Legendary actor Rishi Kapoor, who left an indelible mark on the Indian cinema with his versatile performances, shared an intriguing incident from his life in his autobiography ‘Khullam Khulla’. According to the book, Rishi Kapoor met underworld don Dawood Ibrahim during one of his trips to Dubai in the 80s.
In the book, Rishi wrote that he was invited by Dawood for tea at his palatial bungalow in Dubai, along with his friends. Rishi mentioned that he saw it only as having tea with a man living as a fugitive, without realizing Dawood’s involvement in organized crime at the time. After meeting Rishi at his residence, Dawood told the actor “Agar aapko kuchh bhi chahiye – paise ya kuchh bhi – toh keh dena (If you need anything – money or anything, just let me know).”
However, Rishi claimed he declined the offer. The actor further shared that a few years later, he coincidentally bumped into Dawood at a store in Dubai. Dawood’s presence in Dubai was not unexpected given that he was believed to be operating his syndicate from the city after fleeing Mumbai in the 80s.
This revelation from Rishi Kapoor’s autobiography shed light on the indirect links between Bollywood and the underworld, especially in the past. While some questioned Rishi’s decision to meet Dawood, the actor maintained in interviews that he had no ill intentions and saw it only as having tea with a man living in exile.
The incident showcases how some actors in the past may have directly or indirectly known individuals from the crime world. It highlighted the complex socio-political environment prevalent in Mumbai during the 80s-90s when the film industry had interactions with the underworld on several levels. Rishi Kapoor’s autobiography lifted the lid on this lesser-known aspect associated with that period.