RAJESH KHANNA NO MORE! (post updated)


410 Responses to “RAJESH KHANNA NO MORE! (post updated)”

  1. My first Bolly favourite…my tears are real. A greek tragedy, his life. RIP Kaka.


  2. rockstar Says:



  3. Alex adams Says:

    feel sorry for him
    The seminal Rajesh khanna track that summarised his later life-a great song


  4. tonymontana Says:

    Very, very sad news..
    A bona fide superstar.. the craze for him during his prime was unparalleled.

    RIP Kaka.. Im sure you’re in a better world


  5. Extremely sad news. RIP Rajesh Khanna !!


  6. Am copy pasting what I wrote on facebook a few minutes back. A friend write that he was sad at the passing of all our legends, one by one– Dev Anand, Shammi kapoor, Rajesh Khanna…and this is what I replied —

    Agree. But at least Dev Aand lived a full life and died with his boots on at ripe age of 85, a couple of years after releasing his autobiography. Dev was in London, scouting around to make his umpteenth film , never mind that few except his own people watched his last dozen productions. at least he lived a positive fulfilled life, and died without suffering.

    Shammi too lived a fulfilling life and managed in fact to survive nearly a decade of tri-weekly dialysis! Died in his late seventies, after doing a film with Ranbir, a 3rd generation Kapoor. But Rajesh khanna, poor idiot, gave up the ghost of a proper life, the moment his superstardom vanished with Amitabh talking his spot , mid-seventies. He became bitter, petty, vindictive, started drinking; marriage broke up, became a wierdo (Stardust used to write all the grisly details)…pretty much started the typical downward journey that showbiz people sometimes sadly succumb to. But he did make films till mid-eighties…then gave up. His wife Dimple separated, taking daughters with her…but over the years the good lady came around to becoming his friend and companion to his lonely sickness filled final years. Bechara saala.


  7. bachchan1 to 10 Says:

    Indeed really really sad news, RIP kaka, you have entertained us for years, showed us the meaning of a real SUPERSTAR, your fan following and your charm can never be matched, you were the real chocolate hero of Indian Film Industry, You also gave us some amazing performances in likes of Bawarchi, Dushman, Sacha Jutha, (just a few of my favs) and many many many more. We as an audience and fans will always miss you.


  8. the industry’s just been getting hit w/ huge tragedies in the past couple of years…dev anand saab, shammi kapoor saab, dara singh saab and now, Rajesh Khanna? He was and probably always will be one of my favourites! The first SUPERSTAR of the industry! one of bollywood’s biggest and most vibrant personalities is gone! 😦


  9. I loved Rajesh in films like Aradhana (but of course), Ittefaq, Khamoshi, Safar (just loved this film with its amazing music), Sachcha Jhootha (fun film), Bawarchi…thank you Kaka, for all those good times.


  10. Saddened by the news, Heartfelt condolences to Rajesh Khanna’s family, May Kaka’s soul RIP 😦


  11. oldgold Says:

    Sad. Sad. Sad.
    Rest in peace dear Rajesh Khanna.

    Somehow Aap Ki Kasam is the film that symbolises him for me. Loved him in Bawarchi.


  12. ‘Zindagi …kaisi hai paheli,
    haaye Kabhi to hansaaye
    kabhi ye rulaaye …..’

    So sad to read about Rajesh Khanna ji ,Great Superstar. May his soul rest in peace.Prayers.

    Rupam { xhobdo }


  13. RIP Rajesh Khanna. Loved many of his movies as a child and especially have very fond memories attached to with this songs.


  14. Omrocky786 Says:

    RIP Kaka….the first Superstar of Indian Cinema…..


  15. Extremely sad news….


  16. There have been very many industry deaths over the last year or two, but this is perhaps the one that has hit me the most. It’s not a question of being a fan — I wasn’t — but of necessity: if you have ever loved Kishore Kumar, or Hindi film music, or Hindi films, you have had a long acquaintance with Rajesh Khanna. As simple as that.


    • abzee2kin Says:

      Still gives me goosbumps this climax. In this one scene, the fates and lives of Khanna and Bachchan were entwined. It’s scary how this and Namak Haram were actual plotpoints in their offscreen narrative as well.


    • abzee2kin Says:

      One more anecdote that I would like to share. During the shoot of Anand, Khanna knew that this was the only scene where Bachchan could showcase himself. Bachchan apparently rehearsed the lines for 2 weeks. Khanna kept cancelling the shoot for a whole week saying he’s not in the mood, and then 3 weeks later, when Bachchan was unprepapred suggested that they shoot the ending as he is in the mood to. Hrishikesh asked Bachchan if he was okay, and Bachchan said why not. The rage and anger expressed is real frustration!


  17. abzee2kin Says:

    I never cared much for him as an actor, but more for his definitve chapter in Bollywood history. However, like Qalandar, his death has really hit me. Can’t quite say it, but the sheer tragedy of this man’s existence, of a life spent embittered… it is sad truth sadder than any fiction.

    From an adopted boy to a life of riches, then head-spinning fame, sudden fall and jealousy, and a seclusion into bad company and self-wilting resignation.

    Even until his last days, he continued to carry the cross of Bachchan hatred. Really sad how he undervalued his own stardom by allowing him to get so consumed with Bachchan.


    • one of the saddest days really.. a historic figure in the truest sense but also a very tragic one..


    • I’m not sure if I agree with the last statement here Abzee (though you’re the man in these matters!). First off Rajesh Khanna probably had good reason to be more aggrieved about his fate than just about any other star. If he had some resentment about Bachchan I wouldn’t find this odd at all. But ‘hatred’ it seems to me is too strong a word. My own sense is that even as his decline was impossibly hard and sudden he probably over time realized that Bachchan was very worthy of everything he’d received. In fact I’ve seen more than one interview of his where he’s called himself the first superstar and Bachchan the last. in some ways cruel as fate was to him Bachchan is also his best historic ‘hope’ if you will. For losing out to Bachchan is not a matter of dishonor. And over time this gap has obviously increased more and more. When you see someone play the game at that level for so long when you know how most stars don’t remain definitive for more than some years even when they have much longer careers otherwise you cannot but come to a position of admiration eventually.

      In any case I always like to say this but these days when every other star is called a superstar and every star and film is hyped to death it is worth remembering (and most need to be educated about this!) how Rajesh Khanna was peak period was well beyond any kind of success we’ve seen in the contemporary age. It’s not even comparable. The closest you get is Hrithik’s debut and the first year or more after this but Rajesh Khanna was ‘culture’ for a few years. Hard for people to fathom this today specially since he has not been relevant for so very long. With Bachchan at least you see his present and you can get a glimpse of how great his peak might have been. With Rajesh Khanna there are no such clues of longevity. But for that peak period he was unsurpassed leaving aside Bachchan of course. Another way in which that entire decade was so special. Rajesh Khanna became successful at the very tail end of the 60s of course but really how often will one get two such phenomenal stars at more or less the same time?!


    • “Even until his last days, he continued to carry the cross of Bachchan hatred. Really sad how he undervalued his own stardom by allowing him to get so consumed with Bachchan.”

      abzee – do u really think so? i think that was more of a media-creation – i really don’t think kaka had any hatred (apart from professional jealousy – which was natural) for Big B


  18. Ajae Sharma Says:

    Everyone will miss you! राजेश खन्ना हिंदी फिल्म इंडस्ट्री के यक़ीनन पहले सुपरस्टार थे , जिन्होंने लगातार 15 गोल्डेन जुबली फिल्मे दी जो की अभी भी एक रिकॉर्ड है , और अगर आप नोटिस करे कि सब से ज्यादा सुपरहिट सुरीले गाने भी ग्रेट राजेश खाना के ही खाते में आये है , जिन्होंने उनको फिल्म इतिहास में अमर बना दिया है , और वो हमेशा फिल्म प्रेमियों के दिलो में हमेशा रहेंगे १
    ये कुछ लाइने ग्रेट राजेश खन्ना अक्सर बोला करते थे वो ये है
    मैं तो कुछ भी नहीं हूँ .. मैं तो कुछ भी नहीं
    इज्ज़ते शोहरतें चाहतें उल्फ़ते
    कोई भी चीज़ दुनिया मैं रहती नहीं
    आज मैं हूँ जहाँ कल कोई और था .. आज मैं हूँ जहाँ कल कोई और था
    ये भी एक दौर है वोह भी एक दौर था , RIP Rajesh Khanna..


  19. Quite sad news to wake up to. I’ll echo the sentiment that while I wasn’t much of a fan, this is a tremendous loss. Many of his iconic films (that I later caught up with) are among my mother’s favorite, and I sort of grew up around the soundtracks and the old video cassettes of his movies. He’s the sort of star with whom one can’t help but find some reserve or some semblance of personal connection.


    • yes he was indeed a favorite star of all our mothers! But you’re also quite right in that he worked in some very strong scripts during his peak period. Films that are unfortunately more famous now for the songs than anything else (in most instances).


  20. RIP. Very Sad Indeed.
    No matter if his latter years were of oblivion (whether self-imposed or circumstantial), Rajesh is intertwined deeply with Bwood history and lore. Rajesh had perhaps the ‘tightest’ playback alter-ego in Kishore. His history is not just through his superstardom and the movies in that phase, but also through the immortality that he gained via Kishore’s immortal songs (as well as the immortal composition of RD Burman in most of them). The list of Rajesh-Kishore gems is endless, and they touch us through every emotion imaginable.
    Kishore and Rajesh will be setting up stage there somewhere in the afterlife now, charming the Gods away.


  21. Mahesh Bhatt ‏@MaheshNBhatt

    When we lose a loved one, something within us dies. Our generation loved Rajesh Khanna. Today a bit if us dies with this enigmatic star.


    Salim uncle (Khan) once told me- Ek Zamana tha jab theatre mein filmein nahin chalti thi- Sirf RAJESH KHANNA chalte the. -Love you sir

    sachin tendulkar ‏@sachin_rt

    Very unfortunate to hear about the demise of Rajesh Khanna Ji. While growing up I watched so many of his movies…

    Anupam Kher ‏@AnupamPkher

    Rajesh Khanna was LARGER than life. He was a King who gave Indian Cinema glamour, style, and substance. We will Miss you Sir. 😦


    • Tamil superstar Rajinikanth has expressed his grief over the death of Bollywood’s first superstar Rajesh Khanna.

      The actor said, “My heartfelt condolences to the legend Mr Rajesh Khanna. I pray to the Almighty, may his soul rest in peace.”


  22. In less than a year the industry has lost Shammi Kapoor, Dev Anand and now Rajesh Khanna.


  23. RIP…


  24. How I loved him as a child in the 70s! Even though I became sentient in the age of Bachchan, it was Rajesh Khanna who captured my heart. The love didn’t endure but I still have a great deal of residual affection for Kaka. His passing, on the heels of Dev Anand and Shammi Kapoor’s demises *really* hurts. 😦


  25. 2009 Amitabh presents Rajesh with IIFA Lifetime Achievement


    • yeah remember this well.. moving video..


      • Seeing the transformation of his physique from this 2009 clip to his frail self in the recent Havells ad, it was pretty apparent that he was stricken with something serious and fatal, probably cancer. Unlike in the West, disclosure of such health issues by stars in India always remains a touchy subject. They kept denying any issues with him throughout the last few months, but it was apparent with his shrinking frame that he was stricken severely.


  26. Feeling numb…hard to believe this news…the unprecedented outpouring of grief & memories today gives a fair indication of this monumental loss !!


  27. “@GChintamani: With #RajeshKhanna’s death it’s like losing RD, Kishore Kumar and Anand Bakshi all over again… ”

    So true !!!


  28. @sagarikaghose

    Every news channel today is like Chitrahaar,the film song show we entertainment-starved 70s kids avidly watched. #RIP Rajesh Khanna


  29. http://www.rediff.com/movies/column/watching-rajesh-khanna-reach-his-height-of-success/20120718.htm

    It was impossible not to love Rajesh Khanna in the seventies, when the star was in his prime. A Ganesh Nadar recalls what it was like to watch an RK movie in the theatre then.


  30. RIP – some guys on here know I am looking for some romantic older music and after doing my research of songs I know and liked most frequent star appearance was this man! I think my mum will be upset tonight.


    • More or less said the same about my mother! What’s odd is that she’s flying home from India as this news unfolds and she’s probably entirely unaware of it. Strange how icons like this come to define certain times in our lives. And you’re right about the best romantic music from an older age – Khanna is all over that and for better or worse it’s sort of the stamp of his icon.


  31. This is like a kick in the stomach.
    Unlike many above, I WAS a fan and inspite of his failings as a person have enjoyed many of his films and performances. H was definitely special. His personal life was a tragedy and a lot was his own doing but still sympathised with him.
    His combination with Kishore and RD was lethal.
    Amar Prem remains my favorite film of his tho there are quite a few which were enjoyable.
    May his soul rest in peace.


    • Amar Prem is far and away my favorite as well.


    • even though I didn’t really grow up in that age I must say that watching his peak films it’s never seemed surprising to me that he became such a historic figure. Stylized yes and even to a fault, a problem which became very severe as he got to his off-peak period, but his star gesturality is relatively easy to comprehend. I make this point because in many instances it’s hard for a later generation to understand what made a star so important for a preceding one.


    • I too would agree on Amar Prem and it’s easily his greatest film. would have Anand and Aradhana next on the list. But really enjoy all of his peak period films at one level or the other. Among the hits I can’t quite stand Aap Ki Kasam (barring some of the songs). I’ve always had a severe allergy to such subjects about crazy marital jealousy that destroys everyone’s life!


      • Re: barring some of the songs

        Some? Each one was a gem including even paas nahin aana – the weakest of the lot. Zindagi ke safar is a timless classic.
        Agree entirely on the jealousy thing and it is ten times worse when the whole story is based on a misunderstanding.


        • true.. it’s an excellent soundtrack.. Zindagi ke safar is easily the best.. but otherwise the album isn’t quite the equal of Amar Prem or Kati Patang or Aradhana.


          • Alex adams Says:

            ‘zindagi ke safar mein’ -aap ki kasam
            Agree -‘ zindagi ke safar mein’ -is an absolute classic
            like it a lot (I’ve put the link above)
            Will take that one track over some of his entire albums
            Not bcos of the song alone
            Or the lyrics or rd burmans music
            Or even the adept song placement and picturisation
            For the first time in his long and illustrious career, saw a certain ‘restraint’ and ‘maturity’ in Rajesh khannas acting
            Also I quite liked his look in the (first part) of that song
            Also the scales he notches proves his growth as an actor (not taking about stardom)
            Perhaps his real life issues enabled him to give a good performance here
            So there may have been numerous star turns of Rajesh khanna that people love
            But in this one song, it just came together in unison aided and abetted by the brilliance of kishore Kumar and rdburman


      • let us not talk who was a greater star between amitabh bachchan and rajesh khanna?…..who gave greater hits?….as stardom and commercial hits is not what posterity will remember someone for…..the list of favourite films of rajesh khanna…here enumerated… includes films which were really good content wise…we r talking about films like amar prem and bawarchi and anand…..so let us ask ….who was a greater actor…in the prime of their respective acting careers…… rajesh khanna or amitabh bachchan?


        • Re: who was a greater actor…in the prime of their respective acting careers…… rajesh khanna or amitabh bachchan?

          Hard pressed to believe this can be a serious question. Nor do I think this is the right thread to debate this ( assuming there IS a debate to be had).


          • my apologies..both were unique in their own way.but if u compare the best film of bachchan ..say deevar…with the best film of rajesh khanna ..say..anand….then i think rajesh khanna was miles ahead of bachchan.but that maybe so primarily because of the genius of hrishikesh mukherjee


          • You’re right, this isn’t the place for a debate such as this but if there is one it is the right time to exit the theater and take a cigarette break (!).. or should I say beedi break?!


          • Alex adams Says:

            Anjali: That reminds me of this song
            2 Styles and eras in one song-khanna and bachchan
            Like it
            Even though bachchan wasn’t a big star here, I’m actually pleasantly surprised how khanna stood upto him in a reassured and confident manner of body language (though it’s much easier when the other star is not a big one)


          • Your last statement contradicts itself twice..


          • Alex adams Says:

            “Your last statement contradicts itself twice..”
            Well picked Satyam- that’s what it was meant to do
            That’s y life is full of contradictions 🙂
            Ps: bachchans screen presence somewhat transcended his stardom somewhat
            And was much more than the much bigger star here
            Obviously u may say that at that time bachchan wasn’t supposed to become the big star he became later
            But the above statement is purposely meant to take into account that ‘lack of knowledge’ at that time ….


