Amarjit Singh Kohli
Raj Kapoor had died on 2nd June, 1988 and today, 2nd June 2019, is his 31st death anniversary.
In the 31 year old photo Raj Kapoor is bestowing Kala Shree Award on me at a Function organised by late Narendra Handa of Punjabi Kala Sangam in Feb 1988 at Sirifort Auditorium, New Delhi. During this Function Raj Kapoor was suffering from Asthma and had to be seated on a chair. I cannot forget Raj Kapoor’s speech on that day. He said ” Ek sans aati hai par doosri ka koyi pata nahi ki ayegi ki nahi. Lekin aap logon ne mujhe bahut pyar diya”. Before delivering his speech, Raj Kapoor had made Nitin Mukesh (son of playback singer Mukesh) stand behind him with a mike in hand. After speaking these words Raj Kapoor just looked back at Nitin. Within a second Nitin started singing the Mukesh song ” Bahut diya dene wale ne mujhko”. The entire audience was spell bound by this action of great showman, and there were tears in the eyes of everyone. Raj Kapoor died barely 4 months later on 2nd June 1988 in Delhi.
I have met Raj Kapoor 3 times, the first time in 1986 at IG Stadium, New Delhi at a Function organised under the chairmanship of late Lion GK Takiar of Lions Club, Green Park in which I was a member of organising committee charged with the responsibility of stage management. Others who attended this Function included Ashok Kumar, Dalip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan and 15 other top personalities of bollywood.
The last time I saw Raj Kapoor was at Sirifort Auditorium in May 1988 where he had come to receive Dada Saheb Phalke Award. However before he could receive award he collapsed in his seat and had to be taken to AIIMS Hospital. Many of us rushed to AIIMS including me and my friend journalist Pradeep Sardana.
While Raj Kapoor lay at hospital unconscious, our society Sakha decided to organise a “Yagya” at Bazar Sita Ram to pray for his long life. It was attended by thousands of people . I and our Sakha member GK Aggarwal of Bazar Sita Ram spoke many times to Raj Kapoor’s wife Krishna Kapoor and told her about this mass prayer of thousands of people for Raj Kapoor’s long life. Moved by our mission, she deputed music director Ravindra Jain from Mumbai to join us in our prayers. But Raj Kapoor never attained consciousness and died on 2nd June 1988.
As an organiser of stage shows I have always taken inspiration from Raj Kapoor, in the same way as Eklavya of Mahabharat had taken from Dronacharya.
I attended a very good musical homage program to Raj Kapoor organised yesterday, 1st June 2019 at Lajpat Bhawan, New Delhi, organised jointly by Mrs Parminder Chadha and Dr Rameshwar Kumar.
THE SHOWMAN IS NOT THERE,
BUT THE SHOW GOES ON, AND ON……
Which is your most favourite song picturised on Raj Kapoor.