Dimple Kapadia on meeting Rajesh Khanna for the first time, their separation: ‘I just couldn’t understand…’

Dimple Kapadia’s debut film Bobby is one of the most talked about films even after 48 years after its release. The actor was just 17 when she became famous. But it was her personal life that attracted just as much attention. Kapadia married superstar Rajesh Khanna six months before the release of Bobby, which was also Rishi Kapoor’s debut.

Dimple met Rajesh Khanna for the first time on a flight. She flew to Ahmedabad for an event. At the event of the FICCI organized a few years ago, Dimple attended her first meeting with the Rajesh Khanna. She remembered it was after she signed Raj Kapoor’s film.

“We went on a private flight to Ahmedabad for a function. I was born dramatic. Bachpan and drama ka shauk bohot jyada tha† He sat next to me. I looked at him. Rajesh Khanna, I mean come on guys, give me a break. me very much chalak-ly told him, ‘Wahan toh bohot mob hoga, bheed hogi. Monkey mera hath pakdoge imitate? (That place will be very busy right? Would you hold my hand?)’ He said, ‘Haan bilkul (Yes, why not).’ I answered, ‘Hamesha ke liye? (Forever?)’ And the rest is history. It happened,’ she remembered and burst out laughing.

But Dimple Kapadia and Rajesh Khanna’s marriage did not last long. The two broke up in 1982. Dimple was then mother of two daughters – Twinkle Khanna and Rinke Khanna. Only two years later she returned to the screens. In The Pritish Nandy Show, the actor said she could not understand the superstar. Looking back at the pre-divorce stage of her life, Dimple Kapada said the reason behind their parting was because the two were “different kinds of people.”

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dimple khanna with rajesh khanna Dimple Kapadia with Rajesh Khanna and daughter Twinkle Khanna. (Photo: Express Archive)

“I think we were two very different people. I was probably very young to understand what happened to this man who was a superstar. I’ve never been able to understand stars and their behavior pattern because I’m not one myself. I just couldn’t understand,” she said.

She cited Bobby and its success as the reason she was able to regain her foothold in the industry. “I see it as a lifetime. After 10 years, that’s the only movie that got me where I was in life. No one would have given me work otherwise,” she said.

But interestingly, Dimple Kapadia didn’t get Bobby in her first shot. The actor was “rejected” for “looking older than Rishi Kapoor”. However, Raj Kapoor gave her a second chance. He gave her the wings to fly and gave her the confidence that she could fill the part.

“I was in school and I read in the papers that he (Raj Kapoor) has a new face. I said to my friends: that’s me. At that age, you can afford to be so confident. I was taken to the screen test where I was promptly rejected because I looked older than Rishi Kapoor. But he gave me another screen test and I got the movie. I kept trying really hard in certain scenes to bring real tears. He would build me up. I have yet to meet a director like him. He makes you feel like you can do it. He gave you that kind of confidence,” she recalled.

On the work front, Dimple Kapadia was last seen in A Thursday. She will also be seen in Shah Rukh Khan’s Pathaan and Ranbir Kapoor’s Brahmastra.

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