By Akanksha Gupta Last Updated:
Born to Chunnibhai Kapadia and Betty Kapadia, Simple Kapadia is the sister of veteran actress, Dimple Kapadia. Dimple and Simple had another sister, Reem Kapadia, who died of drug overuse. Following the footsteps of her star sister, Dimple, Simple too ventured into acting and made her debut with Anurodh, opposite her brother-in-law, Rajesh Khanna. In her acting career span of less than a decade, Simple had acted in close to 15 films. Simple had also worked as a costume designer in films till 2006 after she ended her acting career.
While a lot is known and written about Dimple Kapadia, her professional graph and personal life with late Rajesh Khanna, not much is known about her sister, Simple Kapadia. It was in 1973 when Dimple, at the age of 15, had married Rajesh, who was aged 30, but less than a decade and birth of two daughters, Twinkle Khanna and Rinke Khanna, later, the couple had parted ways. When Dimple had walked out of her marriage with Rajesh, Simple was the only steady factor in the toddlers, Twinkle and Rinke's lives.
Simple Kapadia had married a Sikh Sardar, Rajinder Singh Shetty in 1992 but it was a short-lived marriage and the couple was blessed with a son, Karan Kapadia, in 1993. According to IMDB, Simple was involved with producer, Tutu Sharma, actor, Shekhar Suman and Bollywood famous villain, Ranjeet. It is reported that Simple had also married Manoj Kaytee in the early '80s. When the film, Sagar became a hit and Sunny Deol made a permanent place in Dimple Kapadia's life, so much so that Twinkle Khanna and Rinke Khanna began to call him chhote papa, Simple too, became his costume designer. The Kapadia sisters came as a package with Sunny for every producer, who wanted to sign him.
It was in 2009 when Simple Kapadia had taken her last breath after fighting a long battle with cancer. Simple was diagnosed with cancer in 2006 and at the age of 51, she finally succumbed to the deadly disease. Reportedly, Dimple had avoided projects when Simple was fighting her battle with cancer, to take care of her sister. Strangely, at her prayer meet, Simple's brother-in-law, Rajesh Khanna was nowhere to be seen. Back in the late '70s, it was Rajesh, who had cajoled the director of the film, Anurodh, Shakti Samanta to cast Simple opposite him, for her debut. But the film flopped because of the chemistry-less romance between the lead pair, Rajesh and Simple. Due to their brother-in-law and sister-in-law relationship, intimate scenes were avoided in the film, which resulted in its failure. It is also said that Simple's involvement with Ranjeet had annoyed Rajesh so much that it led to a cold war between the two men during the shoot of Shomu Mukherji's Chhaila Babu.
In a 1977 interview with India Today, Simple Kapadia had revealed why she felt uncomfortable working with her brother-in-law, Rajesh Khanna. Speaking about her debut film, Anurodh and experience of working with Rajesh, Simple had elaborated:
"It is definitely not a 'Bobby' and can never even be compared to it. Just like I guess I can never be another Dimple. Actually, I'm quite uncomfortable working with him because when you know a person inside out it seems funny seeing him so different in front of a camera."
Dimple Kapadia had left her acting career after her marriage with Rajesh Khanna, on his behest. On these lines, Simple Kapadia had said that, unlike Dimple, she has no intentions to let a man sweep her off her feet and out of the glamour world. Simple was quoted as saying:
"Give up working and do what? True, I don't profess to any artistic craving but there's no other profession in the world that's so rewarding. I want people to appreciate me and what can be better than having thousands and thousands of people appreciating you."
In an interview with Cineplot, Simple Kapadia had spoken about how it was working with Rajesh Khanna and her ambition as an actress. Speaking about her experience working with her brother-in-law, Simple had said:
"Before I started actual shooting with him, I had thought it would be a great moral support to have somebody known to you. But then I found I was quite nervous, probably with the thought that I was acting opposite a far more experienced actor. Kaka was very helpful, but then I sensed he too wasn’t feeling comfortable coming and telling me how to do the scene if I made a mistake."
Giving a thought about her ambition as an actress, Simple Kapadia had remarked:
"I would love to be able to repeat the success of Dimple. But then it’s not now in my hands. All that I would like is to be known as a good actress, and not as Dimple’s sister or Rajesh Khanna’s sis-in-law."
When asked, "And what if you flop as an actress?" she had retorted:
"As I have already said, I wouldn’t be bothered beyond a point. I can always get married and settle down."
Twinkle Khanna and her actor-husband, Akshay Kumar had taken her cousin, Karan Kapadia under their wing post the demise of his mother, Simple Kapadia. Karan, who used to live with his aunt, Dimple Kapadia, had expressed how lucky he feels to have two moms in his life. In an interview with Mumbai Mirror, Karan had said:
"I lost my mom when I was 15 but I feel extremely lucky to have two moms. I can talk to my aunt-mom about my girlfriends, fights with my friends and work too."
Speaking about his mom, Simple Kapadia, Karan Kapadia had remarked:
"She was amazing, the toughest person I’ve seen. To date when I’m on a film set, people come up to me and start talking about my mom. She spread love and happiness around and left an impression."
In an interview with The Times Of India, Karan Kapadia was asked to share a fond memory, any life lesson or advice from his mother, Simple Kapadia that he remembers. Karan had recalled:
"I have amazing memories with my mom. By the time I was born, she was already an established costume designer. So I never got to sort of see her acting phase but she was a single mother and she has really raised me and she ultimately passed away. She taught me some great values and what I learn from her the most is it's never too late to redefine yourself. She did 15-20 films, which is actually a lot of films and after that to venture into something completely different and sort of master it is something really inspirational. Yes, she has really taught me a lot. I do watch some of her films for nostalgic purposes. So she was an incredible role model."
When asked what qualities he had inherited from his mother, Simple Kapadia, Karan Kapadia had retorted:
"I don't think I am even half the person, she was to be honest. I am trying to be there. I think the quality, in terms of only physical appearance, I have inherited her smile. She was an incredibly kind and generous human being and I am nowhere close to the level."
Sharing what he would like to tell Simple Kapadia if she was alive, Karan Kapadia had said:
"That is a deep question. I would just tell her things that I couldn't tell her when she was around. Things like how much I appreciated her as when she passed away, I was just 15 year old, I was still a kid, So I didn't understand that much but now as an adult, inside I realise certain things. So may be how grateful I was for the support that she provided me."
For the unversed, Simple and Rajesh have starred in two movies together, Anurodh and Chakravyuha.