Anil Kapoor who has worked in 4 of D Rama Naidu’s biggest Hindi productions gets emotional while talking about the producer.
“He used to call me his Mumbai son. He would order his own sons to stand up when I would enter the room. ‘He’s my hero, please pay him the respect he deserves,’ Naidu Saab said. Every time we met he would greet me as his hero. He ate breathed lived and died for the movies. Every penny that Naidu Saab made in the movies was pumped back into the making movies. I did 4 films with Naidu Saab: Insaaf Ki Awaaz, Rakhwala, Jeevan Ek Sangharsh and Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain. ”
There was a fifth project that Anil did which was technically not Naidu’s and yet owned by him.
Recalls Anil, “It was a film called Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai. The entire project plus the cast-Aishwarya Rai and me-was put together by Naidu Saab. He handed over the project to my brother Boney only because Boney’s production house was going through a rough phase. ‘This project is yours,’ Naidu Saab said. As simple as that. Not just that. He allowed Satish Kaushik who was an untouchable after the double directorial debacle of Prem and Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja, to direct Hamara Dil Aapke Paas Hai, just because I asked him. That’s how much Naidu Saab loved me. Not just he, the entire family treats me like one of their own.”
Anil Kapoor gets emotional as he recalls his last meeting with the Doyen of Telugu-Hindi cinema. “When I heard he was very unwell I flew down to Hyderabad last week to meet him. I didn’t know it would be my farewell meeting with him. He could recognize me and could barely talk. But do you know what he mumbled? ‘Let’s start a Hindi film’. That is what he always said to me whenever he met. He said the same even when he was dying. That is a true showman for you. Naidu Saab is the last of the movie moghuls, an independent movie producer who dreamt epic projects like S S Vasan and L V Prasad. I can’t imagine what cinema is going to be like without Naidu Saab.”