Among Raj Kapoor’s three sons, Rajiv Kapoor was the least well-known and his father’s favourite too, so much so that once Rajiv’s elder brother Rishi Kapoor had grumbled, “My father made Ram Teri Ganga Maili to launch Chimpu. But he didn’t make Bobby for me. That 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 his brother Rishi’s death.
A close family friend reveals, “Chimpu had his home in Pune where he lived alone very 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 heaped with expensive gifts specially watches. He had a string of relationships. And finally he did marry. But the marriage broke up. There were no children. At the time of his death he was alone in Chembur and very unwell. 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 while going to the bathroom.”
Those in the know say it was the heavy drinking that did Rajiv Kapoor in.
“He would start drinking early in the morning and drink throughout the day. Once we were travelling to South Africa together for IIFA. Rajiv started drinking from the time the seatbelts sign was off and continued till we landed a good 8-9 hours later. He had to be carried out of 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 direction in 1985 which proved a spectacular hit springing Rajiv into the big league. However his subsequent films like Aasman and Zabardast proved duds at the boxoffice. He even paired with his Ram Teri Ganga Maili heroine Mandakini in Hum To Chale Pardes. But the film was a disaster.
In 1991, Rajiv turned director with the ambitious Prem Granth. Adapting Thomas Hardy’s Tess Of The D’Ubervilles it starred Madhuri Dixit and Rajiv’s brother Rishi Kapoor. Madhuri apparently let go of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Khamoshi: The Musical to do Prem Granth. Rajiv tried his best to replicate his father Raj Kapoor’s grandiosity of vision but failed miserably.
The failure of Prem Granth disheartened Rajiv irreparably. He quit the film industry and moved quietly to Pune. And now he is moved to an unknown address.
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