The quintessential Indian romantic story; a film infused with the freshness of youth; a traditional rich boy fall for poor girl love affair; a legendary director; two young starts taking their very first steps into the big world of lights, camera, and action. Bobby has long been a classic Indian romantic film for all of the above reasons and more. Made by the charismatic and one of India’s most noted filmmakers, Mr. Raj Kapoor, Bobby has stood the test of time, as many say it was years ahead in context when released. The film was also the launch of what were to be two of India’s most recognised film starts, till date. The 16-year-old Dimple Kapadia and the young and soon to be the heartthrob of millions Rishi Kapoor gave the film an air of tender innocence that only a director like Raj Kapoor could extract from his performers.
Over the years I have listened to my Dad speak about the time he visited the set of the film in Srinagar. There is also a photo of him sitting along with the stars and the director of the film having “lunch and beer”, the only photo that I was not able to trace when the time came to write this post. But, the other day, as my Dad was reminiscing through some of his old photos he came about a few that were taken during his visit to the outdoor shoot of the film. He has fond memories about the day, and often candidly talks about briefly speaking with Raj Kapoor and the then unknown Dimple Kapadia. I can’t say whether I'm jealous of him because he met Dimple Kapadia, who would become one of the most ‘desired’ women of the Indian film industry, or that he got to see the master-craftsman of Indian cinema, Raj Kapoor, in action, but maybe it is moments and experiences like these that eventually are the reason that his son, me, loves films so much till this very date.
Those of you who are wondering about the whereabouts of Rishi Kapoor; he was in the vicinity. My father and his friend ‘bumped’ into him a little later when my father’s friend in a somewhat excited state went on to shout “oh! Yoh hai woh launda” (This is that guy).