          • Alex adams Says:

            An attempted ‘pseudomenon’ ^
            Aka ‘liars paradox’ 🙂


  32. Dilip Kumar ‏@TheDilipKumar

    Death is just the end of life, not a relationship. Rajesh will be missed dearly.


  33. Watching the video clips it struck me how he punctuated his speeches with ‘shairi’.
    Along with the deaths of stars in the past few years, this style is also dying.


  34. tonymontana Says:

    It’s going to be a Rajesh Khanna week for me. Im starting with Amar Prem


    • I too will revisit a lot of the stuff..

      it’s been a profoundly sad day. The ‘tragic’ laces his career. Something of the unfulfilled that is perennially part of his narrative. In 1974 even though he had a great year the writing was on the wall. And he was just roughly 32 at that time. A year or two later he was totally washed out but of course doing films regularly. To be done in a sense by 32 or to have seen unprecedented heights and a stunning downfall all by that age! Bachchan was just getting started at the very same age. Not just this, Rajesh Khanna then spent 7-8 years after 1974 doing bread and butter films. In some sense this too was a terrible fate. Because most stars who become dominant have a much longer inning, many others never reach those heights but are always very stable. But he was the only one who had unique success but also had to live through his ‘crash’ for many years professionally (let alone in other ways). He must have gone through years of having to face the camera knowing that forget being secondary to Bachchan now or a pale shadow of his former self, he was largely irrelevant to the power equation. This is a brutal line of work in very many ways but I can’t think of any other leading star who had to go through a comparably harsh fate.


      • To add to this perhaps the history must also be examined in another way. Rajesh Khanna did some remarkable films during his peak period but ultimately he was running against the tide of history. The turmoil that that era represented needed a more appropriate outlet. Khanna’s cinema in many ways is about the most intelligent that a ‘bourgeois’ cinema could get (and I don’t mean this disparagingly). However the times called for something more. His superstardom was a biographical event much more than a historic one which is to say that though his stardom was of course historic it didn’t feed into the history of its age. Hence in this sense it wasn’t an event. Or it was one only in terms of Rajesh Khanna’s biography. No one had experienced this kind of stardom (or this kind of intensity) before in Bombay. Obviously he became ‘culture’ let alone film culture, his films were remarkably iconic and so on but the truer event was round the corner. And Bachchan here was both the biographical and the historic (in the authentic sense) event. So yes history did defeat Rajesh Khanna but that history also required the right ‘messenger’ and Bachchan became this. A lot of things have to come together for that right event to take place. The appropriate collection of talent (Salim-Javed…etc), the right ‘ferment’ in a cultural, political sense, and last but not least an audience open to the ‘event’. And then that ultimate ‘name’ or ‘signature’, a talented actor of course but something beyond this. And this is what Bachchan provided. The star and the actor who could ‘encompass’ this entire wave, not just ride the event but become the event. It’s not that the films would have brought some other star to the same position. Not at all. Even with everything in place the ‘revolution’ always requires the right ‘signature’ or ‘signatory’.

        In any case the Bachchan history is inextricably linked with Khanna’s. The ghost that keeps on haunting the latter..


        • Re: “In any case the Bachchan history is inextricably linked with Khanna’s. The ghost that keeps on haunting the latter..”

          Yes, it’s been impossible to escape that ghost in all the eulogies to Rajesh Khanna. Conversely, I’ve often wondered if the ghost of Khanna’s stardom haunts Amitabh — hence the latter’s self-deprecation, which often borders on the absurd and can in no way pass as mere humility (at least, not to me, not plausibly). Almost as if Bachchan had decided Khanna was the way NOT to go, for reasons of superstition…


          • you’re quite right.. Javed Akhtar once said in an interview that when Bachchan first became successful and then eventually the rage and whenever he congratulated him (Bachchan) on his latest success the latter would always say ‘this will only last for 2-3 years’. So indeed this specter has always haunted Bachchan too..


        • Re: “Khanna’s cinema in many ways is about the most intelligent that a ‘bourgeois’ cinema could get (and I don’t mean this disparagingly).”

          This is an intriguing point. I hadn’t quite thought of his body of work in those terms, but it makes a lot of sense. More precisely, contrasting Khanna’s work with other valorizations of “bourgeois values” (e.g. over the last 20 years) brings the point into sharper focus. In Khanna’s world (as also in the world of Mukherjee, Amol Palekar, and even Gulzar) there is much that is worthy in the bourgeois ethos — but everything that is worthy in that ethos belongs to the aspirations of the bourgeoisie (i.e. there is an ethical component here, and when the reality of the bourgeoisie falls short — as in Amar Prem — then it must be critiqued using bourgeois ideals themselves). With other moments of bourgeois supremacy, the message is a different one. And we see a celebration of whatever happens to occupy that segment of the public at that moment (hence the variable fashions, the quick changes in cinematic taste, the mindless praising of all things that are “new” and “different” (whether or not they are or are not new and different) — but always and above all else, a celebration of consumerism and (where not consumerism per se) consumerist logic (which also needs the constant renewal of new things; new sensations/emotions/lifestyles too, but these are themselves re-configured as things…))…


      • excellent analysis. Didnt realize he was only 32 when he was completely over shadowed by Amitabh.


        • yeah it’s hard to believe. But it wasn’t just about Bachchan. History turned so much against him that he became irrelevant. He did many films for years after this as a lead but for a man who had been upon those heights he became secondary to most major stars.

          But the physicality was part of it too. He lost his looks very quickly. So if you compare him in 1970 with 1974 there’s a world of difference.

          There’s a great moment in Guddi (1970) when Jaya Bhaduri asks Dharmendra (who plays himself in the film) for an autograph and he says that ‘these days it’s all about Rajesh Khanna’. It’s true! Dharmendra was doing very well in those years but everyone seemed a pygmy compared to Khanna.


        • I’m reminded of an old story Plutarch mentions: in 67 BC, a Roman army officer’s friends found him weeping in a temple in Spain. They were surprised, as it was their friend’s birthday, and asked him why he was crying. The man said he had turned 33, and “by this age, Alexander had conquered the world, while I have achieved nothing.” The man — who indeed had not achieved anything of great renown as of that age — was Julius Caesar.


  35. Rajesh khanna 1973 BBC documentary shown on a news channel in India today….Glory days of his super stardum…some extremely rare never before seen footage & interviews.

    Absolute must see !!!


    • https://satyamshot.wordpress.com/2010/03/28/classic-documentary-on-rajesh-khanna/

      The same thing in parts here but the one part youtube you’ve posted misses the first two min. Check out the first part in the link above.


    • the boorish look..bristling with conceit and obstinacy which animates the face of rajesh khanna…when the english reporter asks…why did u held a party on the same day of the filmfare awards?
      and the absolutely false answer( and more than the false answer…the attitude) with which he answered the accusation…..”it was a coincidence.”…..exposes the kind of man rajesh khanna was…..a man (as the bitchy columnist said)….a man who has nothing to offer yu emotionally.no wonder all the women in his life left him…from dimple to tina munim.
      khushwant singh always derided his dead friends and dead famous personalities….by writing venomous obituaries in his columns.his justification was…just because the man has died doesnt makes him great.
      rajesh khanna as a person must have been insufferable.
      the absolute opposite of rajesh khanna wud be raj kapoor…just look at this interview


  36. Amitabh Bachchan ‏@SrBachchan

    T 809 – What can one say when a colleague, a most important member of the fraternity, younger than you passes away..Rajesh Khanna no more !

    T 809 – I stand mute in front of his still body, with nothing crossing my mind … just disbelief, and a reverence to his departed soul !!

    T 809 – The word ‘superstar’ was invented for him, and for me it shall ever remain his, and no others .. !!

    T 809 – His generation and the generations that follow, shall never be able to describe, or understand his phenomena .. !!

    T 809 – Just the mere mention of his name ‘Rajesh Khanna’ sent myriad images of fanfare, awe, and reverential mention !!

    T 809 – At his home earlier today, someone close came up and told me, his last words were ‘time up ho gaya – pack up !!’


  37. Offside Says:

    Zindagi badi honi chahiye lambi nahin – appropriate for the superstar, indeed; luxuriant actor for me.

    PS Sadly it’s a ‘timeline’ where all the stars close to his age are going to another journey away;


  38. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/bollywood/news-interviews/Rajesh-Khanna-For-fans-the-only-and-forever-superstar/articleshow/15035662.cms

    NEW DELHI: Once upon a time, there was a Rajesh Khanna. Men aped him. Women worshipped him. And girls married his photographs, smudged his car with lipsticks and waited late night outside hotels hoping to catch a glimpse of him. Once when he had fever, a group of college students spent hours taking turns to put ice water on his forehead in a photograph.

    In the history of Hindi cinema, nobody has induced fan hysteria like Rajesh Khanna. And nobody has captured the nation’s collective mindspace like the actor, who passed away at Ashirwad, his iconic Mumbai residence, on Wednesday. He was 69. The cause of his death has not been officially announced. But doctors treating him at Lilavati hospital hinted at cancer.

    Once he rode into a nation’s heart serenading Sharmila Tagore with Mere sapnon ki raani in Aradhana (1969) and followed it up with another blockbuster Do Raaste a few weeks later, Rajesh Khanna rewrote box-office history. Between the years 1969 and 1972 almost everything he touched turned to gold — 15 consecutive hits of various degrees. No wonder producers chanted: Upar aaka, neeche Kaka (God above and Kaka, Khanna’s pet name, below).

    Nobody really knows how an actor of average build, middling height and a face often sprayed with pimples hypnotized India. May be, he was the last gasp of innocence when India was getting angry about unemployment and price rise, a hyphen between the simplicity of the years gone by and the uncertainty of the future. Maybe, it was just written. Unable to find a phrase that captured the phenomenon, the industry finally coined a new term: the superstar.

    He behaved like a superstar too. BBC journalist Jack Pizzey described him as someone with the charisma of Rudolph Valentino and the arrogance of Napoleon. The star had missed his interview appointment five times.

    The Amritsar-born actor was too big and too swept away by fame to care. Who wouldn’t when even street fashion was defined by your personality? The belt slapped over shirt, the round-collared guru kurta, a smart ploy to hide a growing waistline, all became a rage. And even in those no-sat-TV days, his smile sold toothpaste (Macleans).

    He was the king of romance; most at home shaking his head and crooning love nothings. Songs were the spine of his movies; he revived Kishore Kumar’s singing career in Aradhana. But the actor brought no revolution to the art of celluloid love; he just gently blended the playfulness of Dev Anand with a fraction of Dilip Kumar’s intensity; to this he added his own charm and style.

    Critics loved him too for doing off-beat movies such as Ittefaq and Aavishkar. But the actor knew how to wet a handkerchief too. Few actors have milked tear ducts better than him and fewer have profited more from a broken heart. It is easy to empathize with the smiling cancer patient in Anand or the large-hearted bhadrolok in Amar Prem. There is a style with which he says: “Pushpa, I hate tears.” Rajesh’s acting was defined by style. But in his later years, the style degenerated into a bundle of mannerisms. Like Dev Anand, Rajesh Khanna too became his own parody.

    Once the action films’ angry young man came with Amitabh Bachchan, Rajesh Khanna’s romantic movies (typified by Shakti Samanta films) went out of fashion. A sudden marriage to Dimple Kapadia, almost half his age, got him back in focus. But his attitude issues as an actor — coming late for shooting on sets, ego clashes with other stars — ensured that he lost big banners and good directors once the chips were down. After Mehbooba (1975) flopped, his superstar days were over.

    But just when critics wrote him off, the actor made a comeback of sorts with Amardeep (1979). Right through the 1980s, he blended the occasional hit (Souten, Maqsad) with the rare blockbuster (Avtaar) and a stream of flops.

    Joining the Congress in 1991 was a shrewd career move. The same year he contested the Lok Sabha election against BJP leader L K Advani, then on Cloud 9 following his Ayodhya rath yatra, and gave him the fright of his life. The actor lost by only 1,589 votes from the New Delhi Lok Sabha constituency. A few months later, he comfortably won the byelection beating fellow actor Shatrughan Sinha. But in politics, the actor sparkled like a shooting star only to vanish with the same speed.

    The last two decades were disappointing for the ex-superstar. In 1997, he played a father in RK Productions’ Aa Ab Laut Chalein. He also acted in forgettable television serials such as Ittefaq. When an ex-superstar ends up rubbing sun cream on the back of the likes of Laila Khan as he did in Wafaa (2008), you know he isn’t doing too well. But then as the superstar might have said, Hum to sab rangmanch ki kathputliyan hain… And for his fans, Rajesh Khanna will always be the only and forever superstar.


      • some of these guys are so poor on the facts, it’s just appalling.. for example the host here saying he dominated the 70s! When it was more or less over for him after the early 70s. or the report at the beginning saying he eventually gave way to Bachchan in the 80s! Crazy stuff.

        Should say this and I’ve made this point before… Rajesh Khanna was the first superstar, he was ‘new’ and so on but the whole idea that his hysteria wasn’t matched even by Bachchan is quite false. This is belied by the box office numbers of Bachchan and of course his infinitely greater longevity. But the reason here is that while everyone was crazy about Bachchan too a certain ‘middle class’ crowd was bigger on him than anyone else. And of course most of these witnesses belong to these very classes. With Bachchan his truest base lay elsewhere — in the lumpen masses if you will, even if again he was huge everywhere. But this ‘split’ is also the heart of the anti-Bachchan media reception. There were many who could never quite forgive him for deposing Khanna. and then you add the politics which certainly wasn’t to the tastes of the bourgeois audiences in the same way to put it mildly. Nonetheless even accounting for these factors Bachchan’s reception even within those bourgeois classes can scarcely be underestimated. Not that I cannot understand this attention for Khanna (and were among his first fans too!). His was a ‘first’ for sure. a new kind of stardom. And certainly it was unmatched by anyone but Bachchan before or since. Again I’m not annoyed by the comparison. If anyone deserves hyperbole it’s Khanna. Nonetheless some of these oft-repeated claims are quite false because once again they’re very dependent on a class structure. And this dismays me a bit when someone like Shabana Azmi also indulges in it. I can certainly understand her own personal investment in Khanna and so on or how all of this seems so to her given her class vantage point. Nonetheless one must look a bit deeper. She’s also seen Bachchan’s age. I think one can offer the greatest tributes that don’t necessarily compromise the facts.


        • I have always observed that anybody with a certain bit of intellect about these things always prefers Amitabh by a mile. Not to belittle Khanna’s achievements.


          • There was a certain structure in place for the longest time where the bourgeois classes even though they watched every Bachchan film secretly resented him for his politics. They were politically much closer to the Rajesh Khanna world even if they weren’t partisans. This is not to denigrate Khanna’s films. Compared to for example SRK’s (which also attracted the ‘family values’ crowd in a different age) his were literary classics! Even otherwise these were films of substance. His best stuff, if you leave aside the Salim-Javed scripts or films like Awaara/Shree 420 and so on are really among the best ever. Nonetheless these films though often very critical of bourgeois mores (Amar prem being the best example) were not talking about overturning anything that existed. They were about a certain poetic posture where you wallowed in pain and even sentimentality. You exposed some bitter truths but you also willingly became a martyr to the same. Essentially a posture of defeatism. Here I am just describing things, not really criticizing all of this. Rajesh Khanna’s world was about a certain middle class truth. And one cannot simply dismiss it because within that framework those truths were imprisoning. In other words you couldn’t really overturn that system from the vantage point of Khanna’s solidly bourgeois characters. For that you needed to go outside the frame in a sense or turn to another stratum of society. Enter Amitabh Bachchan. he represented the lumpen masses, his core films and characters from Vijay to Anthony were at a very different end of the social divide. And his revolutionary politics was perfect for that class in the most Marxist sense of the term but was deeply threatening for the same bourgeois structure. Ultimately even in the Salim-Javed scripts certain compromises are always put into place by the end of the film. But these are never completely convincing and the questions raised cannot so easily be put back into the box with insincere gestures. For example Vijay suddenly merging his corporate venture with his half-brother’s at the end of Trishul is not something one can swallow very easily. So on and so forth. So this was the entire political dimension.

            On the other hand the same bourgeois resistance to Bachchan’s signature also operated at the level of media discourse. There were charges like ‘he can’t do romance like Khanna’ (as if this is an end in itself even if the proposition is accepted.. do we for example say that De Niro can’t do romance like Robert redford?!) or ‘he can’t act like Dilip Kumar’ or ‘hey it’s easy to get a lot of hits by beating up people’. All these were part of the bourgeois narrative, reflected in the media of the age and so on, and really a desperate attempt to deny the revolutionary event of Amitabh Bachchan, an event which has no parallel in Hindi cinema before or since and is simply the greatest such of Indian commercial cinema. But there was this whole arsenal of superficial arguments deployed to argue against him.

