallel characters that run so very effectively around me. As an actor I have always been skeptical of my work. Whether I will be able to remember my lines or not! However I do write lines in Roman language but having innumerable lines, I would goof up with the words ‘K’ ‘Kh’ and ‘Ga’. Director Gurmeet convinced me and took me successfully through my dialogues.”

On the cinematic changes she has witnessed from her times, she says, “I do miss all these good directors. However, I have had the opportunity of working with good directors like Raj Kapoor saab, I debuted with his film ‘Bobby’. I remember I was just 16 years and he would walk like a sixteen years old girl. He also narrated the dialogues like that young girl so very efficiently. I just had to copy him exactly. Also, having worked with Gulzar Saab was a great learning experience.” And further added, “However, today the new lot come much more prepared. The directors finish their work on time, and know how to get the actor in mood. Their energies are great and with technical up gradation, cinema has gone to another level.”

Walking down the memory lane and getting nostalgic, she shares, “I remember Nana Patekar taught me how to make use of the props found on the sets. In the film ‘Tum Milo Toh’, for a scene I had to be sitting and knitting while Nana Patekar asked me a few questions. In the end I exit throwing the knitting needles and the wool on him. Cut to another scene. No sooner did I enter I was aghast to notice him knitting and continuing with the questions. I was so stunned that I did not react. But yes this taught me how to make use of all the props that you find on the sets if necessary. The scene turned out to be so very natural.”

Sharing how she chooses to be updated with latest technology but still has not taken to the habit of shopping online, she shares, “The interest of keeping pets like fish, cat and a dog seem to have disappeared. Surfing on laptops and computers has become my favorite. I have a liking for surfing web sites and also I love to read books. Not only it is a pass time but we can also find out the medical facilities by inserting the symptoms of any diseases and know about the usage of medicines. However, I do not like to shop on line.”

Talking about her love for Victorian antiques, she shares, “I love the Christian antiques. Like knowing more about Mother Mary, antique pieces that showcase the crucifixion of Christ. My love for Christian art could be merely because I have studied in the convent schools.”

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