In a heart-rending revelation, former Bollywood star Rishi Kapoor has revealed that former actor Raj Kiran has been found in a mental asylum in Atlanta, USA fending for himself for the last 20 years.
Raj Kiran was out of touch with Bollywood people for the last 20 years, and it was being assumed that he had passed away. But, Rishi Kapoor was not ready to accept this fact. Rishi put out a message on the social networking site Facebook inquiring about him and saying that the last that was heard about him was that he was driving a cab in New York City. He soon got a reply and the fact was disturbing.
Says Rishi Kapoor: "I tried to contact Raj Kiran's elder brother Govind Mehtani and found out that he was in Atlanta. It is disturbing that his family has left him to fend for himself in a mental asylum in Atlanta".
Rishi says, Raj Kiran works in the hospital to bear the expenses of staying in the mental asylum. "Raj is younger than me. Both of us had spent some wonderful moments together. I feel his absence".
It was Rishi who played his reincarnation in the film 'Karz'. People in Bollywood say, Raj Kiran's wife and son have abandoned him and Raj could not bear this mental shock. Since his treatment was too costly, his family was unable to help him.
Says Rishi: "Raj has his elder brother Govind and younger brother Ajit but they are not in touch with him. When I sought his phone number, they declined to give".
'I wanted to speak to Raj over phone. But now I have decided to go to Atlanta myself and ask him to return home', says Rishi Kapoor. 'I also want him to return to films. I want Raj to know that I do worry about him. I will try to get him roles'.
Raj Kiran's memorable films include Kaagaz ki Naav, Ghar Ho To Aisa, Karz and Arth. He had worked for producers like Subhash Ghai, Mahesh Bhatt and B R Ishara.
Says Mahesh Bhatt: " I had worked with Raj Kiran in Arthand at that time he had never given me a reason to believe that he would ever suffer from such an organic problem.But then years later we heard about bizarre incidents that happened in Bangalore.
"He had gone to Puttaparthi and there he apparently,tried to scale a wall and got violent and was accused to have attempted to assassinate Sai Baba.He was brought back to Mumbai where he was kept in a Byculla asylum.I had gone to meet him there.
"Some time after that I heard his brother took him to the USA.Now I hear that he in Atlanta and again in an asylum.I had experienced Parveen going through these breakdowns.And it got worse with each breakdown.It hurts when we see someone being reduced to such a human wreck.You actually mourn at your helplessness."
Says Shekhar Kapur: 'That's awful.I always wondered where he got to.He was a wonderful actor.We even did film together years ago.Where is his family
Says Subhas Ghai:
'I always feel sad about Raj Kiran.He was a thorough gentleman as a new comer in Karz.But I guess after Karz he got too much of media hype and didn't get the success he expected.It made him disturbed apart from his personal life problems.I don't know thereafter.'
Says Shabana Azmi: " I am deeply,deeply sorry to hear this.I had met him several years ago at a mental institution in Mumbai and he seemed to be on his way to recovery because he had periods of lucidity. He was so good in Arth. My heart goes out to him "