Rishi Kapoor broke a million hearts when he ‘khullam-khulla’ declared his love for the beautiful Neetu Singh. One was the chocolate boy of Bollywood, other the most sought after heroine of that time- Love was bound to happen. Their amazing chemistry and blossoming love were always visible in the movies they did together. The magic they created on the silver screen was not just ‘good acting’, it was true love.
How it started
Neetu started dating Chintu aka Rishi when she was just 14. He was already a well-established actor and heartthrob of millions by then, while she was just taking baby steps into the industry. The first time they came together on-screen was for the film Zehrila Insaan.
It was not love at first sight for the beautiful pair. Chintu was quite a prankster and loved teasing the young Neetu on sets. He would smear her face with kajal just after she would have completed her make up. But in true filmy style, Neetu fell in love with the guy who she irritated her the most and Rishi too reciprocated her love.
Neetu’s mom, Rajee was not too happy with the turn of events. Neetu was too young, only 14 years, and was just climbing the success ladder. She did not want to set the tongues of the industry insiders wagging about their relationship. That is why, whenever Rishi took Neetu out on a date, she sent her cousin along to act as a chaperone.
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When Rishi proposed to Neetu, Rajee was over the moon. But Neetu had a nagging guilt in her mind. She was the sole bread winner of the house and she did not want to leave her mother all alone without anyone supporting her. But Neetu’s knight in shining armour came in and solved her dilemma. He invited Rajee to stay with them after marriage.
How their engagement came about is a story by itself. It was at a wedding in Rishi’s family in Delhi. The family decided that this was the right moment to announce their engagement. The sudden announcement and engagement gave Neetu jitters and her nerves had to be calmed down by with a glass of bubbly given to her by her husband. They got married soon after.
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This wonderful fairy tale had its own share of twists and turns. The Kapoor family was known to be very patriarchal and a Kapoor bahu was expected to leave the industry and become a housewife. Neetu did the same. She returned all her signing amount and left the industry for good. This really got the rumour mills up and running. People claimed that Neetu was forced into an early retirement. But she hit back saying it was her personal choice and Rishi was a very supportive husband.
In the late 1990’s, the insiders of the industry claimed that Rishi was turning into an alcoholic and some newspapers also carried the reports of a complaint being filed by Neetu against Rishi for domestic violence. Some also reported that Neetu had left her husband. However, she returned to the Kapoor household and took care of her husband and children.
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The love goes on
The couple came out of all these controversies and supported each through the high and lows of life. She recently said in an interview, “There always comes a phase in a couple's life when there would be friction, disagreements. Rishi and I also went through that stage. It was just one of those problems which only the husband and wife would understand. Fortunately, we were able to sort out our differences. Today, everything is forgotten.” And it truly is.
Rishi and Neetu returned to the silver screen as a couple after 30 years in Love Aaj Kal. The evergreen couple successfully played the role of middle class parents in Do Dooni Char. Their daughter, Riddhima is now happily married and is a successful fashion designer whereas their son, Ranbir is the hottest actor of the industry. Life couldn’t be any more perfect for this evergreen couple.