La Familia: On Shahid Kapoor’s birthday, Rajesh Khattar shares fond memories: His inclination towards cinema…

Rajesh Khattar and Shahid Kapoor’s mother Neelima Azeem had tied the knot in 1990, and Kapoor lived with Khattar until 2001 when Rajesh and Neelima separated. Rajesh shares his fond memories from Shahid’s growing up years. Read on.
La Familia: On Shahid Kapoor’s birthday, Rajesh Khattar shares fond memories: His inclination towards cinema…
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Even today when we talk about Shahid Kapoor, his introductory film Ishq Vishk is one of the first movies that come to our minds. Sasha, as he is fondly called by many, made his big screen debut with Ken Ghosh’s 2003 coming-of-age romantic film and became an overnight star. He even bagged a Filmfare Award for Best Male Debut for his portrayal of a young boy who aspires to be the most popular guy in his college. Ofcourse, one can’t forget to mention The Aryan’s hugely popular music video, ‘Aankhon Mein Tera Hi Chehra’, while talking about Shahid Kapoor. It connected with all the kids back in the late 90s. 

Over the years, he went on to feature in popular films like Haider, Kaminey, Jab We Met, and more recently Kabir Singh. As Shahid turns 40 today, and enters a new decade of his life, Pinkvilla decided to go down the memory lane with his stepfather, and much respected actor Rajesh Khattar. Rajesh and Shahid’s mother Neelima Azeem got married in 1990, and the former reveals that Shahid must be in his third or fourth standard when he first met him. 

“He was a very good looking, sweet child, and there was an instant liking when I first met him. Eventually when we started living together, and it was like any other normal relationship of a father, mother and a child. In fact, from the time I first met him till he started staying with me, there was hardly a gap of a year and a half,” Rajesh fondly recalls. 

Khattar adds that during Shahid’s growing up years he was quite an introvert, but was always very perceptive and observant. “By the time he became a teenager, his inclination towards cinema was very clear. I remember in one of his grades he hadn’t done too well, and next year were the board exams. Around the same time he wanted to join Shiamak Davar’s dance class, so we had a deal that if he scores a certain percentage in his boards and gets into a good college he can do whatever he likes. Let me tell you he scored above 80 percent, just because he wanted to do what he wanted to do. He was always very determined, which clearly showed,” Rajesh says proudly. Shahid lived with him till Rajesh and Neelima separated in 2001.

Did Shahid always want to be an actor? “I guess yes. He wasn’t very vociferous about it in his growing up years, but by the time he turned 17 or 18 he was very clear that he wanted to become an actor. In fact, he had started getting offers when he was very young,and many makers were really after him to cast him in their films. It was clear that he had a certain appeal that was required for a lead guy in Hindi cinema, and filmmakers are usually the first ones to notice that. In fact, if I remember correctly we (Neelima and him) had to wriggle him out of a couple of movies because they were not the right projects for him,” says Rajesh reminiscing that he shared a typical father-son equation with Shahid till he was 18, but the duo later became more friendly. 

“You know, one has to understand that I was a new father too, and our age difference wasn’t like a regular father-son duo. So the situation was very different, as we had just come down from Delhi and were trying to find our roots in Mumbai. However, once we were all settled in, ours was like any other normal family unit,” says Rajesh, further sharing an interesting anecdote from Shahid’s teenage years. 

“As it happens with all the teenagers, I think he believed that he had fallen in love with a girl and brought her photograph home. And like any worried father I took it quite seriously, not realising that it was a natural progression for any child of that age. In fact, I had gone way ahead imagining like a fool that one day these guys will get married, and I really didn't like the girl. So I was like he can’t keep the photograph, as I sensed too many serious vibes out there. It was hysterical, but in hindsight, we were both very funny about it back then,” he laughs, adding that Shahid also showered a lot of love on Rajesh’s newborn Vanraj with actress Vandana Sajnani Khattar. “He knew about how difficult the times were, and the challenges we faced with the pregnancy. But he was extremely happy when Vanraj was born,” Rajesh smiles. 

Rajesh informs that Shahid and he don’t meet that often anymore, but they are always in touch. “With the ongoing Covid-19 situation, we are all being very cautious. But like always we have been in touch, and wish each other on important occasions. I am sure once everything settles down, things will be different. For now, I wish him a very happy birthday and lots of love,” says Khattar.

Also Read | Happy Birthday Shahid Kapoor: Nagada to Gulaabo, 5 songs showcasing dance skills of the electrifying performer

Anonymous 2 months ago

respect to rajesh khatter for being broad minded enough to marry a woman with a child and love him as his own.

Anonymous 2 months ago

Shahid such a cute looking boy

Anonymous 2 months ago

Shahid s love life too many exes

Anonymous 2 months ago

Rajesh and Shahid seem to share a good bond.. Rajesh seems like someone who is genuinely fond of kids.

Anonymous 2 months ago

Rajesh gutter

Anonymous 2 months ago

He’s been more of a father to him than his own father

Anonymous 2 months ago

shahids mom has too many exes

Anonymous 2 months ago

and you should mind your own business!