Happy Birthday Anil Kapoor: Some people seem to have it easy, for others, there is always a struggle. For some, the struggle is followed by success, so much so that the initial struggling period, which may be years is ignored and not even known.
On Anil Kapoor’s Birthday, I bring to you little-known aspects of his struggling years. In 1973, Anil Kapoor played the role of the young Shashi Kapoor for the shelved film Tu payal mein sangeet which was his first association with movies. Later in 1979, he played one of the teenager’s roles in the Umesh Mehra film Humaare Tumhaare, starring Sanjeev Kumar and Raakhee where both are widower/widow with four and three children respectively.
Anil was not getting any movies at all and maximum getting bit roles but he was convinced that he had the potential to be a big star. His dad Surinder Kapoor had started his career as Secretary to Geeta Bali and subsequently became a producer. He was the producer of the multi-starrer movie Hum Paanch and also asked Boney Kapoor to be the co-producer as well. The movie had a huge star cast with such stars as Sanjeev Kumar, Naseer, Raj Babbar, Shabana and Mithun. Bapu was the director and Anil Kapoor had a small role.
However, a persevering Anil used to show Bapu his interpretation of shots of the different stars. This impressed Bapu so much that he gave him a break in the Telugu film Vamsa Vruksham. Anil says he accepted the movie as it had a role for more than a minute. He changed his name to AK Rao, thinking that Anil Kapoor had a north Indian flavour and stars of those days were NT Rama Rao, Nageswara Rao and so the name AK Rao may bring him luck.
Anil’s struggles included hanging around in the studios on the sets of Rajashri Productions and Subhash Ghai, hoping that he would somehow be able to meet the Barjatyas or Subhash Ghai and convince them of his talent. However, he himself says that he could not muster the courage to go and talk to them. From their assistants, he got lading role in a movie called Prerna which was shelved and another called Rachna which was a disaster as it ran for only a single day.
In those days of struggle, Anil used to travel in local train and buses. When he used to travel from Chembur to Cuffe Parade, he used to see rich people and get fascinated. Apart from bit roles, he also used to work as a background dancer. He had gone on a show abroad where the stars were Hemant Kumar, Nutan, Zarina Wahab and Padmini Kapila and Anil as a background dancer used to get 15 pounds per show.
The years of a struggle, however, gave him something which may be years of success may not give someone- a Loving wife. Anil, during his struggling days, met Sunita, a successful model and the daughter of a top SBI banker. They fell in love and got married. Theirs is one of the most successful and stable marriages of the Hindi film industry.
The years of struggle came to an end with the release of Wo saat din, which too was directed by Bapu. Though stalwart Naseer was there, Anil got huge praise as well. Years of success would now follow.
Today 24th December is his birthday. Happy birthday Anil Kapoor.