Entertainment

Rishi Kapoor on fighting cancer: Neetu has been like a solid rock, Ranbir Kapoor and Riddhima very supportive in difficult, taxing time’

A day after actor Shakti Kapoor said on a comedy show that Rishi Kapoor will return to India in August end, Rishi has reportedly said that he will not be able to be in the country for his birthday on September 4.

“I have to be here for 11 months, so I will not be back before the end of August. It’s been a difficult time, very taxing, but Neetu (wife), and my children (Ranbir and Riddhima) have been very supportive. I am grateful to everyone. I am waiting to come back and raring to get going. I will plan my return five-six weeks after my last treatment. It is called consolidation or pushback, whereby I will have to undergo chemotherapy to ensure that the ailment does not return. This is the second time I am going through the treatment. I am hoping that I can plan an end-August return but all this talk that I will be back in early September for my birthday, is again nothing but speculation.”

Shakti, who celebrates his birthday just a day before Rishi does, told Hindustan Times, “My and Chintu’s birthday is just a day apart and we have been celebrating together and cut cakes from the times when Raj Kapoor [Rishi’s father] was alive and we would be shooting in Chembur,” says Shakti, sharing his recent conversation with Rishi.

Rishi, 66, who is currently in New York undergoing cancer treatment, told the tabloid in detail that he still has to undergo treatment. “On the subject of my health, thanks to the prayers and good wishes of my family, friends and fans, I am perfect now. The cancer is in remission, but I am still under treatment. I have a crucial meeting with the doctors today at 10.45 am, there’s one treatment still left to be done. The problem is not the treatment but the reaction time. There is a six-week gap between one treatment and the next when all you can do is eat, shop, watch movies, live a normal life which I would rather do at home than here in New York. It’s been nine months and 16 days—I know since I have been counting the days—that I have been away. I really miss home,” he said.

He also talked about getting diagnosed for cancer and said, “When I first came here, everyone was worried for me. The problem was detected when I was shooting in Delhi and was required to dye my hair white. I was told to immediately rush to the Sloan Kettering Hospital. I came here with my hair still dyed white. When word got around that Rishi Kapoor had gone to New York for some kind of medical examination, rumour spread that I was so unwell that my hair had turned white overnight. To counter this, whenever friends of mine came to see me, they posted pictures so people could see what Rishi Kapoor really looked like. Thankfully, my health started improving, week after week, month after month. I had lost 26 kg as I had no appetite for the first four months. Now, I’ve gained seven-eight kg. I don’t want to look too lean, but I haven’t gone back to my original self either. Thank God for that.”

He also talked about how supportive his family has been: “All my siblings, my children and Neetu in particular, who has been like a solid rock, have been around me, supporting me through all this. Right now, my daughter and grand-daughter are with me. Ranbir keeps coming every five-six weeks. I am overjoyed by all the love and concern, the solidarity of my family. Here I have to make a special mention of my niece Natasha and my elder sister Ritu Nanda who is also here for the same reason. They were our anchors who kept Neetu and me going. When your anxiety is so high you need this kind of support and such motivational people around.”

Reacting to reports of him being upset with producers of Jhootha Kahin Ka, a film that released recently and featured Rishi, he said that he is upset that “nonsense is being written”. “In the last 10 months, I have not spoken to anyone from the media, though they have always supported me. I agree with Kangana Ranaut that some people write anything and as a result, serious journalists get drawn into the controversy. When did I say I was upset? I have not been in the country for months. This is not done, it tarnishes the credibility of other journalists who write and report well. Though I do not entirely agree with what Kangana said, on this point anyone can get upset.”

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