Rishi Kapoor: Never had any scandals in my life..

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Mumbai, Jan. 22 -- It's a bright, cloudless day when we meet Rishi Kapoor at a posh hotel in Bandra. The setting seems just right for the 64-year-old actor, who has a sunny disposition, to talk about his soon-to-be-released autobiography, Khullam Khulla: Rishi Kapoor Uncensored.

While there are many film stars' writing memoirs these days, Rishi claims his book is different - rather like the man himself. One can perhaps expect searing honesty, which the actor even conveys in the quick chat with HT Cafe.

Star autobiographies seem to be the latest trend. What motivated you to write about your life?

This book is not an exercise to inflate my ego. I would like people to have an opportunity to look into my life. I found that unlike other actors who did not have a celebrity status from childhood into adulthood, I've been in this world of films since I was a toddler when I first appeared in my father's (late Raj Kapoor) film Shree 420 (1955). I threw a star tantrum at the age of two and refused to give a shot as it was raining and hurting my eyes. Nargisji bribed me and said if I did the shot I would be given a chocolate bar. On a serious note, I think if you've led a life that you think is going to be an inspiration to the youth, you should speak about it. The book is not controversial; I have never had any scandals in my life. In the book, there are moments of grief; moments when I was a failure in life - at work and in some of my personal relationships. It also recounts my equation with my wife (Neetu Kapoor) and my children (Ranbir Kapoor and Riddhima Kapoor Sahni), and documents instances of dispute. It's all there in those 280 pages.

There could be [many such incidents in the book] and I am willing to talk about them and clarify it. Maybe I have been wrong, I am not saying this book is the Bible. I am a human being and have definitely erred. It is not possible to encapsulate one's entire life in a book. So many things have come to my mind after the book went into printing. Three years of sitting down and writing is not enough. After all when you sit down to write, it's with a certain mindset. But I am not a good reader and have never read anybody else's autobiography. I have always jumped into the eye of the storm. So, I am not on social media for any fear or any favour. People say that he's trying to curry favour with the ruling political party. But that's not the case. I've written about the beef ban against the ruling party and I've also written about [Bihar CM] Nitish Kumar banning alcohol in Bihar. So, how can I be seeking favours of the BJP government? All I asked once was how can Congress name national highways only after members of the Gandhi family. Twitter as a social platform is fun. I am not trying to make sensational statements on it. It is my reaction to what is happening in the world. I share not just my views, but pictures of my family and crack jokes with other actors like Alia Bhatt (which didn't go well) and Huma Qureshi. In fact, I have the same number of followers as the number of people I have blocked on Twitter. I handle the account myself in my free time.

Many celebrities are penning memoirs. Several people are concerned that Bollywood is taking over the literary world as well...

Why not? There is no proper documentation of any of the film industry's pioneer stars. So many books have been written on my uncles - Shashi [Kapoor], Prem Nath, Rajendra Nath and Shammi [Kapoor] but none of them had the opportunity to write an autobiography, which is a first person account of a person's life. I haven't done this autobiography because it's the latest trend. The publisher contacted me three years ago and since then we've been working on it. So, it's not simply an exercise of six months.

Do you think Bollywood has become a family-owned business with little scope for outsiders to establish themselves?

A star kid may have an edge only with the first film, thereafter you are on your own. Star kids carry a lot of baggage - they are always compared to peers and family members. They may be born with silver spoons but what happens after the first film? Then it's only your talent and how you conduct your career that counts. Lady Luck of course plays a big role. Without naming anyone, there are star kids who couldn't make it. There is nothing called nepotism in cinema. The first star son in the industry was Raj Kapoor, nobody remembers that. But was he Raj Kapoor because of Prithviraj Kapoor? He had his own contribution.