            Over time things have changed. Amitabh Bachchan now occupies the place Dilip Kumar once did even within these very bourgeois circles. The latter is just not very relevant anymore except as archaic memory. Having said that what should not be missed here is that this entire reappraisal in this sense (to use a crude stereotype the rickshawala always thought Bachchan was god! The aunties needed to be convinced! Unless it was Kabhi Kabhie!) also coincides with a certain ‘consumerist’ invention of Bachchan where he largely puts aside his revolutionary charge. He becomes India’s most transcendent icon even in this ‘new Indian’ age but this victory comes at a very high cost (note how KBC threads the needle in a sense between old and new). This is part of the series of factors. And not be misunderstood here but Bachchan always had enormous prestige as an actor. However the bourgeois crowds tried to ‘deny’ him in certain ways, over time this resistance has completely faded.

            It is true that today there is also an ‘intellectual’ re-evaluation of Bachchan, perhaps primarily driven by the blogosphere but it has removed a certain Indian ‘guilt’ and inferiority complex surrounding not just him but all Indian cinema. The old ‘it’s good enough for us but it would be embarrassing to show these films to others’ complex. Of course the flip side here is that some films that one should truly be embarrassed about are celebrated on the back of the whole Bollywood diaspora wave! We shoot films in London and we have actors wearing designer wear and we delude ourselves into believing this is international cinema!


          • reproduced a lot of this stuff on Bachchan’s blog but then added this:

            [Once more I don’t intend any disrespect to the memory of Rajesh Khanna. But history isn’t just about sentimentality and emotion. We have to be true to the facts to the extent possible and a proper interpretation necessarily involves laying bare these deeper faultlines. And here my principal aim was to illustrate how some of these debates on stars and films are always already conditioned by class. So no one was exactly polling people at those less advantaged strata of society to measure that hysteria in more universal ways. When Azmi says that from the 4 year old to the 80s year old everyone was invested in Khanna that’s absolutely true but I think she doesn’t pause to consider the class implications of her statement. If Khanna had truly been everything to everyone Amitabh Bachchan could never have become this ultimate god for so many across the length and breadth of India. This wasn’t just about the changing of the guard but about an entirely different politics. This is obvious when one examines the films in each case.

            So again I think Rajesh Khanna’s achievement is already so staggering in every sense it doesn’t need artificial embellishment. Nor does it lessen him to call you greater much as it doesn’t lessen Gavaskar to say that Tendulkar is greater. And so on. Nor am I against the flow of memory and nostalgia that colors things a certain way.But I argue here because this has nonetheless been a common and unchallenged strain of thinking for very long.

            And yes it is my own personal and very emotional investment in your name as well.To paraphrase Vijay in Trishul I can never see a name higher than yours. But I like to think that this very personal investment of mine does not come at the cost of the facts. This is all I’ve been trying to illustrate. You know when you said that he was younger than you I thanked the gods that you have fantastic genes from your parents and the gods in any case have always had a love affair with you. And I celebrate as a fan. You are good for another two decades! We’ll talk about mortality then! ]


          • added this as well on his blog:

            [Forgot to add this earlier but your audio today was as moving as your post. In a sigh and a word you said everything. A certain Beckettian quality to it.

            To add to everything I’ve already said perhaps one should look at Rajesh Khanna’s legacy a different way. Perhaps his extraordinary though fleeting success guarantees him a Keats-like status among actors. Forever young. He did not pass away at a very early age like James Dean but his sudden irrelevance is perhaps the precise element that is enabling for his peak history in an odd sense. As time passes most people just watch the classics or the very iconic stuff. Even today very few are familiar with Rajesh Khanna’s history post-’74 or so, barring the odd film here and there. To this degree an older off peak Rajesh Khanna never clouds the collective memory of his ‘sun’ years. This is something to be celebrated.

            Martin Amis says somewhere that as one gets older and the future shrinks the past accordingly expands. Rajesh Khanna’s ‘past’ possibly coincides with his peak present. And this is future we will all have as audiences. Though there was something tragic about his life perhaps he goes into history smiling large like his character in Anand..]


      • Hard to disagree with any of the comments above or AB’s blog.,Satyam.


    • Offside Says:

      I clicked wishfully to see if there’s anything regarding ‘Namak Haram’ – having heard stories of role swapping and what not – but nothing there.


    • Hadn’t realized Bachchan changed his blog spot. This was a moving post, especially the appropriately theatrical flourish in the last words there.


  39. May God grant him the peace and solace his soul deserves. Never a fan but enjoyed his earlier films at his peak and his brief revival with Avtaar. His superstardom for me was based on bringing an arrogance ,style and superiouty which made him seem unatainable to women. Sadly he allowed that onscreen persona to became his real life persona.
    To make it worse along comes an actor that changes the genre of Indian cinema making that persona redundant. Like it has been said by Satyam it must be hard to realise at 32 you couldn’t adapt to reclaim what you believed you deserved.


  40. Excellent thoughts Satyam; couldnt agree more. The only gripe I have is that audiences and media take everything to extremes. Amitabh is no doubt revered by most classes now but his peers from yesteryears such as Dharmendra, Shatru, Vinod Khanna etc are virtually discarded now; both from our memories as well as from popular media. Like you have said before they were quickly deemed virtually irrelevant as soon as they hung up their boots so to speak. Even to this day I think Shatru for example held his own against Amitabh in Kala Pathar and Vinod was an able foil in Hera Pheri, MKS etc.


    • Yes I do agree completely and I have constantly bemoaned the absence of history from the present narrative of Bollywood. People are celebrated as yet another sensational news event when they die but otherwise they don’t inform any bit of the debate. So yes Dharmendra was such a towering figure for so long, a legend in the true, never the absolute top star but greater in his resonance than many who were. Unlike Hollywood these histories (from any older decade) are not vital the way they once were. Not referring to audience majorities here but also the media discourse and even moreso the commentary that comes out of the industry. And this is one of the reasons why I’ve always hated the ‘Joharization’ of the industry. The whole move here is to call everyone a legend and a superstar but to secret and slyly efface the historical record at every turn or at least foster such an attitude. And part of it involved sniggering at the figures and films of the past as ‘regressive’ and part of old Bollywood. This goes hand-in-hand with the larger new Indian perspective on old India.


  41. Bhalo_Manush Says:

    R.I.P Rajesh Khanna sir

    One of my fav songs from one of his movies Anurodh..I like the movie a lot..


  42. I just came back from a morning run: along Carter Road at around 750AM, saw a rather large crowd of people, including very many school children with their teacher. I slowed down and looked to my left — and realized that I was passing Rajesh Khanna’s bungalow, where someone had put up two posters bearing his image (one from his last days, and one from his peak years). One of the school children was saying something, and was shushed by her teacher: “Agar kisi ne yahaan baat kee na….”. It must have been my imagination, but the mood seemed sombre wherever I ran.


  43. Satyam ji,
    Great to read AB Sir blog post DAY1552 { http://srbachchan.tumblr.com/post/27501033560#notes } , Great tribute to Rajesh Khanna Ji.

    Our fmXT family member Pawan Pipalwa Ji post few photos of Rajesh Khanna Ji in his blog. Here the link ‘Memories…Star Of the Millenium Amitabh Bachchan and Superstar Rajesh Khanna {Photos }
    http:// pawanpipalwa.blogspot.com/2012/07/start-of-millenium-and-superstar.html?m=1

    Thanks for your posts.


    ‘Diye Jalte Hain Phool Khilte Hain
    Badi Mushkil Se Magar Duniya Mein
    Dost Milte Hain
    Diye Jalte Hain…’

    Best Regards
    Rupam { xhobdo }


  44. Turned on the radio in the morning, and all stations were playing Rajesh Khanna songs. It kind of hit me today(since all the news about his death from yesterday) that all of these songs which are also mentioned above, felt somewhat incomplete. I was very young when Kishore died so all kishore songs (featuring Rajesh Khanna) and that is a huge list which was known to me through Rajesh Khanna- songs which were very integral part of my growing up and of millions. It felt today, that familiarity died in me. the familiarity of Kishore carried on by Rajesh khanna. The face i identified with all kishore songs.

    The songs today felt distant and unfamiliar, i realised both of them have died and it is an end of an era. but this feeling will haunt me everytime i see a Rajesh Khanna- kishore song being played. Strangely there is a void in me.


  45. Aamir said: “Rajeshji is one of the biggest stars that India has seen. He will always be remembered by every Indian with a lot of love. He will be remembered for the joy, happiness and romance that he brought into our lives through his work. My heartfelt condolences to Dimpleji, Twinkle, and to all the members of the family.”

    Shah Rukh tweeted: “To live with intention & walk to the edge. Play with abandon, choose with no regret. Smiled & made us do the same. Sir, u defined our era. RIP.

    “Mom & me use to sit & watch Mr Khanna’s films back to back. Whenever life felt tough you made us feel how love could change it all. Will miss u.”



  46. tonymontana Says:

    ‎”Aise attan button aate jaate rahenge, lekin Rajesh Khanna ko koi chhoo bhi nahi sakta. Main kya aise aire gaire logon se darr jaaunga?”

    Rajesh Khanna on the new actor on the block — Amitabh Bachchan — after Zanjeer’s release.


    • Lets be courteous…We can not change the person..We love actors for their film personas.,.In personal life they are like us..fallible…


      • tonymontana Says:

        i don’t hold anything against him for quoting that. It just shows how a normal, fallible (as you say) he was. Fate was cruel to him, for taking him first at the pinnacle of stardom and profound success (anyone would start thinking of himself as Godlike at such a stage) and then taking everything away from him all of a sudden.


  47. Dr shaurya Says:

    Kabhi koi itne apnepan se muskuraya nahi jaise tum muskurate they…
    Anand mara nahi..
    Anand mara nahi karte…

    Please don’t disrespect the First and Original Superstar of India by comparing him with anyone else..He may not have been a consistent player.. But as Anand said..” ZINDAGI LAMBI NAHI BADI HONI CHAHIYE… BABU MOSHAYE”.. when he was at the peak for 5yrs… people used to say..”Upar Akaa (god) neeche Kaka”…

    I will miss you Anand..


  48. Dr shaurya Says:

    And lastly… He was an impulsive man.. who lacked political correctness and composure of Shri Amitabh bachchan.. That does not makes him a bad person. Its just that he showed his bad aspect with any hesitation and was not interested in hiding that from public. Every succesful person has that aspect. No one god in this world. Recently Kadar khan gave an Interview about how Big B became arrogant after winning the elections. It is natural for a successful man to be arrogent.


    • “It is natural for a successful man to be arrogant.”…..hmmm….r u trying to say that shri amitabh bachchan is a hypocrite and diplomatically hides his arrogant and bad side from the world…unlike the impulsive rajesh khanna?


  49. I am unable to post comment carrying hyperlink 😦


    • jayshah Says:

      Really sad to watch some of these scenes


    • Film Industry’s First Superstar Rajesh Khanna Cremated
      PTI | Mumbai | Jul 19, 2012

      Rajesh Khanna was given a tearful adieu today by family, fans and film fraternity, as thousands of mourners thronged the streets here under heavy rains to have a last glimpse of Bollywood’s first superstar during his final journey.

      Amid poignant scenes, the 69-year-old star, who died yesterday at his “Aashirwad’ home, two days after he was discharged from Lilavati hospital, was cremated at the Pawan Hans crematorium in Juhu.

      The last rites were performed by Khanna’s grandson Aarav, with father Akshay by his side.

      Although the cause of Khanna’s death was not officially announced by the family or doctors at Lilavati hospital, those close to the actor hinted at a liver problem.

      “He had liver infection….He had liver problem. He had stopped eating food…as he couldn’t eat anything. During the last stage of his life, he was on liquid like juice,” Vijay Zaveri, Khanna’s close friend, told PTI.

      As admirers paid glowing tributes to Khanna, who was fondly called ‘Kaka’, there was chaos outside the crematorium with hundreds of people converging there and jostled with the police.

      Slogans like “Rajesh Khanna amar rahe” rent the air while several mourners carried posters of the “King of Romance”, who acted in around 170 films, mainly in the lead role.

      Many Bollywood personalities including Amitabh Bachchan, his son Abhishek, Manoj Kumar, Rani Mukherjee and Karan Johar turned up at the crematorium to pay their last respects.

      The funeral procession of Khanna began from ‘Aashirwad’ on Carter Road in Bandra at around 10 am with fans queuing up outside his home. The cortege wound its way through the streets over a 10-km distance and it took about one hour to reach the crematorium.

      The body of Khanna, kept in a glass coffin, was taken in an open truck, bedecked with white flowers. His son-in-law and actor Akshay Kumar, estranged wife Dimple Kapadia and his younger daughter Rinkie Khanna stood on the truck.

      The vehicle had huge black and white photographs of the actor on both its sides


    • check out the video in the body of the post.. unbelievably moving with that song playing..


      • will add his film posters to the sidebar later today..


        • bachchan1 to 10 Says:

          Speaking of which, I always wanted to ask you, why do you have ALL dharam paaji’s posters on the side bar? Any particular reason?


          • I keep changing them.. haven’t done so in a while because it’s quite time-consuming but I keep switching.. I’ve done lots of other actors too. One of my great regrets is that I have to keep it restricted to Hindi cinema.. I’d love to do some on Tamil cinema for example but it’s impossible to find anything online.. hardly any posters of older stuff.


          • bachchan1 to 10 Says:

            Cool, Thanks Sir.


  50. Alex adams Says:

    Well, all of Rajesh khannas and most of BachchAns hit filmography happened before my time and so looking at it retrospectively.
    Have seen only a handful of khannas films
    But one can easily fathom the mass hysteria he created – young women of those days used to marry his photos apparently !!
    Are there any ‘witnesses’ for it here ?
    He was easily a v well significant star- so needs respect for that
    Also I’m now realising how big and rich his ‘song bank’ with kishore and rd Burman is (obviously RDB is not having to feed his dad songs at this stage and can concentrate on his own career lol!)
    Ps: thanx bhalu for that song from anurodh-noticed some nice lyrics -first two lines….


  51. though inaccurate at points this is the NY Times obituary…

    July 18, 2012
    Rajesh Khanna, a Star of ’60s and ’70s Bollywood, Dies at 69

    Rajesh Khanna, whose success as a romantic lead in scores of Indian movies during the 1960s and ’70s made him one of the first superstars of Bollywood, died on Wednesday in Mumbai. He was 69.

    His death, which was said to have followed a long illness, was confirmed by a son-in-law, the actor Akshay Kumar.

    Mr. Khanna, a rakishly handsome actor from a well-to-do Punjabi family, played leading roles in many films that tapped the broad social tensions emerging in Indian society during the second generation after independence.

    In “Namak Haraam” (1973), he played a labor leader fighting the rich mill owners of Mumbai. In “Amar Prem” (1972), he played a man who falls in love with a prostitute. He achieved stardom in the 1969 film, “Aradhana,” playing a dashing pilot who dies in a crash, leaving behind the woman he secretly married to live as an outcast, their child an orphan.

    Mr. Khanna played mainly romantic roles, which by Bollywood convention often required him to perform his most passionate scenes while lip-syncing long, operatic passages of Hindi songs, all of it actually sung by someone else. But among the leading actors of his day, he was considered courageous for choosing a number of roles as a bad guy, or at least a troubled one.

    He played an alcoholic truck driver who accidentally runs over and kills a man in “Dushman” (1971), a jealous husband who abandons his pregnant wife in “Aap Ki Kasam” (1974) and a serial killer in “Red Rose” (1980).

    Mr. Khanna was a top star for almost a decade, until the rise of the Bollywood action-hero genre of the late 1970s. Between 1969 and 1972, he starred in 15 consecutive hits. “Khanna witnessed unbelievable popularity, such that no one had ever seen or imagined,” Javed Akhtar, a screenwriter and poet, told The Times of India. “In fact, from 1969 to 1973 it was a one-horse race.” To his fans he was always known as “kaka,” a term of endearment that means “uncle,” “brother” or “baby” in some parts of India. In his heyday as a heartthrob fans followed Mr. Khanna everywhere, mobbing his public appearances. Women planted kisses on any limousine he had ridden in. He was said to have received marriage proposals written in blood.

    After his movie stardom subsided, Mr. Khanna was a member of Parliament for the Congress Party from 1991 to 1996. He remained active in politics until illness began to slow him down last year.

    In a 1990 television interview, Mr. Khanna said he had been unprepared for stardom. “I never thought I’d be such a success,” he said. “Somewhere along the way I was a superstar.” The sudden end of his stardom disoriented him, he said. But, he added: “Of course, the show has to go on. Trends are changing. People are looking for something new.”

