Mera Naam Joker: When Rishi Kapoor checked out Simi Garewal undressing and awakened a generation’s sexuality

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In 1967, Sharmila Tagore stunned the Indian audience by donning a swimsuit in the Bollywood hit ‘An Evening in Paris’. Nothing of this sort had been done like this in a Hindi movie before and the image of Sharmila water skiing through the French Riviera is talked about even today.

And while Bollywood felt that it would be a long time before anyone else took such a bold step, Simi Garewal was seen changing her clothes in the Raj Kapoor-directed Mera Naam Joker in 1970.

Rishi Kapoor, who plays a younger version of Raj Kapoor, in his first credited role, has a massive crush on Mary, his schoolteacher, played by Garewal. While visiting her, he is caught staring at her changing her clothes in a field, which probably is the fantasy of most schoolboys when they have a crush on a teacher.

Interestingly, Garewal is only four years older than Rishi Kapoor, and she tweeted this on Thursday.

That scene truly awakened a generation’s sexuality and over the next decade, the rain songs, the wet sarees, and the onscreen kissing scenes started soon after. Remember Rishi Kapoor’s kissing scenes with Dimple Kapadia in both Bobby and Sagar. Neetu Singh in fact, shares an interesting anecdote where Rishi had not told her about the scene in Sagar, and when she saw the movie, he did not look at her.

However, millions of other connoisseurs of Bollywood’s ‘sexually explicit’ content that was usually represented by a garden rose blossoming when the hero and heroine hugged, lapped it up like they were back in high school.

Unfortunately, Rishi Kapoor passed away this morning, but not before leaving behind a legacy. He has been the chocolate boy, the family patriarch, a grumpy old man, and even a child trafficker. Comparing one role with the other would be unfair to the man’s ability on screen, but as many people say, his second coming as an actor showcased what he was truly capable of.

And before we talk about his chocolate boy roles, let us not forget that two of them were thrillers – Khel Khel Mein, which was a brilliant whodunnit and Karz, which will be remembered as Subhash Ghai’s finest.

India will miss Rishi Kapoor for being himself and giving us some wonderful movies that have truly stood out the test of time.

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