by Chaitanya Padukone
In a concerted bid to reduce the gloomy negativity unleashed by the destructive wrath of the dreaded corona-virus, every other filmy celeb actor-singer-performer is putting up some infotainment act or other. Former Bollywood lead actor-turned-singer Ruhan Kapoor ( son of legendary versatile ‘late’ Bollywood singer Mahendra Kapoor) has also stepped on the bandwagon along with his suave international singer-composer son Sidhant Kapoor who is a distinguished alumnus of the prestigious London-based Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance.
The super- talented father-son ( Ruhan and Sidhant) Jodi has tweaked the lyrics of the popular peppy song ‘Duniya Mein Rehna Ho Toh’ from the mega-hit retro-movie ‘Haathi Mere Saathi’ (1971), retaining the same original tune and metre but with the quarantine ( or is it quaran-tune ? ) flavor and a tongue-in-cheek social message, ‘Haath jodd door sey salaam kar pyaare’.
Enthuses Ruhan, “We are getting a phenomenal response and everyone seems to be loving our quirky Quarantine-Twist—lockdown parody jamming session. Already my earlier YouTube shows with multiple brief series of YouTube episodes called ‘Ruhani Kisse’ are super-popular and we are soon starting our next season. Out here, I have shared little-known nostalgic anecdotes and snippets about my iconic singer dad Mahendra Kapoor’s evergreen film songs. There are episodes of my harmonious rapport with my talented son Sidhant Kapoor as well and also his attachment with his grandpa Mahendra-jee and the sentiments-recall episode on iconic singers Mukesh-jee and Kishore-da as well. For ardent R D Burman-fans, there is a unique kissa of how legendary R D B-saab spotted me from his car, across the road in Bandra and how he came and took me to his sitting room at Santacruz .
It was such an emotional moment when he urged me to sing and I sang the RDB-composed ‘ Maine Poocha Chaand Sey’. After listening to it he shared that it was his earnest wish to compose for some film which would have me as the lead actor and playback singer, like the way Kishore Kumar would sing and perform . I was speechless with RDB’s spontaneous compliment. The modest genius composer-singer, Pancham-Da ( RDB) had very high regards for my dad and his vocal talent,” disclosed Ruhan. Not many are aware that versatile Mahendra Kapoor has sung award-winning Gujarati songs ( for seven consecutive years he won their State Award) and dozens of popular Marathi songs. “In fact, after dad sang this evergreen iconic Marathi film-song ‘Dhaggaala Laagli Kalla, Paanni Themb Themb Galla’ picturised on legendary actor-film-maker Dada Kondke ( known for his double-meaning lyrics and film-titles), he was considered a lucky mandatory mascot by Kondke for almost all his Marathi songs which were recorded subsequently, ” reveals Ruhan, who then has goose-bumps when he recalls the startling way, ‘showman ‘Raj Kapoor had assured his dad (Mahendra) of making him sing ‘Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega’ (Sangam) . “While returning together after a live show from Tashkent on an international flight, Raj-saab stubbed out his burning cigarette on his own hand as a ‘commitment-reminder’. This happened all on an impulse because my dad fondly mentioned to Raj-saab, that he may possibly ‘forget’ his promise of making him sing-playback, once they were back in India.”
(The writer is a senior entertainment journalist and author of book RD BurMania: Panchamemoirs)