    Jatin Khanna, who later took the name Rajesh, was born in Amritsar, Punjab, on Dec. 29, 1942, and was adopted by a wealthy couple. He made his film debut with “Aakhri Khat” (“The Last Letter”), India’s entry for best foreign-language film at the 1967 Oscars. (It was not nominated.)

    In 1973 he married a 16-year-old actress, Dimple Kapadia. Though they were separated in 1984, the couple never divorced. She survives him along with their two daughters, Rinke and Twinkle Khanna.

    In 1999 Mr. Khanna began an acting comeback, playing elderly father roles in a series of movies. He had recently announced plans to be a celebrity judge on a television talent contest.

    In the 1990 interview, Mr. Khanna said the fickleness of film stardom never caused him regret.

    “If on my deathbed I am asked, I shall say that I have had the best of everything,” he said. “A king dies a king. He might not have a following. He might be dying alone, lost in a desert, but he will still be a king.”


  52. Alex adams Says:

    The rajesh khanna craze
    Also just read that apparently Rajesh khanna received ‘love letters’ from girls in real blood (instead of ink obviously )
    Also when he got married, there were suicide attempts and the whole female population showed an increase in depression apparently
    Besides the ‘marrying the photo’ business!!!
    Now obviously many (including me) werent alive to confirm /negate this but I do find down exaggeration here maybe…
    Anyone like satyam can confirm this?
    Earlier used to ask oldgold about these ‘old film trivia’ but during cocktail spoof auctions, she insisted that she is in her twenties!! So well…


    • tonymontana Says:

      Satyam had a funny cameo in Cocktail (Boman Irani)
      and oldgold played his ‘elder sister’ aka Dimple..

      if oldgold is in her twenties, it is safe to assume Satyam is a precocious teenager 😉


      • Alex adams Says:

        Hahahaha tonymontana -good one

        Btw if we remember correctly: anjali ,oldgold and Amy were all part of my spoof cast-still somewhat of a mystery who was deepika and who was Diana though (they were cast interchangeably maybe)
        btw i didn’t mind playing saif in that one
        Oops-we shouldnt discuss this in this ‘serious’ thread
        Respect for Rajesh khanna…


  53. again inaccurate in some serious ways but this is the Outlook tribute:

    The First Superstar
    Before him there were great stars, and he has been followed by many, but none evoked the mass hysteria that he did at the height of his meteoric rise, the decade of the 1960s, spilling into the early 1970s
    Sharmistha Gooptu on Rajesh Khanna

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    Rajesh Khanna was Indian cinema’s first superstar, in the real sense of the term. Before him there were great stars like Saigal and P.C Barua in the 1930s and 40s, and then Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand in the next era. But Rajesh Khanna was of another order.

    The hysteria and fan-following lasted till much after he married a much younger actor, at the height of his career. His co-star, Sharmila Tagore, opposite whom he gave his biggest hits, is on record saying that she had never seen anything like the Rajesh Khanna craze. She was an established star and he still a relative newcomer when they starred in their first film together, Shakti Samanta’s Aradhana in 1969. What happened next was history. He spawned a female fan following incomparable to any. Film star Bindu recently said in a TV programme that she once saw girls leave his car covered with lipstick marks.

    Like the true temperamental star, he had a meteoric rise, was in the high heavens for awhile, and then fell as sharply. Unlike Amitabh Bachchan, his co-star in hits like Anand and Namak Haram, who showed his staying power, ruling over the film industry for a good part of three decades, Rajesh Khanna fell sharply and by the advent of the 1980s was getting passed over for younger heroes.

    The Rajesh Khanna phenomenon came at a unique and transitional moment of Hindi cinema, the decade of the 1960s, spilling into the early 1970s. It is a period in Indian film history which hasn’t received as much attention from researchers and writers as have the periods immediately preceding and the decade that followed. It was an era of immense versatility, which however remains sandwiched between, and overwhelmed by, the post-independence era of the 1950s— the era of Raj Kapoor and his contemporaries, and the iconic angry young man years of the 1970s and 80s. Rajesh Khanna epitomized that versatility of his age in his entire persona, on and off screen. He starred in a range of films, where he was the suave wooer of women, the fragile tragic hero in the mould of Barua or Saigal’s Devdas, and the classic Hollywood style urbane operator in super-hits like The Train. He could emote, he could dance and he could be both tragic and comic.

    The Rajesh Khanna phenomenon held ground until the Hindi film hero became an almost uni-dimensional fighting-killing machine by the 80s. Rajesh Khanna’s waning away also signalled a certain standardizing of Hindi films. Unlike with Rajesh Khanna, who was used in remarkably different ways by directors as diverse as Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Shakti Samanta, the period that followed increasingly saw the making of a very specific ‘formula’ for success. Off screen, as well, he was unpredictable, famous for turning up late for shoots and starry tantrums, a contrast to Bachchan, who was known for his professionalism. Rajesh Khanna’s relationships were as unpredictable— it seemed he cared very little for what the world thought about him. In every way, he was in the league of the classic star, don’t-carish, temperamental and full of charm when he wanted to be.

    Rajesh Khanna epitomized romance, more than any other Hindi film hero. He was the urbane charmer who held sway before the underdog came to rule the roost of Hindi films. Khanna like his immediate predecessors and contemporaries Dev Anand and Shammi Kapoor embodied a kind of Hollywood-ish cosmopolitanism which few other heroes had. He wore trendy outfits, drove swanky cars and sported the lover-boy image. His heroines complemented him with their bouffants and stylish manners. Yet, he could also be the dhoti clad Bengali babu, reminiscent of an older school, in an Amar Prem. Even in his later years, when he switched to being a ‘character’ actor in films like Aakhir Kyon, where he starred with Smita Patil, he stood out for being different from the run-of-the mill industry product.

    Perhaps Rajesh Khanna’s bonus and well as his bane was his lack of conformity to norms in any sense of the term. When he arrived with a bang it was because there had been no charmer so young and vulnerable looking before him. It was a quality that Shakti Samanta fully cultivated in the Roop Tera Mastana song, where he is alternatively overwhelmed by the heroine’s sexuality and then turns around to overwhelm her as well. And he probably lost his ground because of the same non-conformity, his inability to be the perfect professional with the very perfect public image.

    Even in later life, he lived in greater solitude than many of his contemporaries, not appearing in many films or public events. When he appeared in his first commercial just months before his death, his shrunk frame and clearly failing health evoked a sharp response from fans. Today, the superstar has passed into history, secure that he would shine on forever in the pantheon of Hindi cinema.

    Sharmistha Gooptu is a film scholar and Founding Trustee, South Asia Research Foundation


  54. Pakistan Mourns Rajesh Khanna’s Death
    PTI | Rezaul H Laskar | Islamabad | Jul 18, 2012

    People across Pakistan today mourned the death of Bollywood superstar Rajesh Khanna, with Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf describing him as a “great actor” and others taking to social networking websites to pay tribute to the romantic hero.

    In a special message, Prime Minister Ashraf conveyed his condolences at the death of Khanna. He said Khanna was “a great actor whose contribution to the field of films and arts would be long remembered.”

    Ashraf said Khanna had a “large fan following across the borders and captivated audiences with his excellent acting skills.” He said he shared the grief of the bereaved family.

    Most TV news channels led their bulletins with extensive reports on Khanna’s death in Mumbai at the age of 69 after a prolonged illness. The reports featured songs and clips from Khanna’s many hit films, which were equally popular across the border in Pakistan.

    Geo News channel, Pakistan’s most watched news channel, aired a nearly hour-long tribute to Khanna – including contributions from actors, filmmakers and musicians – within hours of the death of the superstar.

    Singer and actor Ali Zafar wrote on Twitter, “Rajesh Khanna – RIP. So many fond memories from his movies and songs.”

    Leading actor and filmmaker Syed Noor told the media, “Rajesh Khanna was such a huge actor of the subcontinent that he will be remembered by the people for many years to come. The era he reigned over is unlikely to be experienced by any other actor of this subcontinent.”

    Actress Meera, in a message posted on Twitter, wrote, “Rajesh Khanna was (a) great legend, it is a big loss for the film industry.”

    Acclaimed writer Mohammed Hanif, like countless other Pakistanis, posted links to hit songs from Khanna’s films on Twitter. “Chingari Koi Bhadke” and “Yeh Jo Mohabbat Hai” were among the songs that Hanif shared for his followers on the micro-blogging site.

    Ordinary Pakistanis too used Twitter to pay tribute to Khanna. Anthony Permal, a Pakistani copywriter based in Dubai wrote, “The first ever song I can recall from Indian cinema was ‘Yeh Shaam Mastani’ when dad played it for me when I was a toddler.”

    Permal said the collective sadness on social media in India and Pakistan over Khanna’s death “says much of our shared heritage”.

    Journalist Fahad Desmukh tweeted, “RIP Rajesh Khanna. Thank you for introducing me to trade unionism and class consciousness in Namak Haram.”

    In a post, lawyer and columnist Yasser Latif Hamdani wrote, “Thank you Rajesh Khanna for the art and beauty left behind in the world. You will live on.”


  55. Bollywood Mourns Rajesh Khanna’s Death
    PTI | Mumbai | Jul 18, 2012

    Bollywood artists today mourned the death India’s first superstar Rajesh Khanna, saying his magic and charm will live forever.

    Khanna, 69, died today at his ‘Aashirwad’ home on Carter Road in Bandra.

    Veteran actress Saira Banu, who missed a chance of working with Khanna during his stardom days, remembers the actor as a very “shy” person.

    “I was supposed to work with him in ‘Choti Bahu’ but I could not because I was ill. I shot with him for two days and found that he was very charming, humble and a shy person. May his soul rest in peace,” Banu said.

    His contemporary Manoj Kumar said he was planning to meet Khanna.

    “I had called Dimple but she told me not to come as Rajesh Khanna was not in a position to talk…I miss him a lot and I have shared some of the best memories with him,” Kumar said.

    Filmmaker Subhash Ghai said, “He was the powerhouse of Hindi film industry. I met him on the sets of Aaradhna, he had some kind of energy and you will be charged when he is around you. His name will be written in golden words.”

    Producer-director Karan Johar said Khanna’s magic will live forever.

    “The magic…The mannerism…The mania of Rajesh Khanna is inscribed in every archive of Indian cinema…Forever….RIP SIR!!!,” said Karan Johar.

    Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar said, “The epitome of superstardom is no more amongst us. There was none, there is none and there won’t be any like you kakaji. You will be missed.”

    Tusshar Kapoor tweeted, “Rajesh Khanna ji, our 1st superstar is no more! I worked with him in ‘Kyaa Dil Ne Kaha’ & learnt a lot just talking to him! May his soul RIP!.”

    Actress Neha Dhupia said, “RIP Rajesh khanna Saab … U , ur stardom, ur magic will live forever!.”

    Shabana Azmi, who starred opposite Khanna in films such as “Amar Deep”, “Thodisi Bewafaii” and “Avtaar”, said, “He was the superstar like no other, did 10 films with him. Met him last at Apsara awards. Pale shadow of himself but smile as winsome RIP RajeshK.”

    “Rajesh Khanna gave us a crash course in omance. He introduced us to a special twinkle in the eye that made us feel good about ourselves. RIP,” Anupam Kher wrote.

    “Another of Hindi cinema’s giants passes, Rajesh Khanna. Our sincere condolences to his family. We will miss him dearly,” Madhuri Dixit tweeted.

    “Too young. Too early. Tragic. RIP Rajesh Khanna. A candle that burned brighter than any star for too short a time,” filmmaker Shekhar Kapur said.

    “When we lose a loved one, something within us dies. Our generation loved Rajesh Khanna. Today a bit if us dies with this enigmatic star,” Mahesh Bhatt tweeted.

    “Just heard the sad news, heartfelt condolences & prayers to the family to cope with this irreparable loss, RIP Rajesh Khanna, a Superstar always,” said Shilpa Shetty.

    “Rip Rajesh Khanna,” said Sonam Kapoor.

    “RIP to the 1st king of romance… Rajesh Khanna,” Shahid Kapoor posted on the micro-blogging site.

    “Loss of a Superstar! Iconic Actor! RIP Rajesh Khanna!,” Bipasha Basu posted.


    • Alex adams Says:

      Must add that am a bit impressed by the way Akshay kumar has been behaving ‘maturely’ & responsibly…
      Not v long ago: wasn’t he a Casanova being involved with multiple heroines together (maybe still is but guess is more careful)
      Nice to see akshays boy being involved —
      Too early bit maybe a ‘legacy’ vibe here of passing the ‘torch’
      And good to see simple suddenly appearing after all those years to ‘take care’ of Rajesh khanna in his dying moments !!! (disclaimer: dont know entire details here so maybe inaccurate )


      • Alex adams Says:

        And pardon another innocent ignorant question from these educational clips-
        There are open ‘proud’ declarations here of Rajesh khanna marrying a 15 year old dimple!!
        Did I hear it correctly?
        Is/was it legal- I mean does it not imply marrying a minor or pedophilia etc
        To top it : this is being proudly mentioned..
        Ps: not being disrespectful to rajeshs memory here folks -just need some teaching here ..


        • thats pedophilia technically speaking…rajesh khanna was a pedophile.these artists r strange ppl…there was micheal jackson..and now we have rajesh khanna…..pedophiles


          • Alex adams Says:

            Thanx for that clarification anjali
            Well, Let’s be respectful to Rajesh khanna at this stage
            But did wonder( according to this bbc clip )how he suddenly decided to marry a 15year old in 2 days suddenly ?
            But anyhow : love is apparently ‘blind’, I guess 😉


  56. bachchan1 to 10 Says:


    The picture in this article looks straight out of a Sarkar movie/moment.


  57. Javed Akhtar ‏@Javedakhtarjadu

    Rajesh Khanna was a golden handshake given by changing times to Indian cinema in early seventies.

    Satyam ‏@Satyamk

    @Javedakhtarjadu this is the single best (and wisest) comment I’ve come across on Rajesh Khanna..


    • @Javedakhtarjadu the song that always comes to mind and one that every public figure especially should have framed on a wall and that the rest of us should also never forget is Naam gum jayega/chehra yeh badal jayega. And of course this is from the wonderful Kinara, a film which is one of this director’s very best but also yet another example from this greatest (in my view) decade of Hindi cinema.

      Satyam ‏@Satyamk

      @Javedakhtarjadu the ‘angry young man’ reset not just the 70s but all of Bombay film history forever.. thematically but structurally as well

      @Javedakhtarjadu note how the ferment of the 70s created something great in cinema while the ‘new India’ changes two decades later led to the worst kind of complacency and mediocrity. Cinema has since then more or less become a boutique operation. But then cinema in case lost its aura and transcendence a long time ago and is today simply another ‘item’ in the consumerist superbazaar. You were one of the very fortunate ones to have been associated with the medium in one of its glorious periods. I cannot think of a more magical Bombay cinema that is bookended by Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan in the 70s but also includes the fabulous riches of the ‘middle cinema’ of that period (not by the way art cinema which by and large I find completely overrated.. Ankur is for example the path Shyam Benegal did not pursue.. he deserted the lyrical naturalism of this film for an increasingly boring, arid turn to ‘realism’ which in a sense threw out the baby with the bathwater..) and of course so much more. And your own contribution to this period can never be written with anything but golden letters. As a collection of scripts simply the greatest ones of Bombay cinema without exception. What is profound about the angry young man and his revolution (and yours) is that only once in the entire history of Hindi cinema did the ‘political’ (in the largest sense of the word) intervene so directly into the framework of commercial cinema. In most societies cinema is largely a ‘bourgeois’ enterprise. For all the obvious reasons and not least because nation-states too are bourgeois enterprises! Very rarely are there deviations from this norm. You were an important force responsible for one such deviation. Making classics, even great classics is one thing.. making revolutionary cinema quite another.


      • superb comment Satyam. Kinara IMO has Jeetendra’s best performance alongwith Parichay. Now i know that this is probably not the most appropriate thread for such a discussion but since u mentioned how Benegal made ‘arid’ cinema after Ankur… i differ slightly- don’t u think Benegal tried something radically different in Junoon (my fav film of his). Even Kaliyug was different. Even later he made a very engaging bio-pic Bose: The Forgotten Hero. And his Welcome To Sajjanpur also had a different style


        • Kalyug and Junoon are both excellent films, especially the former but these are really Shashi Kapoor productions more than anything else. Not the kind of cinema Benegal was otherwise attempting in that period. Also with that comment I don’t literally mean Ankur in isolation. Nishant is a pretty good film too as is Bhumika. But directionally Benegal eschewed some virtues evident in Ankur rather too early. I suspect partly because Ankur is really closer to the age’s middle cinema more than anything else and Benegal perhaps wanted even greater distance from this enterprise.


