In Loving Memory of KRISHNA RAJ KAPOOR

  • 13 Oct - 19 Oct, 2018
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Obituary

"He had gone to see her as a prospective bride along with Premnath uncle. There (at his home), from the window he saw a young girl in a white sari playing the sitar. That was my mother taking music lessons,” Rima, Raj Kapoor’s daughter, shared her father’s fascination for the ‘woman in white’ and revealed how he first laid eyes on her mother Krishna.

The Kapoor family’s first lady, Krishna Raj Kapoor took her last breath on October 1, 2018 at the age of 87. Krishna Malhotra is said to be cousins with Raj Kapoor who fell in love with her at first sight at the tender age of 21. It is reported that the artiste in him reacted to the visual and was reminded of Goddess Saraswati. The image of the ‘lady in white’ stayed in his mind and was later seen in his films.

“My mother always wore white and had a flower in her hair,” shared Rima. Shedding further light on her parents’ marital relationship, she said, “His love for her was immense. He’d even press her legs and joke, ‘Raj Kapoor ka kya haal bana diya! Meri biwi mujhe paer dabane lagaa rahi hai.’ He loved celebrating New Years because it also happened to be mom’s birthday.”

The two got married in May 1946 at Rewa (a city in Uttar Pradesh) surrounded by close friends and family. Krishna reportedly was a big fan of Ashok Kumar and had wanted to meet him. Raj had promised her to become a big star one day and make her dream come true. It was the same year that he got noticed by director Kedar Sharma and was offered the super hit film Neel Kamal. Raj kept his promise by inviting Kumar to his wedding. When she was younger he’d call her Billo. Later he began addressing her as ‘Krishnaji’ out of respect. Talking about those early days of marital bliss, Rima shared, “At first she didn’t know how to cook. Those days he’d joke, ‘Yeh toh meri Marie Antionette hai (the French queen asked people to eat cakes when there was no bread)!’ But she grew to be a great hostess. Paya, yakhni pulav, jungli mutton… she could prepare all.” It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Krishna may have started the tradition of family dinners, for even today, the big Kapoor clan still remains connected with each other and is seen celebrating all festivals and birthdays together.

The couple with Randhir in Moscow

During their 42 years of marriage, the couple had five kids; sons Rishi, Randhir and Rajiv, and daughters Ritu and Rima. Krishna happily took part in offering opinions on Raj’s movies as well. Rima revealed how the climax of Ram Teri Ganga Maili was changed after her mother’s suggestion. “If he shot a scene, he’d ask her opinion. Like he showed her the climax of Ram Teri… where Ganga (Mandakini) dies. My mother said, ‘Ganga mar gayi, picture flop!’ But he had made two endings and showed her the other one. However, he didn’t like being corrected. He’d say, ‘Ab Krishnaji Raj Kapoor ko seekhayegi kaise film banana!’

An ecstatic Raj & Krishna with young Randhir & his baby sibling


In the world of glamour there are scores of reports of link-ups and break-ups, and Raj Kapoor wasn’t spared of them either. During 50s and 60s, the love affair between Nargis and Raj Kapoor remained in the limelight. The romance was meant to be, with both stars having worked on 16 films together. But when Nargis met Raj, he was already a married man, and having strong family values, he decided not to leave his family. Once Raj, Krishna, Nargis and Sunil Dutt, who Nargis married after breaking up with Raj, met at a party. The actress allegedly apologised for everything that happened in the past. Krishna is said to have accepted her apology. Raj was later also linked with Vyjantimala and Zeenat Aman. Still, Krishna never left Raj. She has always been a pillar of Kapoor family. “Yes, there were women around him – he being an artiste. But my mother gradually learnt to accept it. No matter what was said and written, papa loved mother deeply. The truth is that all his life he remained obsessed with her. He may not have expressed it to her the way she’d have liked him to. She may not have been a big part of his life. But whatever Raj Kapoor did, he came back home,” Rima opened up.

Raj & Krishna with sons Randhir, Rishi & Rajiv

She didn’t shy away from talking about her parents fighting and spoke of the time when Krishna once moved to another house after a fight. She revealed, “Once after a row, mom moved to an apartment elsewhere. Papa would go and knock on her door every single day.” But the two couldn’t stay without each other no matter what the circumstances may be. Rima added, “All life they remained companions. They travelled a lot together. He took great pride in her. She enhanced his life.”

Three days after her demise, family members and other Bollywood biggies attended Krishna’s prayer meeting held at Sahara Star Banquet Hall in Mumbai. Krishna, said to be the backbone of the Kapoor family, was last spotted supporting the release of Rishi’s film 102 Not Out in May this year. •