When Rishi Kapoor’s sister Ritu Nanda planned his engagement with Neetu Kapoor without his knowledge: ‘I hadn’t a clue’

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Late actor Rishi Kapoor had once spoken about how in spite of being committed to actor Neetu Kapoor he was unsure of asking her to marry him. In his biography, Khullam Khulla, he had opened up about how he might have never married Neetu Kapoor if it wasn’t for his sister Ritu Nanda. He revealed how Ritu had planned his engagement in Delhi without his knowledge. Rishi is the son of Raj Kapoor and Krishna Kapoor. He has three siblings apart from Ritu–Randhir Kapoor, Rajiv Kapoor and Rima Jain. Rishi’s biography was co-written by Meena Iyer. (Also Read | When Rishi Kapoor wrote how he, mom Krishna moved out of home because Raj Kapoor ‘was involved with Vyjayanthimala’)

Rishi Kapoor married Neetu Kapoor on January 22, 1980. They fell in love during the production of their film Kabhie Kabhie (1976). The couple has two children—daughter Riddhima Kapoor Sahni and son-actor Ranbir Kapoor. Following a battle with leukaemia and treatment in New York, Rishi died on April 30, 2020.

In his book, as quoted by Indian Express, Rishi had said about Neetu, “Given how committed we were to each other, nobody could fathom why I wasn’t popping the question. How could they know that I was battling a million demons in my head? I had serious misgivings about the effect of marriage on an actor’s longevity, given how Rajesh Khanna’s career went on a downward spiral post marriage. What if his story repeated itself with me since I was also a romantic hero and was marrying an actress? I often think I may never have married Neetu, or we may have got married much later than we did if it weren’t for my sister Ritu. Left to myself, I may never have taken our relationship to the next level.”

He also added, “But we made headlines when I went to Delhi for an engagement in my sister’s family and came back to Mumbai with a ring on my own finger. I hadn’t a clue that Ritu had been plotting and planning along with my friends Gogi (film-maker Ramesh Behl) and Ravi Malhotra. At the airport in Mumbai, as I waited to board my flight, I met Saira Banu and Dilip Kumar, who asked me where I was going. When I told him I was headed for Delhi to attend an engagement, Dilip saab joked, ‘Don’t pull a fast one on me. Aren’t you going there to get engaged yourself?’ How prophetic Dilip saab’s words turned out to be.”

Rishi and Neetu featured in many movies including Zehreela Insaan (1974), Zinda Dil, Khel Khel Mein and Rafoo Chakkar (1975), Doosra Aadmi and Amar Akbar Anthony (1977), Pati Patni Aur Woh and Anjane Mein (1978), Jhoota Kahin Ka (1979), Dhan Daulat (1980). They also featured in Do Dooni Chaar (2010) and Besharam (2013).


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