      • I feel that apart from Salim-Javed films, the middle-cinema too rebelled against the Bourgeoise by giving a new facet to Bachchan’s ‘angry young man’- in the Mukherjee films (Abhimaan, Bemisaal Namak Haram and to an extent even Jurmana) the ‘anger’ may not seem to be as evident and affecting as in the Salim-Javed films but was equally hard-hitting.Jurmana and Abhimaan seemed to rip-apart the angry young man’s heart and showed his failings -(‘jealousy’ in abhimaan etc)


        • Think one of the most effective depictions of anger in Hindi cinema, and certainly one of Bachchan’s greatest evocations of the same, is actually in Mili.


        • You’re quite right.. in some ways Mukherjee intuited that Bachchan was the right vehicle for this ‘anger’ or at least ‘frustration’ even in Anand where the doctor has serious problems with the existing system. The brooding persona that came forth with such force later is already evident in Anand. In this sense the ‘dialog’ between Bachchan and Khanna might also be read in this more charged sense or as a collision between two paradigms. Khanna’s philosophical stance and happy acceptance of things versus Bachchan’s constant systemic critique. In one case it is about fate and the stars and how the ‘hero’ assumes an attitude of ‘joyful wisdom’ whereas in the other instance it is about changing institutions that make such problems seem inevitable. Note here how the film has a very important moment at the beginning when the doctor ‘tours’ if you will a shanty-town to check on a patient. He finds the problems here to be not just medical ones but also those of institutional failure. There is a larger critique here.


          • “Khanna’s philosophical stance and happy acceptance of things versus Bachchan’s constant systemic critique”- brilliantly said. And on the ‘tours’ in Anand, they connect very well with Khanna’s ‘tours’ of the homes of mill-workers in Mukherjee’s “Namak Haraam” which obviously remains Mukherjee’s most important work on the class-divide.


  58. http://www.saamana.com/

    शिरीष कणेकर
    गेले बरेच दिवस ती अशुभ, अभद्र बातमी हवेत होती. अखेर आज ती खरी ठरली. राजेश खन्ना युगाचा अंत मागेच झाला होता. आज या युगाचा जनकही काळाच्या पडद्याआड गेला.
    थोडी वर्षे असेल पण इतकी अफाट लोकप्रियता दुसर्‍या कुठल्याही नटानं पाहिलेली नाही. अगदी अमिताभ बच्चननेही नाही. हे स्वत: अमिताभ कसं बोलून दाखवतो हे तो शेवटच्या दिवसांत वारंवार बोलून दाखवायचा. ते सुपरस्टारगिरीचे इतिहासजमा झालेले दिवस पुन्हा जगण्याचा त्याचा हा प्रयत्न केविलवाणा वाटायचा. वर्तमानाविषयी उत्साहाने व उमेदीनं बोलण्यासारखं त्याच्याकडे काही नव्हतं. भविष्याकडे नजर लावण्यासारखं तर त्याच्याकडे अगदीच काही नव्हतं. सक्तीने लादली गेलेली निवृत्ती ही स्वेच्छानिवृत्ती असल्याचा आव तो आणायचा.
    त्याचा सगळा आब मात्र पूर्वीसारखाच होता. बरोबर दोन वाजता जेवणाचा भलामोठा डबा भरून यायचा. मग रत्नागिरीचा बाळकृष्ण (म्हणताना ‘बालकिशन’ म्हणायचं) गरमागरम फुलक्या करून वाढणार. जेवल्यावर कुल्फी यायची. मग एका इंपोर्टेड बशीत एकच दात कोरण्याची काडी यायची. मग आणखी एका इंपोर्टेड बशीत एकच पान यायचं. त्यानंतर तिसर्‍या इंपोर्टेड डीशमध्ये एकच इंपोर्टेड सिगारेट यायची. तिचे झुरके घेत ‘काका’ मजेत खुर्चीत रेलायचा व डोळे मिटून घ्यायचा. त्याच्या बंद डोळ्यांना कदाचित ‘आराधना’, ‘आनंद’, ‘सच्चा झूठा’, ‘बंधन’, ‘रोटी, ‘आप की कसम’, ‘नमक हराम’, ‘कटी पतंग’, ‘अपना देश’, ‘दुश्मन’, ‘अमर प्रेम’, ‘दो रास्ते’, ‘इत्तेफाक’ दिसत असावेत. त्याला तंद्रीतून जागं करणं म्हणजे मधुर स्वप्नांतून त्याला खेचकटत बाहेर काढण्यासारखं होतं. त्याला कधी फोन केला की तो तुटकपणे एवढंच म्हणायचा, ‘दोन वाजता जेवायला ये. थोडं खाऊन ये म्हणजे दोनपर्यंत तुझा निभाव लागेल.’
    त्याला माझा प्रॉब्लेम माहीत होता. बेफिकीरीचा तो केवळ आव आणायचा. एकदा मात्र मला जेवायला बोलावून तो खुशाल कुलूप लावून निघून गेला होता. तो असाच होता. रागावून काही उपयोग नव्हता. राजेश खन्ना म्हटल्यावर त्याच्याबरोबर हे सगळं येत होतं. टेक इट ऑर लीव्ह इट…
    पुढल्या निमंत्रणाच्या वेळी मी त्याला म्हणालो, ‘त्या वेळेला तू कुलूप लावून निघून जाणार आहेस वाटतं?’
    ‘मेरी ये इमेज है तेरेपास?’ त्यानं दुखावलेल्या आवाजात विचारले.
    ‘इमेज नही, एक्स्पीरियन्स आहे.’ मी जोरात म्हणालो.
    मी त्याच्याकडे गेलो. सोमवार होता. मी रगमगीत चिकन खात नाही याचं त्याला अतोनात आश्‍चर्य वाटलेलं दिसलं.
    ‘क्या हुआ?’ त्यानं विचारलं.
    ‘आज सोमवार है.’
    ‘सोमवारी आम्ही नॉन-व्हेज खात नाही.’
    ‘वार बदल – वार बदल. मंगळवारी खाऊ नको. आज खा. मस्त झालंय.’
    तो त्याला वाटणारी आपुलकी व जिव्हाळा लपवू शकत नव्हता.
    माझ्या षष्ट्यब्दीपूर्ती कार्यक्रमात तो उशिरा आला. नेहमीप्रमाणे.
    आल्या आल्या मंचावर माझ्या कानाशी लागून तो म्हणाला, ‘सी.एम. किधर है?’
    ‘सी.एम. आया, बैठा, भाषण दिया और चला गया.’ मी म्हणालो. ‘तुम्ही सुपरस्टार्स कधीच वेळेवर येत नाही. तुमच्यासाठी खोळंबून राहायला हे काही सिनेमाचं शूटिंग नाही.’
    ‘काका’ने तोंडातल्या तोंडात पंजाबी शिवी हासडली. या शिव्या त्याच्या प्रेमाच्या द्योतक असतात हे माझ्या लक्षात आलं होतं. आर. के. स्टुडिओत तो एकदा बी. आर. इशाराच्या चित्रपटाचं शूटिंग करीत होता. (चित्रपट आलाच नाही.)
    मला बघताच म्हणाला, ‘बघ केवढे लांबलचक संवाद देतात. कसे लक्षात ठेवायचे माणसाने?’
    ‘डायलॉग कसे बोलायचे शिकवू का? एक विसरू नकोस. मी दिलीपकुमारचा भक्त आहे.’
    त्याने शिव्यांची पुरचुंडी सोडली.
    एकदा तो मला अभिमानाने म्हणाला, ‘तुला माहित्येय, डिलिव्हरीसाठी सलमानची आई म्हणजे सलीमची बायको माझ्या गाडीतून गेली होती.’
    ‘समजा तुझ्या गाडीऐवजी दुसर्‍या कोणाच्या गाडीतून गेली असती तर काय सलमान खानऐवजी कादरखान पैदा होणार होता?’
    काका मनापासून हसला. आता तो हा विनोद जाईल तिथं सांगणार होता. फक्त त्यातून मला कसं कट करायचं एवढाच प्रश्‍न होता.
    माझ्या अत्याग्रहाला बळी पडून त्याने माझ्या ‘पुन्हा यादों की बारात’ या पुस्तकाला प्रस्तावना लिहिली. त्यातील हा काही भाग बघा –
    ‘‘माझा मित्र शिरीष कणेकर याने त्याच्या पुस्तकाला प्रस्तावना लिहिण्याचा प्रस्ताव माझ्यासमोर मांडला तेव्हा मला अतोनात आश्‍चर्य वाटलं. डिंपलने मला लग्नाची मागणी घातली होती तेव्हाही मला इतके आश्‍चर्य वाटले नव्हते. तरुण, देखण्या पोरींनी माझ्यासाठी जीव टाकावा यात मला नवीन किंवा नवल नव्हतं. तो काळ तसा होता… मी पैशांसाठी सिनेमात आलो नाही. पैसेवाला मी आधीच होतो. गाडीवालाही होतो. माझा पहिला चित्रपट ‘राज’ याच्या प्रीमियरला जाण्यासाठी म्हणून मी माझ्या वडिलांना नवीन गाडी विकत घेऊन द्यायला लावली होती. त्या काळात मी आणि माझे दोस्त धमाल करायचो. आम्ही रात्री ‘टंपर’ मारून राजकमलला जायचो. तिथे माझी ओळख होती. आम्ही आमच्या आवडत्या चित्रपटांची रिळे चढवून बघत बसायचो. एकदा गुरुदत्तचा ‘प्यासा’ लावला. ‘ये दुनिया अगर मिल भी जाये तो क्या है’ म्हणत तो दरवाजाच्या चौकटीत पडदा व्यापून उभा राहतो. मला ते ‘कंपोझिशन’ एवढे आवडले की मी पडद्यासमोर जाऊन उभा राहिलो व गुरुदत्तला झाकून गाऊ लागलो. माझे मित्र ओरडले, ‘बैठ जा बे सुव्वर.’ पण मी न थांबता गातच राहिलो…
    शेवटी माझ्या नाकावर ‘नॉक आऊट’ पंच मारीत त्याने लिहिले, ‘बाकी कशासाठी नाही तरी प्रस्तावनेसाठी लोक पुस्तक घेतील याची मला खात्री आहे.’
    एकदा खासदार राजेश खन्नाचा मला दिल्लीहून फोन आला. आता बरा माझा नंबर मिळाला. मुंबईत असताना मिळत नाही असं तो सांगतो. टेलिफोन डिरेक्टरीत असतो, असं मी थंडपणे त्याला सांगतो.
    ‘काय एकदम फोन? तोही दिल्लीहून?’
    ‘मी मित्रांना फोन करू शकत नाही का?’
    ‘करू शकतोस, पण कधी केलेला नाहीस. ते जाऊ दे. बोलो.’
    ‘माझी तू स्टेजवरून मागे मुलाखत घेतली होतीस, याद है? मला ती प्रश्‍नोत्तरे हवीत.’
    ‘तुला काय करायचंय? तू दे.’
    ‘असं कसं? मला कळायला नको?’
    ‘रजत शर्मा त्याच्या ‘आपकी अदालत’ कार्यक्रमात टी.व्ही.वर माझी मुलाखत घेतोय. त्याला मी आपली प्रश्‍नोत्तरे देईन. तो विचारेल, मी उत्तरे देईन. धमाल येईल.’
    मी त्याला सगळी प्रश्‍नोत्तरे सांगितली. तो ज्याला ‘आपली प्रश्‍नोत्तरे’ म्हणत होता ते प्रश्‍नही माझे होते व उत्तरेही माझी होती. फोन ठेवण्यापूर्वी तो ‘थँक यू’ म्हणायला विसरला अशी मी मनाची समजूत घातली.
    ‘नमकहराम’चा किस्सा त्याच्या तोंडून ऐकताना माझ्या अंगावर काटा उभा राहिला होता.
    ‘नमकहराम’मध्ये अमिताभने केलेली भूमिका वास्तविक राजेश खन्नाला करायची होती. हृषिकेश मुखर्जीने त्याची समजूत घातली. ‘माझ्यावर विश्‍वास ठेव. मी तुझी भूमिका कमी पडू देणार नाही.’
    ‘मी त्याच्यावर विश्‍वास ठेवला.’ राजेश खन्ना सांगू लागला, ‘मी ‘नमकहराम’चा ‘स्पेशल शो’ पाहायला गेलो. बाहेर पडताना मी मनाशी चरफडलो – ‘अरे यार, आज दुसरा सुपरस्टार पैदा हो गया.’
    खुद्द ढासळलेल्या सुपरस्टारच्या तोंडून हा किस्सा ऐकणे हा आयुष्यभर न विसरता येण्यासारखा अनुभव होता. दुसरा सुपरस्टार पैदा झाला होता म्हणजेच पहिला सुपरस्टार पायउतार झाला होता.
    राजेश खन्नाने गाठलेल्या उत्तुंग उंचीची आपण कल्पना करू शकत नाही. त्यामुळे तिथून खाली कोसळणं म्हणजे काय हेही आपल्याला कळू शकत नाही. आकाशातला निखळलेला तारा जणू. राजेश खन्नाचे दिवस फिरले. त्यापेक्षा त्याला खरं दु:ख असणार ते याचं की काळाच्या ओघात व विशेषकरून अमिताभपर्वात राजेशची अभिनयशैली कृत्रिम, बोजड व हास्यास्पद ठरली. त्याच्या नाचण्यावर व त्या पोपटासारख्या मान कलवण्यावर नवीन प्रेक्षक उपहासाने हसू लागले. त्याच्या अभिनयाचे अवमूल्यन झाले. दिलीपकुमारप्रमाणे तो काळाच्या लाटांवर आरूढ होऊन टिकून राहू शकला नाही ही ‘काका’ची शोकांतिका होती. तो किती लोकप्रिय होता हे सांगावं लागावं यात सगळं आलं. ‘अमिताभ ‘ऍक्शन हीरो’ आहे, मी ‘इमोशनल हीरो’ आहे’ असं तो अखेरपर्यंत पोपटासारखं बोलत राहिला. फक्त ऐकून मुंडी हलवणारे आता कुणी राहिले नव्हते.
    आत्मकेंद्रित, गर्विष्ठ, सुपरस्टारपदाची राजवस्त्रे तो सतत कवचकुंडलांसारखी अंगावर बाळगून असायचा. त्याआड दडलेल्या नटाला खरवडलं तर आत यारी करावी असा साधा, विनोदप्रिय भला माणूस होता. एकदा मी त्याला विचारलं,
    ‘एकदा सुपरस्टार म्हणून जगल्यानंतर पुन्हा नॉर्मल आयुष्य जगणं शक्य आहे का?’
    ‘या जन्मात तरी नाही.’ तो मनापासून म्हणाला, ‘अरे, मी सुपरस्टार झालो तेव्हा काय वय असेल माझं? अवघं चोवीस. माणसं पायावर अक्षरश: लोळण घ्यायची. राजेश खन्ना हे दोनच शब्द कानांना ऐकू यायचे. हे दोनच शब्द वातावरणात भरून राहिलेत असं वाटायचं. परमेश्‍वर – परमेश्‍वर म्हणतात तो मीच असे मला भास व्हायला लागले होते. नाही माणसाचं डोकं फिरणार तर काय होईल?…’ मग कधी नाही तो आत्मपरीक्षणाचा झटका येऊन तो म्हणाला, ‘माझं ते मान लचकवणं व डोळे मिचकावणे थोडं जास्तच झालं होतं नाही का?’
    ‘थोडं नाही बरंच जास्त झालं होतं.’ मी म्हणालो.
    त्यानंतर त्यानं पंजाबी अपशब्दांची जी लडी वळली त्याचा कुठल्याही पंजाब्याला अभिमान वाटला असता.
    मला शत्रुघ्न सिन्हाला माझ्या कार्यक्रमाला प्रमुख पाहुणा म्हणून बोलवायचं होतं. मी काकाजवळ एकेदिवशी बोलता बोलता बोललो. त्यानंतर एक दिवस तो मला म्हणाला, ‘शत्रूकडे रात्री पार्टी आहे. तू पण चल.’
    ‘मी कसा येऊ?’ मला निमंत्रण नाही.’
    ‘काका’ माझ्याकडे आश्‍चर्यातिरेकानं बघत राहिला. मध्यमवर्गीय मराठी माणसाकडे स्वाभिमान नावाची गोष्ट असू शकते हे त्याला नवीन होतं.
    ‘पण मला आहे ना निमंत्रण.’ तो ताडकन म्हणाला. ‘तुला माझ्याबरोबर यायला लाज वाटते का?’
    माझा नाइलाज झाला. त्यातून शत्रुघ्न सिन्हाकडे काम माझंच होतं.
    ‘काका’ मला ‘रामायण’ या शत्रूच्या बंगल्यावर घेऊन गेला. तिथे शत्रूशी माजी ओळख करून देताना तो म्हणाला, ‘ये नॅशनल न्यूजपेपर में काम करता है और ‘वन-मॅन-शो’ करता है. तेरे बापने कभी ‘वन-मॅन-शो’ किया था क्या?’
    डायरेक्ट बापच काढल्यावर शत्रूने माझ्या प्रयोगाला यायचं कबूल केलं नसतं तरच नवल!
    पार्टीतून मी न जेवताच निघालो.
    ‘सब बोअरिंग है यहां’ ‘काका’ कंटाळून म्हणाला, ‘मी पण सटकतो तुझ्याबरोबर.’
    रात्रीचे आम्ही दोघे जुहू-पार्ला स्कीममधील प्रशस्त फुटपाथवरून गप्पा मारीत पायीच निघालो. ‘काका’ची मर्सिडीज मागून हळूहळू येत होती.
    एकदा त्याच्या (दरडावून) बोलावण्यामुळे मी त्याच्याकडे गेलो. समोर छोटेमोठे निर्माते, दिग्दर्शक बसवून त्याचा ‘वन-मॅन-शो’ चालला होता.
    ‘मेरी कोई भी फिल्म ले लो.’ तो आढ्यतेने म्हणत होता, ‘हीरॉईन ओरिएंटेड है. ‘कटी पतंग’ – आशा पारेख, ‘आराधना’ – शर्मिला टागोर, ‘खामोशी’ – वहिदा रहेमान, ‘दुश्मन’ – मीनाकुमारी. फिर भी मै पतली गली से फिल्म लेकर चला गया.’
    समोरच्यानी माना डोलावल्या.
    ‘दुश्मन’मधला दुश्मन कोण होता? ‘आनंद’? ‘बंधन’?, ‘दो रास्ते’? ‘सच्चा झूठा’? और नाम लेलू ?’ मी म्हणालो.
    मी असा विसंवादी सूर लावल्याचे त्याला रुचले की नाही कळले नाही पण त्याच्या चमच्यांना ते मुळीच रुचले नव्हते हे त्यांच्या चेहर्‍यावरून स्पष्ट दिसत होते.
    ‘सध्या तुझा फुलटाइम चमचा कोण आहे? मी?’
    ‘तू?’ तो किंचाळला. ‘तुझ्यासारखे चमचे असतील तर मेलोच मी.’ यावर आम्ही दोघंही हसलो. तो पंजाबीतून, मी मराठीतून.
    याच आमच्यातील संवादावरून मला रंगमंचावरून घ्यायच्या त्याच्या मुलाखतीसाठी एक प्रश्‍न व त्याचं समर्पक उत्तर सुचलं होतं. ते असं –
    प्रश्‍न : सुना है आपको तारीफ और चमचे बहुत पसंद है?
    उत्तर : तारीफ तो भगवानको भी पसंद है. रही बात चमचोंकी तो आजकल मै हाथ से खानाही पसंद करता हूं.
    शिवाजी मंदिरचा प्रेक्षकवर्ग राजेश खन्नाच्या उत्तरावर उसळला होता. उगीच नाही त्यानं मला दिल्लीहून फोन केला होता तो. या नटांना बाकी काही कळत नाही तरी टाळ्यांची वाक्ये बरोबर कळतात. ती आपल्याकडे वळवून घ्यायची हेही बरोबर कळतं. माझ्या षष्ट्यब्धीपूर्ती समारंभात एक वेगळा प्रकार म्हणून ‘काका’ने माझी मुलाखत घ्यायची असं ठरलं. प्रथेप्रमाणे मी प्रश्‍नोत्तरे तयार केली. मात्र यावेळी प्रश्‍न तो विचारणार होता, उत्तरे मी देणार होतो. हा एक नमुना पाहा.
    प्रश्‍न : पुढल्या जन्मी तुला काय व्हायला आवडेल?
    उत्तर : सलमान खान किंवा उर्मिला मातोंडकर. कपडे पहेननेकी नौबतही नही आयेगी.
    उत्तर ऐकल्याक्षणी ‘काका’ उसळून म्हणाला, ‘ये-ये मै बोलूंगा.’ त्याची समजूत काढता काढता माझ्या नाकी नऊ आले. टाळ्यांची वाक्ये दुसरं कोणी बोललेलं त्याला सहन होत नव्हतं. इथं हीरो कोण आहे? तोही सुपरस्टार? हे छान-छान काय हा चिरगूट बोलणार?…
    एकदा मात्र तो बोलून गेला, ‘आमच्या फिल्म इंडस्ट्रीत राज कपूर, दिलीपकुमार, शबाना आझमी व व्ही. शांताराम ही चार माणसं वरचा मजला शाबूत असलेली मी पाहिलीत. बाकी सगळे माझ्यासारखेच.’
    मी माझ्या मुलाच्या लग्नाची पत्रिका त्याला द्यायला गेलो.
    ‘कुछ पढालिखा है क्या तुम्हारा बेटा?’ पत्रिकेवरून नजर फिरवत त्याने विचारले.
    मी सर्द झालो. मग माझ्या लक्षात आलं की त्याचा प्रश्‍न योग्य होता. तो ज्या जगात राहत होता तिथं आधी कॉलेजात जाणं व मग शिक्षण पूर्ण करणं अतिदुर्लभ होतं. किंबहुना शिक्षण हे ‘डिसक्वालिफिकेशन’ मानलं जात होतं. ‘राम और श्याम’मध्ये कन्हैयालाल जणू चित्रपटसृष्टीची भावना बोलून दाखवताना म्हणतो, ‘जब घर में लक्ष्मी मौजूद हो तो सरस्वतीपूजा काहे को?’
    ‘नक्की येतो’ सांगून तो माझ्या मुलाच्या लग्नाला आला नाही. जमणार नाही असं सांगणारा फोन करतात हेही त्यानं ऐकलेले नव्हते. म्हणून तर तो राजेश खन्ना होता. तो शब्द पाळायला लागला असता व वक्तशीर झाला असता तर तो अमिताभ बच्चन झाला असता. पण अमिताभ ‘ऍक्शन हीरो’ होता; ‘काका’ ‘इमोशनल हीरो’ होता…
    आता मागे भरपूर आठवणी राहिल्यात. ‘न भूतो न भविष्यति’ अशा पहिल्या सुपरस्टारशी आपली इतकी घसट होती हे मला खरंच वाटत नाही. माझा तिखटाचा प्रॉब्लेम लक्षात ठेवून त्यानं बाळकृष्णला खास माझ्यासाठी उकडलेल्या बटाट्याची नुसती मीठ टाकून भाजी करायला लावली होती हे मी कसं विसरू?
    आपण सुपरस्टारची मस्करी करीत होतो व तो करू देत होता हे तरी मी कसं विसरू? तो दिल्लीत कॉंग्रेसवाल्यांचा गोतावळा जमवून बसलेला असताना मी त्याला म्हणालो, ‘काकाजी, एक अच्छा रोल है. आप करेंगे?’
    ‘क्या रोल है?’ त्यानं संशयानं विचारलं.
    ‘हीरॉइनकी मॉंका!’ मी म्हणालो.
    कॉंग्रेसी चाहत्यांसमोर त्याला पंजाबी शिव्याही हासडता येत नव्हत्या. पाण्यात पडलेल्या उंदरासारखी त्याची अवस्था झाली होती.
    ‘ठैर, तेरेको बंबईमें दिखाता हूं’ तो कसंबसं म्हणाला.
    मी हसत सुटलो. मग तोही हसू लागला.
    माझा सुपरस्टार मित्र गेला.


