• facebook
  • twitter
  • Share on whatsapp

A Throwback Interview : How The Kapoor Sisters Managed To Break The Norm

Post my grandfather’s death, my parents decided to separate. Mum took the decision to separate from Dad after telling both her children. And she has never ever stopped us from meeting Dad because it was never that kind of a breakup. In fact, even today, whenever he comes home, we have dinner together. We were always given the freedom of speech and choice. And just the way they respect our decisions, we also stand by every decision they make. And at the end of the day, I know that both my parents are there for me whenever I need them.

We moved out of the RK bungalow in Chembur and lived in a two-bedroom flat in Lokhandwala. I was never denied anything, but I did know that I could not make heavy demands. Definitely, it was a struggle for Mum, because Mum never take anything from the Kapoors as she is a self-made woman. Even with her parents, she lived on her own terms, and earned her own living. There were times when there was no luxury of an air conditioner, of swanky cars, of a lot of money or rich food.  Sometimes, there would be just rice and dal. But I think God was with her.

Today, wherever we have reached, there is nobody else’s hand in it but mom’s. Today, my mother doesn’t live off me, I live off her, and I can say this with my head held high. Whatever money I’ve earned, she just keeps it aside and says, it is for you and your children.

Karisma had decided from a very young age that she wanted to be an actor. But there was a big hoo-ha when she joined the film industry. People said, ‘Oh my God, this is the first Kapoor girl who has come in’ and this and that. Well, initially, she did all those films with Govinda, which brought her a lot of flak. Nobody was keen on Karisma joining the industry except for Mum. And Karisma, in the beginning, didn’t really have the conventional heroine look. People thought of her as this doe-eyed girl, who looked very firangi, not desi at all. So, it was very tough. Those days, Karisma used to travel in a small Maruti Suzuki 800. Those were the kind of days she has seen –from the days when not a single producer was willing to touch her, to the day when around 500 producers were lined up outside the house. It was her struggle which ultimately paid off. The producers, who did not want to touch her, maybe felt that the Kapoors would be upset. But where there is a will, there is a way. Nobody can change your destiny. God is there, and Karisma has always been a God-fearing child. And that’s what has helped her  - her and our mother’s faith in God brought her where she is today – the phase of becoming a complete woman.

In fact, even today, she has a bigger fan following than me. When we go out together, I will sign five autographs, but Karisma will sign 20. She was truly the darling of the masses. She was the one who started the trend of the commercial successes, of those potboilers being made, the typical comedy films. She didn’t have big banners at the start, while her contemporaries were given big banners with big stars. She is one girl who made it completely on her own terms. I mean all that flak, pain and tears that Karisma went through, eventually paid off. And today, she is an icon. But I always knew that Karisma would scale the heights that she did. The kind of determination she had in her, I have not seen in any girl till today. Even I don’t have that kind of determination. Her dedication to her profession was amazing – something no girl in the industry has. Girls, these days, have so many distractions – be it in the form of boyfriends or anything else. A lot of them get ahead simply because of their PR, the casting couch or because they go out for dinners, etc with directors. But Karisma was focused.

When I decided to join the industry, things were much easier for me. And I owe 50 per cent of my success to my sister. I started out by assisting director Suresh Krishnan of the South. Well, actually, Salman’s sister was assisting him, and I was assisting her. Lolo was shooting with Salman and I was a big fan of Salman’s in those days… Well, if you look at my careergraph, you could easily say that there was no struggle at all. But the struggle for me, was working hard to stay at the top. That’s been the difference in out battles. Karisma had to struggle from the bottom to the top, but I was already there because Karisma gave it all to me on a golden platter. Courtesy of Savvy (February 2005)


More posts like this