No-show at fu­ner­als, but fash­ion pa­rade at prayer meets

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Monika Rawal Kukreja

Vet­eran ac­tor Rishi Kapoor (above) is an­gry, yet again. In a se­ries of tweets, he has lashed out at the “so-called stars of this gen­er­a­tion” for not turn­ing up at Vinod Khanna’s fu­neral on Thurs­day. Khanna died at the age of 70 in Mumbai, af­ter suc­cumb­ing to blad­der can­cer.

“I was an­gered, not dis­heart­ened,” Kapoor tells us, re­fer­ring to the near-to­tal ab­sence of young ac­tors at the fu­neral, ex­cept Ab­hishek Bachchan and Ran­deep Hooda. “What does an ac­tor work for? It’s his last jour­ney and you can’t come to pay [your] re­spects to a man who has worked in over 150 films and been there for over four decades, and has even worked with you? Sad that a re­spected se­nior ac­tor was sent away by not hav­ing a lot of peo­ple with him wish­ing him adieu.”

On whether he ex­pects more peo­ple to turn up for Khanna’s prayer meet, Rishi re­torts, “Yeah, be­cause that’s more of a fash­ion pa­rade and you want to be in the com­forts of air-con­di­tioned premises. Why were you not there for this [fu­neral] event?”

Khanna earned im­mense adu­la­tion from his co-stars. Kapoor says that de­spite this, “it’s heart­break­ing that none of his lead­ing ladies were there. Even many ac­tors from my gen­er­a­tion weren’t there.”

Say­ing more about the sparse at­ten­dance at Vinod Khanna’s fu­neral, Rishi Kapoor (right) points out that it wasn’t as if Khanna didn’t have any con­nec­tions with the in­dus­try for a long time. Khanna’s last films are Dil­wale (2015) and Ek Thi Rani Aishi Bhi (2017). “There’s some hu­man el­e­ment that you want to share some­one’s grief,” says Kapoor.

On Thurs­day night, he had tweeted: “Shame­ful. Not ONE ac­tor of this gen­er­a­tion at­tended Vinod Khanna’s fu­neral. And that too he has worked with them. Must learn to re­spect. When I die, I must be pre­pared. None will shoul­der me. Very very an­gry with to­day’s so called stars.”

The 64-year-old shares that even though he “was never overtly friendly with Vinod Khanna”, he had no rea­son to skip Khanna’s fu­neral. “My ca­reer has been sprin­kled with films with him. I can’t say that I shared a great vibe with him, a great chem­istry or any­thing of that sort. It was pure re­spect.”

Among those who’ve shared screen space with Khanna in re­cent times are ac­tors such as Shah Rukh Khan, Varun Dhawan, Sal­man Khan and Sonu Sood, none of them was there at the fu­neral. Did Kapoor have any par­tic­u­lar names in mind while writ­ing those tweets? He says, “I’m just say­ing that this gen­er­a­tion — ac­tors, film­mak­ers, pro­duc­ers — none of them came. I’ve seen this hap­pen at Feroz Khan and Ra­jesh Khanna’s fu­neral also. It seems these ac­tors have trou­bled this gen­er­a­tion [so] that they don’t care.”

PHOTO: PRODIP GUHA/HT

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