As veteran actor Rishi Kapoor breathed his last on Thursday, his ‘Saajan Ka Ghar’ co-star Juhi Chawla penned down a five-page-long heartfelt letter and shared her fondest memories with him including the ones from the shoot of his last film ‘Sharmaji Namkeen.’

She began the letter by describing how shocked and saddened she is by the demise of his friend and co-star.

“Shocked!! Saddened beyond words! Devastated Can t believe it … Not Chintuji! I feel really really sad. I have many many memories of him,” she wrote in the letter.

The ‘Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak‘ actor then went on to share some of her favourite memories of the actor before finally talking about his last piece of work ‘Sharmaji Namkeen,’ where she also shared the screen space with him.

“In September 2017 a most charming script about a middle-aged gentleman called Sharmaji was narrated to me. It was amusing, heartwarming, touching. I was so happy Chintuji was going to play the lead this time too. I envied him, what wonderful roles. It was tailor-made for him,” Chawla wrote.

“I felt I could almost see and hear him do the scenes. The producer Honey Trehan and director Hitesh wanted to hold a joint narration with the entire cast and crew. Chintuji was reluctant, he finally agreed to come for It,” she added.

Flipping through the pages, she then shared a memory from the script reading day of the film and revealed how the late veteran actor cancelled his commitments of the day to enjoy the complete script of the film.

“Chintuji arrived, sat at the head of the table and announced..I, ve been acting for many many years now … never done a reading before in my life .,. I only agreed to this because Amitji (Amitabh Bachchan) does these kinds of things,” reads the letter.

“Anyway my lines will be read by the director and I will be leaving halfway as I have other work to attend to … so please excuse me. The reading began, and as the scenes were read… Not only did Chintuji stay on… he enjoyed it so much he was the last person to leave the venue that evening,” the letter further reads.

The 52-year-old actor then went on to explain how the shooting of the film was postponed because of Rishi Kapoor’s treatment and recalled when the cast met again for the shoot.

“Due to Chintuji’s treatment, the shooting was postponed. The film was finally taken over by Ritesh Sidhwand Farhan Akhtar for production in January this year. I joined the crew in Delhi for the shooting. Chintuji was his amusing, happy, sometimes grumpy often chatty self,” said the ‘Darr’ actor.

“We had a great time shooting he was effortless in his shots. I remember watching Chintuji during the shots on the monitor and almost enviously thinking to myself … Chintuji is so nice, just SO nice on screen,” she added.

Juhi ended the note by sharing how shocked she was this morning after getting the news of Rishi Kapoor’s demise.

“Just a few days ago I thought to myself … I haven’t enquired about Chintuji, I should send him a message & this morning when I heard the news… to say I was shocked … is an understatement … I was devastated I cried … I couldn’t I take calls .. the grief was too much,” wrote Juhi.

“I have so many many happy memories of him… I have laughed so much on the sets with him… how could this happen? this is truly heartbreaking, its all in the past, this is very sad Chintuji. I am going to miss you very much,” she added.

Her five-page letter had many details and fondest memories with her friend, and colleague who passed away on Thursday after battling cancer.

Rishi Kapoor was admitted to Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital in Mumbai earlier on Wednesday. He passed away peacefully at 8:45 am this morning after a two-year-long battle with leukaemia, his family said in a statement.

In September 2019, the veteran actor returned to Mumbai after staying in New York for almost a year for cancer treatment.


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By vinayak