Dear Ranbir Kapoor,
It is your grandfather, Raj Kapoor sahib‘s 92nd birth anniversary today. I am not very qualified to comment on his exceptional body of work or his extraordinary acting skills on the big screen. And thus I will not iterate any of his achievements in this letter as I’ll make it sound shallow. I will also not write about the qualities you share or not share with him. You perhaps know all of this better than I do. My only wish is to see you achieve the exact pinnacle of the rich legacy that he has set in the world of Hindi cinema.
I am a 24-year-old woman. And I’ve been a student of cinema for many years. I’ve had the fortune of getting access to your grandfather’s work online and at various film festivals. I remember watching Awaara and Shree 420 for the first time in my college studio. I hum to the songs of his movies which make the best of my late night memories. A jar of Nutella in hands, dimly lit room and songs of Jana Kahan Gaye Woh Din, Duniya Bananewale, Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega and Kisi Ki Muskurahaton Pe–this is my favourite pastime.
Whenever I watch your grandfather’s work, I feel the pinch of not being able to watch them on a big screen. I wonder how the aura of these films on big screen feels like. To inhale the experiences of watching films like Anari, Sangam, Chhalia, Bobby (one of my top favourites) and Mera Naam Joker among others in theatres. I regret not being born in that era where I could see the rise of your grandfather. I want to request you to give me that opportunity of not missing your grandpa’s on-screen presence anymore. I enjoy your work and I feel you are in the class of rare fine actors today in our industry who don’t shy away from breaking norms and would always try hands with ‘unconventional’. I believe I can raise my hopes from you as an ardent lover of Hindi cinema. I don’t think telling you to do the kind of work your grandfather did would be justifiable because times have changed, audience has changed and most important of all, filmmaking has changed. But I want to tell you that a heart full of creativity and love for cinema can still be seen beating in the films that sir Raj Kapoor did. I am telling you this because I still hear my excited Dadi asking me to join her whenever she finds a Raj Kapoor film running on TV.
I want to do exactly the same thing with my grandchildren. I want to tell them that I have seen you becoming a legend and they should also take notice of your films. I want to request you to not look back nor pay attention to all the negativity around you if there are any. But that you work with utmost conviction. With your work, I want you to fill that void in my life of not being able to watch Raj Kapoor in theatres. Please keep up the hard work Ranbir and take this form of art that you’ve been blessed by your family to newer horizons. Offer us good films. Live up to the Raj Kapoor’s legacy.