A die-hard Rishi Kapoor fan, Deepika Padukone had to pinch herself when she met her idol, and not as a fan but Rishi’s son’s girlfriend.

“It’s amazing. But in his younger days, my dad (badminton champ Prakash Padukone) was often told he resembled Rishi uncle. I grew up as his big fan and have seen Karz and Kabhi Kabhie a number of times. When Ranbir took me to meet his parents, I was re-living my childhood images of the most compatible couple I’ve ever seen on screen.”

Ranbir’s parents have taken to their prospective daughter-in-law in a big way. “Rishi uncle is so warm. As for Neetu aunty, she has an aura of natural grace and charm about her. She’s very poised and articulate. I’ve met her more than I’ve met uncle. We’re going to be working together. We had a reading together recently. Rishi uncle’s so passionate about cinema. I’ve so much to learn from him.”
Deepika is all praise for the Kapoor couple for their children’s upbringing. “Both Ranbir and his sister Riddhima have been brought up with the right values. They come from such an illustrious family. And yet, they’re so down-to-earth. I see many similarities between their upbringing and mine. Though both Ranbir and I were exposed to celebrity situations from childhood, our parents have made sure we’re firmly rooted to reality.”

The 22-year-old answers charges of unfair conduct leveled by cricketer Yuvraj’s mother with elegant aplomb. “I really don’t think she said anything against me. If she had a grudge, she’d call me up and talk to me. I always say that no outside source can know what kind of a relationship two people share. I spoke to her after the statements attributed to her came out.

“I’ve always shared a fantastic rapport with her. She’s a wonderful and strong person. I’ve learnt a lot from her. As a woman and mother, I look up to Yuvraj’s mother.

“She’s a multi-tasking mother. She has single-handedly brought up her two children. Yuvraj is doing extremely well for himself. And his younger brother, who has just started out, is also doing well. I wish the family all the best.”