14 November,2014:Â Ravi Chopra, who passed away in a South Mumbai hospital on November 12, was to the manor born. The son of illustrious filmmaker BR Chopra and the nephew of the late Yash Chopra brought the epic ‘Mahabharat’ to every home, over two decades ago. The 68-year-old filmmaker, who had fallen in debt in the last six-odd years because of legal wrangles with a film corporation, was laid up with Motor neuron disease since 2010.
He had been in and out of hospitals in India and overseas. He finally succumbed to a severe lung ailment. Ravi was cared for deeply by his wife Renu and children. From the late 50s until 2005, his father made noteworthy cinema like ‘Naya Daur’ (1957), ‘Kanoon’ (1961), ‘Gumrah’ (1963) and ‘Insaf Ka Tarazu’ (1980) among others. Ravi began his career by assisting his uncle on Ittefaq (1969), and father on ‘Dastaan’ (1972) and ‘Dhund’ (1973). While he could never really deliver thought-provoking fare in his initial phase in Zameer or The Burning Train, he struck gold with ‘Baghban’. He did manage to take BR films to heights and built an empire by foraying into ad films and television. Having directed stalwarts like Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan during his career, he continued to dabble in Hindi cinema almost to his very end. Bhoothnath Returns, the sequel to his hit production venture Bhoothnath, was made during his illness.
While his professional achievements were shadowed by the sad fate that befell him in the last stage of his life, Ravi, in his youth, was flamboyant and friendly. He hung out with superstars Amitabh and Vinod Khanna, the stars of his debut film ‘Zameer’. Even though he was the first cousin of the reclusive Aditya Chopra, his best friend was his chacha Yash. This chacha-bhatija not only shared the same birthday (September 27), they also shared a common passion for food among other things.
A superstar wife, who had accompanied a teenage Ravi to a picnic organised by his father to the Aarey Milk Colony way back in the 60s, recalled how bratty he was at that age. She said, “I remember several top actors of that time were present there. Ravi, who was then the spoilt son of a legendary filmmaker in every sense, kept chucking the ice-cream cups in the air just for fun.”
As he was about to be put into an air-conditioned coffin, another of Ravi’s close friends wept and said, “He lived life to the fullest. His spirit was indomitable for the most part. Even when he was confined to a wheelchair in the last stages of his life, he would communicate with handwritten notes and a smile. Circumstances were trying. Now, Ravi Chopra has finally found peace.”
Source:The Times of India