Weddings At RK Cottage
After Raj Kapoor built his own studio at Chembur and rented the cottage, which was his residence he held all family functions at his residence and studio. All his children with the exception of Chimpu (Rajeev), the youngest son of Raj Kapoor, have been married at RK residence with the receptions being held at the studio which would be converted into a huge venue for the lavish receptions where just about everybody was invited.
Ritu, the eldest daughter who was married into the Nanda family, was the first to have her wedding here. It was, being the first marriage there, a huge affair with Raj Kapoor's family friends from all walks of life present.
The legendary Begum Akhtar regaled the audiences with her incredible ghazals. Raj Kapoors house was the venue of many a singing baithak and people would wait in anticipation to be invited to these events, just as they waited to be invited to his 'holi' parties and other functions.
Ritu's shaadi had the traditional works. It was a full-fledged long drawn traditional marriage with all the rasams being followed. The bride being the daughter of the showman had a mouthwatering trousseau - apparently her wedding lehenga had real pearls on it and in true Punjabi style she was taken from her fathers house in a real doli.
Prem Kishen, son of Prem Nath and Bina Rai, recalls: "The entire family was present and it was a meeting place for all of us. Raj uncle enjoyed doing everything lavishly and we had so much fun - the house was full of laughter, jokes, food and drinks."
This lavishness was the hallmark of all Kapoor parties and these weddings were like long parties. On the lawns of the RK residence, there are grounds, lawns where separate structures were put up where you could indulge your tastebuds in different kinds of cuisine. There was something for every taste - Indian, Chinese, Mughlai, North Indian and chaats.
Raj Kapoor loved to feed people. The only wedding during which he was not present was younger daughter Rima's, but the three brothers spared no effort in making it a magnificent affair," remembers Prem Chopra.
But it was Neetu and Rishi's wedding which was the most magnificent. If Begum Akhtar sang for Ritu's marriage, Nusrat Fateh Ali performed at the Neetu-Chintu wedding. The crowds were so huge that both the bride and groom almost fainted of exhaustion!
Now, Karisma is to be given away from the same venue. Rima is looking after the preparations while Randhir (father of the bride) and his two brothers are working out the details, the huge menu has already been finalised, but it seems like the wedding will miss the grandeur of the earlier RK marriages.