Actress and anchor Simi Garewal shared screen space with late actor Rishi Kapoor in films like Mera Naam Joker, Kabhi Kabhie and Karz. Off screen, the duo shared a warm bond.
In fact, Rishi had called Simi his ‘first crush’ and said that she holds a very special place in his heart on a Melbourne special episode of Simi’s chat show in 2016. The actress has been a close family friend of the Kapoors since she first arrived in Mumbai at the age of 15.
On Rishi Kapoor’s first death anniversary today (April 30, 2021), Simi Garewal shared her fond memories of the late actor while speaking with ETimes.
She recalled the late actor’s sense of humour and said that he used to make her laugh like no one else. She said that during the filming of Mera Naam Joker, Rishi was always full of pranks, but would get away with outrageous things because of his innocent face. Simi also recalled Rishi’s generous nature.
ETimes quoted Simi as saying, “My most recurring memory of Chintu is his sense of humour. He could make me laugh like no one else, literally till tears poured out of my eyes! I’ve known Chintu since he was a kid, maybe when he was 9 or 10. During ‘Mera Naam Joker’ he was playful, always bunking school and full of pranks, but he was blessed with an innocent face, so he got away with outrageous things. He was generous to a fault; you just had to mention a book or a perfume, and he would move heaven and earth to get it for you.”
She added, “We both had a passion for word games. And even now, when I find a good game, I find myself thinking ‘Oh I must send this to Chintu.”
In the same interview, Simi also opened up about her last conversation with the Bobby star and said, “Chintu was very fond of my sister Amrita, and she and I literally prayed for his health at the gurudwara while he was in NY. Neetu knew about it and kept messaging me, writing, ‘Keep praying Simi’. I met him last at the Bachchans’ 2019 Diwali party and he broke through the crowds to come and hug us. He looked so good; he was slim and glowing! We talked with great affection from both sides that night. That was our last meeting.”
On being asked if she is still in touch with Neetu Kapoor and her family post Rishi’s demise, Simi told the tabloid, “Yes, very much. I spoke to Neetu for a long time on the phone when she was taking care of Chintu at the hospital in Mumbai. It was during the lockdown last year and she had been isolated and alone in the hospital for a month. She wept as she told me how weak he had become. The next day he died.”
Simi revealed that she is in touch with Neetu and her actor-son Ranbir Kapoor via text messages during the lockdown. ‘I haven’t met Neetu or Ranbir due to the lockdowns, but we share text messages, and we share a great mutual love. Ranbir always replies promptly; he is a beautiful person and I adore him,’ she was quoted as saying.
Last year, Simi had mourned Rishi’s loss with a heartfelt tweet that read, “#RishiKapoor My Chintu darling has gone.. My dearest friend..my costar..my playmate. The one who used to make me laugh till I cried! Now there are only tears.. No last goodbye. No funeral. No consoling embraces. Silence. Emptiness. Grief.”
Rishi Kapoor breathed his last on April 30, 2020 after a long battle with cancer.