Sharmaji Namkeen’s Taaruk Raina fought back tears at this kind gesture of Rishi Kapoor during shoot: ‘Please don’t cry’

Taaruk Raina plays Rishi Kapoor’s son in Sharmaji Namkeen.

Actor Taaruk Raina, who essays the role of Rishi Kapoor’s son in Sharmaji Namkeen, talked about working with the late actor, things that he learnt. Directed by Hitesh Bhatia, Sharmaji Namkeen released on March 31 on Amazon Prime Video India, and also features Paresh Rawal, Juhi Chawla,Satish Kaushik and Sheeba Chaddha.

Taaruk said he was very nervous around Rishi initially, but they warmed up to each other soon. Asked if he got any feedback on his acting from Rishi Kapoor, Taaruk said, “At first, I was very nervous around him. I was nervous for around a week or so. Over time, we (Sahil Khan and Taaruk) could build a special friendship with him and I think, he got a little attached to us. Perhaps the situation was such, he warmed up to us. Maybe, he realised we were the only people in front of him at that. He does not give feedback, but he would often advise us saying ‘you can do this in this way’. We, of course, took his advice.”

Taaruk then recalled his last conversation with Rishi Kapoor and said, “I remember the last conversation I had with him. We were sitting in a car on a cold, freezing night and he said, ‘Please give me your phone number. Jab log puchte hain ki koi acche actor hain dimag me to kabhi kabhi number nahi hota hai mere paas (People ask me if there are any good actors and I do not have any numbers to share)’. We (Sahil and Taaruk) were like, I justlooked at Sahil and our eyes were like ‘just don’t cry, please don’t cry’. Every time I remember that conversation, I get emotional. That was the last conversation I had with him. That defines him for me. That is the kind of warm person he was.”

Elaborating on the kind of conversations he would have with Rishi Kapoor, Taaruk said, “We did not want to do or say anything wrong in front of him. And, it was also my first time doing a project of this stature and scale. I remember we used to talk about food all the time. And mostly, actually lots of food. I would say 99% of conversation was about food. Even if we talked about something else, it would always end up on food. We could be talking about Europe and he’d go, ‘accha, have you had this dish in that European country?’ I have never seen a foodie like him, someone who loves food so passionately, and our film is also so much about food. We used to talk about what all we could eat. The food talk also kept everyone on set glued.”

He added, “Just the stories he used to tell us. He would say ’70s me shooting aise hoti thi, hum aise aate the, yaha aate the, waha ja sakte the tab band nahi the (This is how we shot during the 70s, we would travel in this manner, we could go to these places and they were not closed to public at the time)’. You know, all of it felt like different world. It felt amazing to spend that kind of time with him.” Taaruk also clarified that he did not forget his lines while shooting with Rishi. “I did not forget the lines, I could not say them. I was just dumb-founded and in awe of him. I was like, watching him in awe of him. It was my first one on one scene with Rishi ji.”

He also said, “Biggest thing I learnt is nothing you can’t overcome. No one could see what Rishi ji was suffering from. It was unbelievable, the amount of focus and dedication he had at his age and at the stage that he was. I think as actors, people get distracted with smallest of things. If a person can be at a level where nothing can bother you, that is the stage I want to be at. I hope I can even achieve 10% of what he was.”

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