    • This is a great piece by Marathi journalist Shirish Kanekar, Rajesh Khanna’s friend; thanks for inserting it.
      For those not able to read Marathi, here are a few items —

      A) Rajesh Khanna upon watching a preview of Namak Haram remarked “Today a new superstar is born”.

      B) A great conversation between the two
      Rajesh : Did you know that for her delivery, Salman Khan’s mom (Salim Khan’s first wife) went to the hospital in my car.
      Shirish : If she had gone in someone else’s car, instead of Salman Khan, would Kadar Khan have been born ?
      Rajesh found it very funny & apparently used it several times.

      C) Rajesh mentions to Shirish — “In our film industry just Raj Kapoor, Dilip Kumar, Shabana Azmi & V. Shantaram retained their senses; everyone else is like me”.


    • Striking stills here. Especially with the two Bachchans centered within that enormous crowd.

      Some very Iruvar-esque imagery.


      • I second that..


      • on that note don’t know how many other stars accompanied the body the whole way.. many did show up earlier in the day at the residence.. because most of the video footage and stills just seem to show these two.. in any case very glad both father and son went the distance.. for the father this was even more essential for all the obvious reasons but I’m rather pleased the son was there too.


    • added some of these stills to the post..


    • perhaps the explanation is here.. the Bachchans are really in the thick of it.. there is always security but you still have to be part of the crowd.. not easy for stars to negotiate this.. Bachchan doing so at his age is remarkable.. though this is not new for either of them.. they are possibly the most comfortable stars in these situations.


    • The one thing that has greatly heartened me on this otherwise sad occasion is the extraordinary attention Rajesh Khanna’s death has received in Bombay. For so many years he was being ignored. even in the late 80s the media used to sarcastically comment on how when he showed up for events and asked for security it was pointless as there would be no one there to mob him. And so I didn’t quite expect this kind of outpouring on his death.


      • Well, it reinforces your point that you can manufacture hype, but not an event. Whatever one says about Rajesh Khanna, no-one could deny this.


        • in fact even here on the blog there was an extraordinary number of hits.. something I haven’t seen before except for 2-3 movie releases. Yesterday almost all of the activity was centered around that one post on Rajesh Khanna. so again I was very pleased to see this.

          Rajesh Khanna’s death has definitely tapped into a reserve of emotion that wasn’t there either with Shammi Kapoor or Dev Anand recently.


  59. Well, now it leaves Dilip, Pran, Manoj and Dharam as the remaining shining lights alive from the pre 70s era. Wont be surprised to see them all bid adieu in the near future, and create similar media-frenzy in their wake.


    • Rajesh Khanna had an illness, otherwise he would have stuck around longer. Dharmendra’s old but not terribly so. Dilip Kumar of course is nearing 90 or something. Pran is already in his 90s if the info available online is correct. of course Lata is getting up there as well. But yes that entire history is fading. I’ve said this before but Bachchan is the last significant figure even in this sense who’s had that connection with pretty much the entire Bollywood past.


    • oldgold Says:

      Hope Dilip Kumar celebrates his 90th birthday in December this year. My best wishes to him. But, yes. It’s painful (especially to lovers of old cinema) to gradually see the fading of the past – which it will.


    • “Wont be surprised to see them all bid adieu in the near future”
      You guys are something.
      First discussing who is bigger/better (AB or RK) in this condolence thread. lol. Now more speculation. Last time I heard such discussions were with bunch of old gossipy women on a lazy afternoon.


  60. Stunning


  61. my favourite song picturized on rajesh khanna surprisingly not mentioned by anyone here) is from the film “haathi mere saathi”…..”duniya mein rehna hai toh kaam kar pyaare”…..endorses the profound phrase of dr shaurya…”there is no world for the escapists.”
    the lyrics is BRILLIANT!! written by my favourite sahir ludhianvi.

    i being a naturally born escapist have a special liking for this song.


    • “taange mein lagi jaise ghodi chali jaaye”….this is our life..harnessed like a horse to the cart……harnessed to the job,the family,the “isms” we have been conditioned to support….we r running like a horse.
      “chal ghar chalen
      raam raam kar pyaare”
      …..there is nothing else to do but keep running….chanting the name of god…doing ram..ram(to keep us safe….for there r many a wrong directions on this lonely way back home)…..we have to keep running till we reach home….


  62. Dr shaurya Says:

    I am truly amazed at the sharing of Rajesh khanna pics on Facebook by a dozen of people who are in my friend list and are in their teens. Even my sister who is 14 yrs old is glued to TV set watching Rajesh khanna related news. She said I feel sad coz he was kinda cute and adorable… I always believed teens never knew him.. Aadmi ke marne ke baad hi uski reputation pata chalti hai.

    Only person who will get such flow of emotion on his passing away is Shri Amitabh Bachchan.. Although it will be more magnanimous.. but no one else will..


  63. AamirsFan Says:

    Tributes pour after death of Rajesh Khanna, ‘the first Bollywood superstar’


    was not a big fan of his…only watched two rajesh khanna movies which were ‘anand’ and ‘namak haram’….but i have watched many, if not all of his film songs online. whenever i’m studying and need a break i tend to watch rajesh khanna/kishore kumar songs. with kishore’s voice and rajesh’s charisma on screen…it was a great combo.

    also to echo alex’s comment above…so glad to see akki ‘taking the responsibility’ at this funeral. not that i didn’t respect akki before..but my respect level for him has gone up even more.


  64. AamirsFan Says:

    that rajesh khanna ‘last rites’ video is just heart breaking…especially with ‘zindagi ka safar’ playing in the back ground….heart breaking….but so powerful.


  65. Alex adams Says:

    “Rajesh Khanna’s death has definitely tapped into a reserve of emotion that wasn’t there either with Shammi Kapoor or Dev Anand recently.”
    Hmm that’s interesting.
    Well the possible reasons maybe-
    a) whatever the media discourse of his ‘sharp ascent’ or ‘shSarp fall’-he has been a mega success and captured the imagination of folks leaving indelible mark on their psyche
    b) This gets more obvious when those people see it actually been taken away by ‘death’ (though in actual terms that happened when his stardom diminished)
    C) being a fan/follower of the ‘tiger’ (as in animals) feel in the age old dictum about a dead tiger …
    A tiger will remain a tiger while tiggers will never lose the extra ‘g’
    d) more recent phenomenon than Dev Anand and shammi kapoor
    Public memory is short
    e) most importantly, the people feeling the max loss are those who grew up with a star etc ie similar age groups
    In my case or many here: a retrospective viewpoint is not the same ..
    Those of the age group of Dev Anand or shammi would have felt th loss most but either are already where those two went or are unfortunately not in the state t


  66. Alex adams Says:

    Those who are same age of shammi kapoor or Dev Anand are either already not well or not in a state to express their sense of loss ESP on media like blogs etc
    Dev Anand was cremated in London and surpisingly there wasn’t a single person from Bollywood apparently!!!
    Wanna add-credit goes to Akshay kumar here for going out of his way and given his current standing and clout-it makes difference to some opportuniostic types who won’t do anything without a reason!!
    There are even reports of Akshay coaxing dimple and his daughters to do sowmthig atleast in his death to give him an honourable send off
    Dont know much about the details but am not really impressed by dimple at suddenly coming out from nowhere now to ‘take care’ -seems more for her own projection than poor khanna’s benefit -I maybe wrong but don’t like pretense
    Ps- thanx anjali for that song-haven’t heard it before-your enthusiasm was infectious–u preformed it like a true entertainer 🙂


  67. AamirsFan Says:


  68. oldgold Says:

    A song from Akhri Khat with a very young Rajesh Khanna before his mannerisms.


    • Alex adams Says:

      Thanx oldgold : is that the same you were telling me about its cd/DVD uve got.
      Where did u manage to get the DVD from btw?
      Think this film is by anjalis favorite chetan Anand?


    • beautiful romantic song of a gone by era.i really wonder how the people reacted to these songs when they were newly released?
      now a days we hear..nikkama kiya ish dil ne…..the whole tehzeeb has changed…indeed old was gold.
      rajesh khanna has the most suitable face and mannerism(before he became fixated with his mannerisms)..to picturize a romantic song on…better than dev anand.

      “tujhko paake tujhe paane ki havas baaki hai”…..wow!…..will this generation ever come out with something as subtle as this?


      • oldgold Says:

        >“tujhko paake tujhe paane ki havas baaki hai”…..wow!…..will this generation ever come out with something as subtle as this?

        The present generation will express it this way;

        “…the passion to achieve you is still left”.


    • Shalini Says:

      Lovely pick, oldgold. He looks so fresh and handsome.

      Another song from the pre-Superstar era that I’ve been listening to repeatedly since yesterday is “Zamane ne maare jawan kaise kaise” from Bharon Ke Sapne. Apt lyrics.


      • Alex adams Says:

        Thanx Shalini :nice song with an ‘unspoilt virginal’ khanna ..
        (Oops take the ‘virginal’ word back or else some ‘silent’ member aka Amy will attack me!)
        Haven’t heard this before
        So folks: a poll–
        Which is the ONE song and ONE movie symbolic of Rajesh khanna
        (beginning with satyam )


      • oldgold Says:

        That’s the best from Baharon ke sapne.

        Another one from the same film. He looks so good.


