Recently, the world had to bid goodbye to beloved actor Rishi Kapoor, who breathed his last Thursday morning. One of the most saddening moments came a few hours after his death, as an old tweet of the actor surfaced in which he expressed his desire to visit Pakistan so that his children can see their family roots.
Rishi’s ancestral home is popularly known as the ‘Kapoor Haveli’, which is located in Qissa Khwani Bazar, in Peshawar. Rishi’s father Raj Kapoor, grandfather and patriarch of the Bollywood royalty Prithviraj Kapoor and grand Uncle Trilock Kapoor were all born in this building. According to details, the house was constructed between 1918 and 1922 by Dewan Basheswarnath Kapoor, father of Prithviraj Kapoor. However, after the partition the Kapoors’ migrated to India. The magnificent haveli has about forty rooms with exquisite overhanging balconies and astonishing floral motifs in its front.
The tweet was originally shared in November 2017 when Rishi Kapoor appeals to Kashmiri politician Farooq Abdullah to solve the Kashmir issue once and for all so that he can visit Pakistan before he dies. Unfortunately, the Indo-Pak relations over the years just went from bad to worse and the actor could not have his wish fulfilled. The late Bollywood legend had strong ties with Pakistan as not only are his ancestral roots in the country but he was also connected with the people here especially via social media and often engaged in heated debate with them.
A few weeks before his demise, Kapoor had asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to advise his countrymen to take adequate precautions against coronavirus.
In 2019, Rishi had requested the Government of Pakistan to preserve his ancestral home and convert it into a museum. Minister of Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi said,
“There was a call from Rishi Kapoor. He requested that his family’s home in Peshawar should be made into a museum or some sort of institution. We have accepted his request.”
Similarly, Shehryar Afridi, who was serving as the Interior Minister at that time had shared that the actor had called him personally with his request.
“He had called me and talked about making his ancestral home into a museum. Now the federal and provincial governments are working on this and will transform the house into a museum soon,”
Rishi Kapoor last visited Pakistan with Shashi Kapoor and Randhir Kapoor in 1990. The two had travelled to Peshawar to see their family’s house and also took some soil from the house to keep their heritage intact. Decades later, Rishi shared a picture from the visit on social media.
Somebody sent this. Picture showing Randhir and me outside the Kapoor Haveli, Peshawar.Warmly greeted as seen in pic pic.twitter.com/TjfugQ9daw
— Rishi Kapoor (@chintskap) January 27, 2016
Rishi breathed his last a day after he was admitted to the hospital as he had been battling with cancer for a while now. His family announced his demise in a statement that said that Rishi remained his jovial and entertaining self till the end and that he would “like to be remembered with a smile and not with tears.”
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