Himani Shivpuri & Ranjeet remember Rajiv Kapoor; ‘I am really going to miss Chimpu ji,’ says the actress

Himani Shivpuri has worked with Rajiv Kapoor in Prem Granth and Aa Ab Laut Chalen, while Ranjeet has worked with the late actor in Zimmedaaar

Avinash Lohana
Written by Avinash Lohana , Journalist
Updated on Feb 13, 2021 | 10:14 AM IST | 448.7K
Rajiv Kapoor
Himani Shivpuri & Ranjeet remember Rajiv Kapoor; ‘I am really going to miss Chimpu ji,’ says the actress (Photo Credit: Getty)

Randhir Kapoor and Rishi Kapoor’s brother Rajiv Kapoor aka Chimpu passed away on Tuesday. The actor-filmmaker wasn’t keeping well since the last few months. Soon after the news of his unfortunate demise came out, his friends and colleagues from the film industry paid their respects on the social media. While speaking to Pinkvilla, Himani Shivpuri said that she has some beautiful memories of working with Rajiv Kapoor. She had featured in his 1996 directorial Prem Granth and in his 1999 production, Aa Ab Laut Chalen.

“You know, there is a very interesting story behind my casting in Prem Granth. Initially, Daboo ji (producer Randhir Kapoor) had called me to offer the role of Natho, but then Madhuri Dixit’s hairdresser who was Aruna ji’s (Aruna Irani) hairdresser as well, told Aruna ji about how splendid the role was. So she went and met Daboo ji, and I got a call saying that Arunja ji was interested in the role so I stepped out. But later she opted out for some reason, so I was offered the role again. But before committing I spoke to Aruna ji first, who confirmed that she wouldn’t be able to play Natho and I would do it well. That’s how I came onboard for Prem Granth,” the actress recalls. 

Reminiscing about her equation with Rajiv Kapoor she adds, “Chimpu ji had a clear idea of what he wanted from the film and his actors. The RK banner was known to pamper its actors and after pack up there used to be this huge buffet of scrumptious food lined up for everyone. Prem Chopra ji used to get his food from home, but would later distribute it amongst the cast and crew and indulge in the buffet out there. During the mango season, they would treat us with the most delicious mangoes from their farm. Once I remember I was so full, but Chimpu ji was after my life to feed me more. We were all really very close, and they were truly wonderful hosts.”


She further recalls an incident from the sets of Prem Granth. “My character Natho was a prostitute and once for a scene I had to wear a dress which had a plunging neckline. I was really in two minds about it and Chimpu ji and I even fought over it. But he very gracefully explained to me that it was a demand for the role, and obviously I understand that considering my theatre and NSD background. Even during Aa Ab Laut Chalen I had the most wonderful outdoors with them. Chimpu ji and I had a lovely friendship. I had last met him on a flight a few years ago. I am really going to miss him,” says Himani. 

Actor Ranjeet who has worked with Rajiv Kapoor in Santosh Kumar Chauhan’s 1990 film Zimmedaaar says, “He was like a kid to me. I have worked with his father, his uncles, his brothers. It's really sad. Upar wala Bhagwan hai na jo, handle uske haath mein hi hota hai. But loss is a loss. I have spent a lot of time with Rishi as I have done multiple films with him and we would even catch up every evening. But with Chimpu I didn’t have much interaction, though he always gave me a lot of respect and love. May god give peace to his soul.” 


ALSO READ: Rajiv Kapoor funeral: Ranbir Kapoor & others turn pallbearers; Randhir Kapoor, Neetu, Alia bid adieu to him

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