        • What a gem of a song. I had heard this song in Lata albums, without realizing it was filmed on RK. Such a soothing song, to be heard especially by male folk on ‘down-and-out’ days. Another Lata classic which I love to hear on such days is this one:

          Ab afsos yeh hai ki hum mardon ko palkon ki jhaalar hamesha chahiye hoti hai, lekin aisi auratein kahaab rahein hain?


      • @shalini
        thanx a ton! i had never heard this song before and it has become my favorite on the first hearing!
        zameen kha gayi aasmaan kaise kaise…..this is what verbal imagination is.i m sad i was born in this superficial generation.
        the wordsmiths of today r puny before these giants!
        all that is lofty is made into farce and the clown mimic the hero for laugh….that is what piyush mishra and their likes do.


    • Actually if i remember much of Aakhri Khat’s brilliance was due to the great cinematographer Jal Mistry (though not denying Chetan Anand’s directorial skills)


  69. Alex adams Says:

    To add- ‘extrapolating’ and trying to imagine/compare the public reaction at Dilip kumars or even BachchAns death is not really a pleasant thing to do!
    Btw for me: Bachchans will be incomparable if/when it comes!!!
    Otherwise Younger folks who didn’t live thru the same era (like me)
    Can only fathom this when contemporaries like hritik and younger get into this act (hopefully not soon)!!!


    • oldgold Says:

      Now we are getting morbid.


    • Its too bad to speculate and contemplate someone’s death though one should always keep ‘Death Moment’ in his/her mind..

      Ppl forget Lata Mangeshkar, I dont think one single soul whose life has not been touched directly or indirectly by Lata mangeshkar. I wish her and others also long active life and peacfull death when it comes 🙂 Amen


  70. Alex adams Says:

    “Now we are getting morbid.”–Agree oldgold
    Go watch something like ‘cocktail’ to avoid that lol


  71. Alex adams Says:

    ““tujhko paake tujhe paane ki havas baaki hai”…..wow!…..will this generation ever come out with something as subtle as this?”
    that’s a huge six !!


  72. have updated the sidebar with Rajesh Khanna posters.


  73. Alex adams Says:

    As a tribute to Rajesh khanna poll–
    My picks
    The ONE song–‘zindagi ke safar mein’–aap ki Kasam (by far)
    The ONE movie -difficult
    But if one has to be chosen-Anand
    Made the difference between a Rajendra kumar esque star from what he seems to have become !
    Any other picks –


    • oldgold Says:

      Rajender Kumar too had his “Kanoon”


      • I found Rajendra Kumar average at best even in Kanoon (though he was unbearable in the few films of his which i have seen) where he was literally swallowed by the dashing Ashok Kumar (my fav actor after Bachchan) in each and every scene- I am a huge Kanoon fan- imo one of the greatest bwood thrillers with a damn smart ending. Also Jeevan’s cameo in the beginning of the film remains my fav act of his along with his Robert from AAA


    • anand has to be the best film of not only rajesh khanna but of the genius hrishikesh mukherjee too.the feel good factor is a thousand times more genuine than those we see in raju hirani flicks.
      the next best(personal choice)…is bawarchi….another feel good film..but i love it.imagine a superstar in the role and dress of a cook throughout the film without a lead actress!only a genius like mukherjee cud have convinced him to do it.
      the best song?…zindagi ka safar hai yeh kaisa safar…koi samjha nahi koi jaana nahi..from movie safar.


  74. Amitabh Bachchan ‏@SrBachchan

    T 810 – The funeral of Rajesh Khanna was poignant and crowded .. the crowds were in throngs,with scant respect for the situation .. pity !!

    T 810 – For the crowds it is always a moment of an event to see so many stars assemble .. not one of respect to him that passed away …

    T 810 – Traffic to the cremation ground was horrid and blocked .. had to get down and walk from Jalsa to the site virtually ..! 400 meters !

    T 810 – Abhishek and I walk to the crematorium, since the cars were not moving ..due traffic jam http://twitpic.com/a9fs6e

    T 810 – More of the strangulating crowds at the cremation .. http://twitpic.com/a9fsf7

    T 810 – And as we settle in, learn of Shatrughan Sinha in hospital, with by-pass heart surgery ..drove down to visit him ..he recovers well

    T 810 – Shatrughan and I started together almost in the Industry .. he being 4 years younger ! Was his usual humorous talkative self ..MHRW

    T 810 – MHRW : May He Recover Well !!

    T 810 – Shatrughan surgery was sudden, developed breathlessness and rushed. Not ethical to talk details of ailment, but he permitted me !

    T 810 – He has been watching “Guru” in bed .. twice he said .. asked after Abhishek .. they will go to visit him ..


  75. oldgold Says:

    Another great song from one of Rajesh’s good films.


    • Kishore ke guzarne se awaaz bhuj gayi.
      Rajesh ke guzarne se chahra bhi mit gaya.
      Ab sirf yaadein har shaam ka sahara ban ke rah gayi hain.

      The immortality of both of them is tightly intertwined. I read somewhere that Rajesh will be most remembered for his excellent lip-synching to Kishore’s voice, or Kishore would be most remembered for having provided the voice to that face.


      • Rajesh had perfect hindi diction too. For a long time I used to think that was how hindi should be pronounced.–we spoke English at home but I always had an idea what “good hindi” should sound like. These days I’m more open to the variety of accents and dialects but it is still Rajesh’s I would want to emulate.

        As for KK/RK sync — yesterday once again listening to the songs I was reminded how brilliantly KK matched RK. Someone could do a signal analysis of this as a school project.


  76. Speaking of the Tamil remakes and such:

    Kamal said, “I knew Rajesh Khannaji as an Indian and world star. Even as an up and coming actor, he was already a superstar. He had the kindness to be my friend and admired what little talent I had. He had acted in some of my films, which were remade in Hindi. I still remember the time spent with him very well. He would often give me advice. Rajesh Khanna is one of a kind, and I think very few actors in the future will achieve the sort of fame he did. I offer my deepest condolences to the bereaved family and friends.”



  77. the posters r a treat.i really loved the poster of anand followed by kati patang and bawarchi.there is something about a poster painted by hand which the camera posters miss.they convey something more even by being imperfect representations.the hand of the man drawing them gives something of the ambience of that world…that tehzeeb and culture.
    wish there were more


  78. left this comment on Bachchan’s blog today, expanded on some points made here:

    [Was revisiting Anand last night. One of the most perfect films ever made in Bombay. There is not a moment here that one can fault. And it all works so fluidly. Interestingly Mukherjee dedicated this film to the city of Bombay. Offhand I can’t think of another film in the entire history of the medium that bears a similar dedication. The title credits of this film are among my all time favorites. A marvelous love letter to the city. But curiously very little of the rest of film takes place ‘outdoors’. And the title credits don’t have an obvious link with the subject. Why then did Mukherjee choose to preface his film this way? The credits have a kind of ‘fade-out’ sense to them. The shots, the music.. all somewhat melancholic. Not quite the energy and chaos that one could very easily depict. There are lively shots but a wistful note is struck throughout. Now this entire mood matches well the subject of the film so this in itself isn’t surprising. But Mukherjee’s is a gentler city possibly at the end of something. From our vantage point this now reads like a rather prophetic gesture. Many would argue that Bombay after the 70s just wasn’t the same. I think actually that it became an ‘uglier’ city in a political sense. This is another debate. But in any case it’s a fascinating choice on Mukherjee’s part.

    But there is also something else quite intriguing here vis-a-vis your character. In some ways Mukherjee intuited that you were the right vehicle for a certain ‘anger’ or at least ‘frustration’ even this early on so that your doctor has serious problems with the existing system. The brooding persona that came forth with such force later is already evident in Anand. In this sense the ‘dialog’ between Amitabh Bachchan and Rajesh Khanna might also be read in this more charged sense or as a collision between two paradigms. Khanna’s philosophical stance and happy acceptance of things versus your constant systemic critique. In one case it is about fate and the stars and how the ‘hero’ assumes an attitude of ‘joyful wisdom’ whereas in the other instance it is about changing institutions that make such problems seem inevitable. Note here how the film has a very important moment at the beginning when the doctor ‘tours’ if you will a shanty-town to check on a patient. He finds the problems here to be not just medical ones but also those of institutional failure. There is a larger critique here. And Mukherjee completed the dialog in Namak Haram even more sharply in some ways. But with respect to the earlier film what’s truly remarkable is that Mukherjee does not see ‘ill-health’ as simply a ‘natural’ problem. He certainly does not consider the whole economy of curing the patient to be a completely neutral one either.

    And on the subject of Anand I believe Rajesh Khanna’s last public appearance was at the Apsara awards earlier this year where he was honored along with a number of other illustrious figures including your spouse. Abhishek was present there, don’t think you were but I could be wrong. I didn’t see the whole thing, just the segment where all these luminaries were honored. But I was happiest to see Ramesh Deo in attendance. Here’s that video and he can be seen at the 24.34 mark:

    I hadn’t seen him in all these decades. Don’t think he’s changed very much barring the grey! He is yet another example of one of those important character actors or supporting figures from the 70s who added great texture to the films. He too couldn’t have been confused with anyone else. Anand of course is one of his best moments as an actor.

    Rajesh Khanna incidentally was involved with a number of remakes. His early Khamoshi remade the legendary Deep Jwele Jai with Suchitra Sen, then his very forgettable Dil Daulat Duniya was a remake of the very iconic (justly so) Sadanander Mela, Bawarchi is supposedly loosely pased ona Tapan Sinha work (here I haven’t seen the original), Amar Prem is a remake of Uttam Kumar’s Nishipadma, and now turning towards Tamil cinema Aaina comes from Balachandar’s Aval Oru Thodarkathai (he did the Hindi as well) as does Choti Bahu off the same director’s Arangetram. Then Red Rose is Bharthiraja’s own remake from his Sigappu Rojakkal. There could one or two others among his later films. Not sure. On the other hand Haathi Mere Saathi was remade as Nalla Neram with MGR. of course the original setup here was all-Tamil anyway.

    In each case I’ve seen the original except for the Tapan Sinha work. and I don’t really find any of the remakes worthy enough for one reason or another except for Amar Prem which is a fine work. On that note here’s my list of favorite Rajesh Khanna films in no real order:

    1)Amar Prem
    3)Dushman (there is an excellent film with Mohanlal which has the very same plot, not sure if it was meant to be a remake or not but the film is Kanmadham)

    There are a number of others that I like just a little less but these are personal favorites. On that note he also did the experimental Aavishkaar with Basu Bhattacharya. I just love the ethos of many of his key films and having seen more recently a number of Bengali classics it’s clear where many of his key films got their cues, whether actual remakes or not (of course worked with Bengali figures anyway). The same could also be said for Hrishikesh Mukherjee whose middle cinema is often pitched in a very ‘Bengali’ way which is to say that his tone too matches that this great (Bengali) industry.

    Finally I don’t know if I’ve asked this question before but I wonder if you had the chance to watch Bengali films when you were residing in Calcutta. You after all were there when Uttam Kumar was still the most dominant star. If so do you recall what you saw? Would be interesting to hear you on this subject.]


    • and I just learned that even Ittefaq (which of course always seemed suspiciously like a Hollywood film/plot) is a remake of a British film called Signpost to Murder.


    • Anand credits here:


    • a few responses came in to this comment.. added these on my part.. the contexts ought to be self evident:

      [You are quite right on Ittefaq. After reading your note I looked this up and apparently it’s a remake of a British film called Signpost to Murder with Joanne Woodward.]

      [There’s a difference between ‘inspiration’ and ‘remakes’. In any case the Rajesh Khanna record here is mixed. First off I praised his Amar Prem but actually many of the remakes didn’t do well – Khamoshi, Choti Bahu, Aaina, Dil Daulat Duniya. In any case I was just offering info here and not suggesting it as ‘negative’ for the Rajesh Khanna record.

      Similarly the four films I listed are absolute favorites. I am not necessarily calling these his greatest films but either way I like or love many other works of his as well. And yes he was of course remarkable as a star in that peak period.

      MGR incidentally wasn’t much of an actor. Even in Tamil cinema Sivaji Ganesan was pretty much that industry’s Dilip Kumar (though MGR was nonetheless the biggest star.. Tamil cinema has always had this ‘twin’ structure.. so MGR/Sivaji and then Rajni/Kamal).

      The point about his being the only superstar of Hindi cinema, let alone Indian cinema, is just factually wrong. Here I am in agreement with Rajesh Khanna himself (!) who said in more than one interview that he was the first superstar and Amitabh Bachchan the last. He was absolutely right and it’s a point I’ve tried to hammer over the years in various contexts as the word has been utterly cheapened in contemporary ‘Bollywood’ and every other star becomes a superstar.

      Again I could do more of a comparison of his box office with that of Amitji’s or make some other points but given that Rajesh Khanna has just passed away I find these comparisons a bit odious at this stage. I did indulge in this a bit the other day, somewhat uncomfortably (not least because I know Amitji himself has too much humility, too much generosity, and yes too much class to ever enjoy such a comparison) mostly as a way of responding to the media inaccuracies and so on. But again I think we honor the great figure most precisely by not being untrue to the facts. I’ll just make this point very brief. Amitji’s box office record is untouchable in every sense imaginable. Not exaggerating here. It is untouchable in every sense imaginable by any other star or superstar. Again this is not the right place but I’d otherwise offer some examples from Rajesh Khanna’s peak period and Amitji’s to illustrate this point. Leaving aside the latter the former’s peak box office record (mostly a 2-3 year period) is way beyond anything anyone has ever achieved in such a compressed time period before or since.

      Finally Amar Prem is one of his most iconic films but not one of his biggest hits. Aradhana was by far but he had other big ones like Do Raaste and Sacha Jhutha and Haathi Mere Saathi. Some others like Kati Patang and Dushman and Apna Desh below this. Anand and Amar Prem both did very well but these weren’t grossers of the same magnitude. Not surprisingly because these weren’t big commercial productions either. Nonetheless these two are arguably his most loved films over time.]


    • made a mistake here.. I recently saw both Aaina and Choti Bahu. The former is the Arangetram remake, directed by Balachander himself. It’s not Choti Bahu as I stated above. But it’s also not similar to Aval Oru Thodarkathai. I looked it up and apparently Choti Bahu is a remake of a Telugu film called Muddu Bidda with which I am not familiar but again the same director remade his film.


  79. Farewell, superstar

    He was often referred to as the ‘lonely superstar’. But the presence of the huge crowd outside the Pawan Hans crematorium in Vile Parle for Rajesh Khanna’s funeral on Thursday morning said otherwise. While the scheduled time for the cremation was 11 am, the crowd had gathered by 10 am, while many followed the funeral procession all the way from the actor’s Carter Road bungalow, Aashirwad. Mediapersons and police personnel were also present in large numbers.

    Khanna’s body was brought in a truck decorated with flowers, accompanied by his family. Wife Dimple Kapadia maintained her composure as she sat next to daughter Rinke Khanna. While elder daughter Twinkle Khanna — who is pregnant with her second child — chose to stay away, her actor husband Akshay Kumar was seen comforting their son Aarav, who lit the funeral pyre. Kumar and Khanna’s other son-in-law Sameer Saran ensured that the cremation was a private affair as they did not want the actor’s last rites to be filmed.

    Chaos reigned outside the crematorium as the police struggled to keep the swelling crowd in control. The entry of Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan, particularly, sent the crowd into a tizzy.

    Among the Bollywood personalities who turned up to pay last respects to their ‘Kaka’ were Manoj Kumar, Randhir and Rajiv Kapoor, filmmakers Sajid Khan and Sudhir Mishra, music director Anu Malik, singer Udit Narayan, actors Shekhar Suman, Rohit Roy, Aftab Shivadasani and Mukesh Rishi, and choreographer Saroj Khan. Also in attendance was Khanna’s close aide Bala, who had worked with the superstar for many years.

    Kabir Bedi put in an appearance too. “He (Khanna) is irreplaceable. My best wishes are with his family and may he rest in peace,” he said.

    Even though Khanna had not done any significant movie in the last one decade, his fan following did not seem to have waned. Shanti Gandhi, 53, a homemaker from Kandivali, had come to Parle to meet her sister but decided to wait outside the crematorium and catch a glimpse of her favourite actor even if it meant facing the wrath of the police. “I am a big fan of Rajesh Khanna and I have watched Amar Prem and Aradhana at least 10 times each,” Gandhi said.

    After the cremation, Khanna’s family headed back to Aashirwad where they will be staying till the Chautha on Saturday. It is believed that the late actor’s daughters now want to turn the bungalow into a museum dedicated to him.


  80. Amitabh pays his last respects to Rajesh Khanna

    With thousands of fans pouring in to pay their last respects to Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan and son Abhishek had a tough time reaching the Pawan Hans crematorium.

