Padmini Kolhapuri

Padmini Kolhapure could barely believe her ears when she heard that Rishi Kapoor was hospitalized. The actress who was worked with Rishi in several films including Prem Rog, one of her earliest outings as a mainstream outings, told BT “I’m shocked with this news. I can’t believe that he is no more. Words fall short to describe the kind of friendship we had. I was an admirer of his work and then, I got a chance to work with him in several films in my career. He was a fighter and the way things were going, we were quite sure he would bounce back completely. One of my last conversations with him was soon after he returned to India last year and he was so happy to get back home.”

The 54-year-old says that Kapoor has and will always be on her mind. , I fondly remember the first time I met him, I was working on Satyam Shivam Sundaram. A few years later, we were cast as a pair in Prem Rog. I was a bundle of nerves on day one of the shoot. He comforted me and slowly and steadily, we became friends. Even before I joined films and it was a dream come true for me when I was cast opposite him for the first time.

“I used to bunk school and go watch Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh films. I was a fan first and then the next thing I knew I was doing a movie with him. I was sharing screen space with him. I used to love him on screen and admire his dancing and the next thing I knew I was dancing with him. It was totally surreal for me,” explains the actor.

“I think of him every day, he is on my mind every day of my life, he is part of my life, my growing up years were with him, so you can imagine how big this loss is for me,” she adds.

Kolhapure also reveals after his cancer diagnosis, Kapoor would never behave like he was battling something so serious. “I met him socially, he was his usual bubbly self, he didn’t even seem like he had gone through such a terrible time. And that is what Rishi Kapoor was. I last went to his house during Ganpati, he was in Delhi then, so we spoke over the phone,” she adds.

And the worst part she says amid such a time is that she won’t be able to go and pay her respects to him because of the lockdown. “We can’t go and take the blessing of this great soul. The situations are such, such trying times this is for everyone.”