When Waheeda Rehman had to sit on Raj Kapoor’s chest to pin him down in a train: ‘He became red as a tomato’

Veteran actor Waheeda Rehman had once shared an anecdote when she was forced to sit on late actor Raj Kapoor’s chest and pin him down inside a train. In the book Conversations with Waheeda Rehman by Nasreen Munni Kabir, Waheeda revealed that after the shooting of Teesri Kasam (1966), she was returning to Mumbai from Bina via train with Raj and others. A crowd of students had gathered on the platform near their train wanting to see Waheeda but Raj firmly denied them. At this, their train was attacked which infuriated Raj; and three women, including Waheeda, had to stop him from stepping out. (Also Read | Boney Kapoor shares childhood pic with Waheeda Rehman and Kumar Gaurav from Ritu Nanda’s wedding. See here)

At first, Raj Kapoor spoke to the student leaders who told him that they wanted to watch Teesri Kasam shooting but the production team provided them with the wrong address. As this happened over many days, the students were adamant about seeing the actors already aboard the train. Raj, too, was rigid about his decision of not letting Waheeda step out of the train. Apart from Raj and Waheeda, two of his friends, her sister Sayeeda and her hairdresser were also leaving for Mumbai with them.

In an except from the book, published in The Telegraph, Waheed , “Rajji immediately said, ‘You have seen me, but Waheeda Rehman is not coming out.’ ‘Why not? We’re her fans.’ He was adamant, ‘No, she won’t come out. She is a woman. ‘ Rajji’s reply incited them further and they said, ‘So what? She must see her fans or else we will not allow the train to leave the station.’ The situation became very tense. I don’t know what came over Rajji but he dug his heels in and said: ‘No!’ Then he closed the compartment door. That did it! The crowd became furious and started hurling stones and hitting the train with big iron bars. They did not let the train move an inch. We had to duck down in our compartments to avoid being hurt while Rajji was getting more and more enraged.”

She added, “He wanted to go out and confront the crowd. His friends tried to restrain him and, when they realised they couldn’t, they pushed him into our compartment and said, ‘Ladies! Take care of him. He has gone wild.’ And so the three of us — Sayeeda, my hairdresser and I — had to literally pin Rajji onto the seat. I sat on his chest while my sister held on to his legs. He became red as a tomato and tried to wriggle out of our grip while we were struggling to keep him down. We kept imploring him: ‘No, Rajji, no!’ To which he protested: ‘Let me go! Let me go!’ It became such a drama — but maybe I should say a comedy!”

Teesri Kasam, directed by Basu Bhattacharya and produced by lyricist Shailendra, was based on Phanishwarnath Renu’s Mare Gaye Gulfam. The film stars Raj Kapoor and Waheeda Rehman. Though it didn’t become a hit at the box office, it won the National award for best film.

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