As veteran actor Rishi Kapoor passes away at 67 in Mumbai today, our heart goes to Neetu Kapoor who held her husband’s hand when he was breathing his last and saluted his zest for life. A woman who never left her husband’s side. She was called Mother Teresa in the family for the sole reason that she put up with the cranky habits of her husband and supported him when he was going through the worst in his career, health and other relationships. Also Read - Rishi Kapoor's Last Rites Will be Performed Today at Chandanwadi Crematorium by Son Ranbir Kapoor

The official statement released from the family mentioned that the actor lived for food, films, family and friends and the best way to remember him is to have a smile on face and a zeal to live life to the fullest. Neetu always understood her husband’s love for life. She took care of everything else and let Rishi do what made him feel happier – working on movies, partying with friends, eating and drinking, making controversial statements on social media and be the man who never shied away from calling a spade a spade. Rishi always spoke his mind and Neetu said that’s how he is and she will love him for all his follies and qualities. In an interview with Anupama Chopra during the release of Do Dooni Chaar (2010) that was bringing them back on-screen as a couple, Neetu said, “Everyone has their own flaws and they have their own things. But you have to accept each other for whatever you are.” Also Read - 'Two Legends in One Frame': D-Day Scene Featuring Rishi Kapoor & Irrfan Khan Goes Viral As Fans Mourn Their Deaths

Neetu left her career at the age of 21 when she got married to Rishi. The larger perception was that the Kapoor family didn’t want its bahu to take up acting after marriage. But, in later years, when Neetu started facing the media once again, she said it was her own decision because she had been working from the age of five and never got to enjoy her childhood or teenage years. Rishi commented in the same interview and said, “She got married to me when she was 21. And she threw and absolutely budding career, and at that point in time people felt ki Kapoors don’t want their wives to work. That was absolutely silly.” Neetu added, “I had worked for 15 years. I started working when I was five, as a child star. I did 70 movies. And there were no teenage years, there was no childhood. So I wanted to give it up. I wanted to have my house. I am glad I did that. When I see my children today, I am very happy I did whatever I did.” Also Read - Rishi Kapoor's Death: Alia Bhatt Reaches Hospital to be With Ranbir Kapoor And Family - Video

Rishi called Neetu his lifeline, the reason why he could behave like a child even in his 60s and get away with anything because his wife was there to hold him when he falls. Before fighting cancer, Rishi went through a difficult phase of depression. He mentioned in his autobiography that there was a time when he had lost faith in himself. He said he was doing films but feared to face the camera and couldn’t even give one shot in its fair sense. The actor said it was his wife who became the driving force of his life and took the decision for him. Neetu asked him to relax for a while and not work just to prove something. Rishi talked about the phase and said, “I wasn’t enjoying movies. I was putting on weight and all these youngsters had come on the scene. Neetu told me, ‘You are not enjoying your work, you are not looking like you are enjoying your work, I think you should hang up your boots and give up your career,’ which I did.”

In his last interviews, while talking about his battle with cancer, Rishi said he now wanted to live for his wife. He said he is a difficult person to deal with and it was all because of Neetu that he could bring discipline in his life. He was quoted by Deccan Chronicle saying, “Neetu has stood by me like a rock. Otherwise, I am too difficult a person to handle as far as food and drink are concerned. Being in remission is a big thing and it’s all because of my family and my fans’ prayers and duas that have worked. I thank them all.”

Rishi and Neetu married on January 22, 1980. The couple had a 40 years long marriage and Neetu just gave it all to this relationship. A warrior and a woman of extreme strength. May the powers be with her in these difficult times! May Rishi Kapoor rest in peace!