    Since their car got stuck in the traffic, the Bachchans stepped out and walked the last 100 meters.

    Amitabh Bachchan worked with Rajesh Khanna in two films — Anand and Namak Haram — and looked quite shaken by the tragic event.

    The Bachchans’ decision to walk the final stretch did not seem like a good one, given the circumstances, as the crowds went beserk seeing them at such close quarters.

    It led to a stampede.
    The stampede led to a lathi charge by the police, as they tried to control the crowds. Quite a few people were injured in the bargain.

    The rains did not hamper spirits, as thousands of people lined up for a final glimpse of the star.

    The crowds even broke the barricades to get closer to the Bachchans, who were walking on the other side of the road.


    • They were in a tough spot: had they not made it to the crematorium, the media would have made an issue out of that. Obviously, being a public figure of this level of visibility means that one cannot have a “normal” life, but I would defend their right to pay their last respects to someone…


  81. Manmohan Singh: PM:I convey my heartfelt condolences to the members of the bereaved family and countless fans and admirers of Shri Rajesh Khanna.

    Gulzar: Aye Babu Moshaye….zindagi badi honi chahiye, lambi nahi ! Goodbye Kaka. You will live forever in our hearts through your cinema.

    Madhuri Dixit-Nene: Another of Hindi cinema’s giants passes, Rajesh Khanna. Our sincere condolences to his family. We will miss him dearly.

    Lata Mangeshkar: Aaj humari filmi duniya ke bohot mashhoor kalakar rajesh khanna ji, humare bich nahi rahe, mujhe bohot dukh hai, main dimple ji, unki betiyaan aur daamad in sab ke dukh me shamil hun, ishwar rajesh khanna ji ki aatma ko shanti pradan kare


  82. No other actor had fan following like Rajesh Khanna: Sharmila Tagore
    Agencies Posted online: Wed Jul 18 2012, 22:25 hrs

    Kolkata : Veteran actress Sharmila Tagore, who paired in a number of hits with Rajesh Khanna, said no other actor ever had a fan following like the superstar.

    “He was most certainly the first superstar and with due respect to other actors, nobody created that kind of a craze after him,” said Sharmila.

    Recalling that she was a witness to that phase of his career when the actor’s stardom was at its peak in the ’70s, she said wherever she went with him they found long queues of excited fans waiting to have a glimpse of him.

    “I am very upset at the news of his death,” she said. Khanna, she said, had an inherent enigma in him and his appeal went beyond age groups.

    “Elderly woman would want to mother him. Younger women wanted to fall in love with him. And the men also liked him because he had a lot of energy and style. He brought together people from nine-year-olds to ninety-year-olds,” Sharmila said.

    After the 1969 hit film ‘Aradhana’, she recreated her chemistry with Khanna in films like ‘Safar’, ‘Avishkaar’ and ‘Amar Prem’.

    “Most of my films with him have been hits. ‘Aradhana’ was a very big hit while ‘Avishkaar’ is a cult film. I have very positive memories of him. He was a wonderful actor, had a wonderful voice and came from a theatre background,” Sharmila, herself a National Award winning actress, said.


    • Mumtaz: Rajesh Khanna was very close to me
      PTI Jul 18, 2012, 05.42PM IST

      Overcome with emotions after Rajesh Khanna’s death, yesteryear Bollywood star Mumtaz, who acted with him in many hits, today said the actor was “very close” to her even though he came across as an introvert to others.

      Speaking to PTI in London, Mumtaz said she was “crying the whole morning”, but was happy that she had met the ailing Khanna – ‘Kaka’ to his fans – in Mumbai last month, when the two discussed their respective battles with cancer.

      “He told me that I am a strong person, and that he knew what I had gone through, the chemotherapy sessions. He said he did not feel hungry, and we joked that when lots of food was ordered for him, it was later enjoyed by all, except him,” said Mumtaz who overcame her battle with breast cancer.

      Khanna, 69, died today at his ‘Ashirwad’ home in Mumbai’s Bandra area. He was discharged from Lilawati hospital two days back. His family as well as hospital authorities did not specify about his illness.

      Khanna and Mumtaz acted in 10 films, including memorable ones such as ‘Aap Ki Kasam’, ‘Roti’, ‘Apna Desh’ and ‘Sachcha Jhootha’.

      Mumtaz said that every film that she and Khanna acted in became a superhit.

      She said she had lots of memories of working with Khanna. She recalled that they used to joke about him carrying her on her shoulders for nearly a week in snow while shooting for the closing scenes of the film ‘Roti’.

      “It was hard work for him, carrying me through snow. I used to joke when we started shooting every day of that week that now you will have to carry 100 kg sack on your shoulders, and he would say that I was not that heavy. But I was never a slim girl,” Mumtaz said.


  83. Utkal Mohanty Says:

    Reposting My Reminiscences on Rajesh Khanna

    There has been superstars before Rajesh Khnna: Dilp Kumar, Dev Anand, Shammi Kapoor. There has been superstars after Rajesh Khnna: Amitabj Bachcan, Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan. But if you haven’t been a teenager between 1969-1972, you will never know what is star hysteria really like. Well, India never had an Elvis, or the Beatles. But There was Rajesh Khanna.
    I had just started seeing Hindi films and had been impressed by Manoj Kumar in Upkar, Dilip Kumar in Ram aur Shyam and Aadmi, Dharmendra in Shikar and Jeetendra in Farz. Then in 1969 came Aradhana. The songs were already a craze. But seeing Rajesh Khanaa singing Mere Sapno KI Raani Kab in the open jeep or him looking deep into Sharmila’s eyes as he sang Roop Tera Mastana was something else. Then there was the younger Rajesh with a moustache in his pilot avatar making an entry..and singing Baagon Mein Bahar Hai soon after with cuddly Farida Jalal. The nation did not know what hit it. I can’t remember how many times we switched off the light of the common room of our boys’ hostel as we played the Aradhana EP for the nth time and let the magic of Roop Tera Mastana take over.
    Do Raaste came soon after, with the oh-so–namkeen Mumtaz singing Bindiya Chamkegi. But Rajesh stole our hearts once again. The mystery of him singing Yeh Reshmi Zulfe with a full beard on was cleared later when we saw Ittefaq, a songless thriller from the BR Chopra house. And wonder of wonder it was a hit. Still remember Rajesh in his black long-sleeved T-shirt giving the deep soulful look to Nanda and asking , “ Coffee nahin pilaogee?”
    All hell broke loose after Haathi Mere Saathi. An absurd film with an elephant, directed by an unknown Devar, became a superhit. I still remember the Filmfare just after this period where we read about some girl writing a letter to Khanna with her blood . We could believe it, because if we guys were so crazy after this crinkly eyed , gurkha looking paunchy alien, what effect he must not be having on the girls! But I can tell you what havoc he was creating among us boys. In this residential school of ours, we were allowed to wear non-uniform, private clothes only on Saturday evening and Sunday morning. And you should have seen the riot of colurs our hostel corridor was on a Sunday morning. Everyone in their “ guru kurtas’ in colours that would put a Lakme Fashion Week designer to shame: Cobalt Blue, Canary Yellow, Bright purple…and worse. Yes we all had gone through the skin-tight drainpipes of Jeetendra, the Jewel Thief cap of Dev Anand and his Guide puff..but nothing at this scale was ever unleashed before.
    And the guy must have been the celestial step child of a Gandhrava to get all those divine songs in film after film, causing the rise of Kishore Kumar and eclipse of the evergreen Rafi. Just take the songs of Aradhana, every single song of which made it to the Binaca Geet Mala’s Top 16, including “ Dada Burman singing “ Safal Hogi Tera Aradhana’. Or Kati Patang : “ Yeh Jo Mohabbat Hai’, “ Pyar Deewana Hota hai’, “ Yeh Shaam Mastani” , “ Na Koi Umang Hai” , “ Khelenge Aaj HumHoli”. Remember him singing “ Wada tera wada, wade pe tera maara gaya banda mein seedha saadha’. And the crowd going berserk.

    Must narrate one incident from this era. ThIs was in Raipur then in Madhay Pradesh where a typical big budget film was released in 5 shows ( 9-12, 12-3, 3-6, 6-9 and 9-12) . With Khanna’s Aan Milo Sajna, they added one extra show: 6-9! The first show starting at 6 ‘O clock in the morning, can you imagine! And this was not all. And what I’m going to narrate actually happened in the show I was in. There was an abrupt disruption of screening after the song “ Jawaniyon Dewaniyon Zindabad”. What the heck and why the hell! Soon it was clear. Some fans wanted the reel to be rewound and the song screened again! Of course this was the film that had “ Achha To Hum Chlate Hain.” I am not going into Box office statistics as Khanan was a far more interesting phenomenon that just a successful star (unlike say Rajendra Kumar or Jeetendra). Rajesh Khanna was not just the favourite of commercial czars of the day like Shakti Samanta, Raj Khoshla and Manmohan Desai, but also small arty filmmakers like Asit Sen and Hrishikesh Mukherje. His fans had no qualms about embracing him wholeheartedly in films like Khamoshi or Safar and Anad or Bawarchi. Ah Anand! What a film! And what a performance! He was really the darling of the nation as he sang , in his simple kurta –pyjama, Zindagi Kaisi Yeh Paheli Hai or Kahin Door Jab Din Dhal Jaaye. And who can forget Amar Prem another unbelievably rich treasure house of musical gems ( Yeh Kya Hua, Chingaari, Kuchchh to Log Kahenge, Naina Bit Jaaye, Bada Natkhat Hai”. And if you notice with what elegance he carried off the starched kurta and crinkled dhoti of bhdralok Bengalis you will never forgive Shahrukh for the bhaand that he made Devdas look like. And he made serous tearjerkers like these mega hits.
    His double dhamaal pairing with Sharmila Tagore on one hand and Mumtaz on the other has never been matched.
    But perhaps the word ‘ meteoric rise’ was coined for a star like Rajesh Khanan…. For like a meteor he too burnt out pretty fast. Post Anand he really had nothing more to prove. He could have just retired or had a road accident like Jamsed Dean become immortal. Instead he went o to give hits like Apna Desh, Daag ( the film with which Yash Chopra started his independent banner) , Namka Haraam, Prem Nagar, Aap Ki Ksam, Prem Kahani, Roti , but the magic had gone and a spate of flops followed. The tell-tale signs were there in Namak Haraam where the Angry Youngman flame of Amitabh Bachchan was rearing to leap out and devour what was still not know as Bollywood.
    Truth to tell, it would have been impossible for anyone to live up to the gargantuan expectation raised by the scale of his early success unless he reinvented himself. And Rajesh Khanna wasn’t upto it. He hadn’t had much success outside the romantic / tragic / dramatic / family films. He was pathetic in comedies like Joru ka Ghulam or action thrillers like The Train. And didn’t succeed in costume dramas / period films like Mehboob Ki Mehndo or Rajpur or Mehbooba. Soon he became a caricature of himself as the Amitabh aura took over .
    And that’s’ of course another story…no less exciting.
    Another time perhaps.


    • Alex adams Says:

      Thanx utkal uncle: u described the whole scene so well for those like me not around in that era…
      From your first post itself, I affectionately call u ‘uncle’ since I not only sensed your age but your brilliant personal insight and experience and honesty that u bring to the table in your posts-I wasnt wrong
      My only slight concern is –
      ” I can’t remember how many times we switched off the light of the common room of our boys’ hostel as we played the Aradhana Aradhana EP for the nth time and let the magic of Roop Tera Mastana take over.”– not sure how the ‘magic of roop tera mastana’ could take over in an exclusively boys hostel!


    • “the guy must have been the celestial step child of a Gandhrava to get all those divine songs in film after film”….indeed….as satyam said…. he was a golden handshake.

      “And if you notice with what elegance he carried off the starched kurta and crinkled dhoti of bhdralok Bengalis you will never forgive Shahrukh for the bhaand that he made Devdas look like.”

      hahaha….yea…shahrukh looks like one.
      btw for those with weak hindi…bhaand means..a mimic,jester…those singing buffoons who sing and dance and do mimicry.


    • Great stuff Utkal.. thanks for sharing…


    • oldgold Says:


      When will people stop pulling one down to show the other up???
      Of course Rajesh Khanna looked very good too.

      This part of the comment sounds a bhaand type comment anyway.

      How nice when a fashion statement (guru kurtas) has it’s origin in the land itself unlike the wannabe styles that most sport today, especially the women.


  84. I am surprised nobody has mentioned the movie Dhanwan with Rakesh Roshan. Nothing great but Rajesh khannna had the pivotal role.


  85. The bengali movie that bawarchi is a remake of is “galpo holo sotti” based on a story by Bibhuti bhushan Bandhopadhaye and directed by Tapan Sinha.


  86. Alex adams Says:

    Another shocking news
    A friend messaged me form the states just now
    The dark knight show- a masked man massacres 10 people dead !!!
    That’s why I’m slowly moving away from this genre (that I loved so much till v recently)


  87. Alex adams Says:

    ^ to add to the drama, some folks i know were planning to watch TDKR but couldn’t make it due to some other ‘ issues’
    Thank god…for them


  88. Alex adams Says:

    Btw hope satyam is safe n sound!!!
    Hello satyam ?knock knock…
    Have always found the ‘gun laws’ in USA a problem…
    Ps: the folks I know we’re actually not going today and neither would have gone to that theatre.. They were just adding drama…


    • @alex
      instances like these of random killing,where there is no motive but the sheer frustration and disenchantment of the offender taking a violent turn… makes us ponder and rethink.
      rethink and question our whole criminal justice system and social values as a whole which is based on tit for tat….u murder…u rape….u violate the law….and the law will take revenge in the form of punishments.
      a rapist becomes a rapist…as if he loses his humanity….he becomes an abhorred concept(RAPIST)… which has to be hated.our whole mental conditioning and the criminal justice system it creates…… is based on revenge not compassion.we make a criminal lose his humanity in our lust for revenge and call ourselves civilized.man is more animal than any other animal living in the woods.
      and ppl like amy become closed minds…if someone even discusses rape……(just look at the extent of our civilized bigotry!)
      and its instances like these of random killing…which brings our own intolerance as a society to sharp focus.how will u justify a man gunning down ppl without any reason?we dont want to ponder deep…we just give him a label…He is a maniac!…as if giving this label solves everything.the anger of the maniac is against the whole system of intolerance which our society has created.he is deeply wounded and frustrated and isolated and venting his anger.punishing him will not solve the problem(punishing any criminal in the world for that matter will not solve anything)…but rather…making our system more inclusive..and compassionate…and addressing his issues will bring about a change.


      • “and ppl like amy become closed minds”- Anjali what’s the point of bringing Ami’s name everytime- Firstly I completely disagree that Ami has a closed mind (i have had enough discussions with Ami to know that). She may be highly opinionated but is very progressive in her thinking. Also you know that Ami does not like anyone talking abt her like that and got really pissed the other day.Anjali i really respect ur views and i learn a lot from u but think u r matured enough not to a take a dig on Ami every time


  89. Rajesh Khanna’s last film “Riyasat” to release on Dec 29 this year- Khanna plays an ageing Don in the film- http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/bollywood/news-interviews/Rajesh-Khannas-last-film-to-be-released-in-December/articleshow/15052167.cms


  90. btw i have a feeling satyam hates osho.quite a few of my posts on osho have been deleted….satyam osho relationship is that of a batman and the joker.


    • didn’t delete them for that reason but they’re rather long and go rather off topic.. a little bit here and there is fine but for example one can’t have extended discussions on rape here as happened the other day.. the same holds for some of this other stuff.. this is a Rajesh Khanna thread! More general discussions and/or extended bits of social networking should be kept to a minimum.


  91. Realised there’s quite a few Khanna films from his peak phase that I’ve not seen – just watching Sachha Jhutta now. Aap Ki Kasam and Aan Milo Sajna still to be seen. And would like to revisit Dushman.


  92. added to this earlier comment on Bachchan’s blog:

    [Incidentally meant to say this earlier but I was extremely moved to see you make that effort to go through those extraordinary crowds to get to the cremation site. was very glad to see Abhishek do it as well.

    On a lighter note RGV would have loved to shoot these scenes. The media covered them all day long and really you and Abhishek were the only stars visible in this sense (barring Akshay) and I don’t know how many others made it to the site (because very few were mentioned in the reports) but in any case this is a scene out of the Sarkar films!

    Will add this. I know the crowd went crazy at points, even a lathi charge had to be used rather regrettably. Obviously the crowd got excited to see the two of you but I instinctively feel there was something more here as well. First off Rajesh Khanna’s funeral received an extraordinary outpouring of emotion in the city, something I had frankly not expected. I think therefore that to see you there moving among the crowds added to the emotion. You have this most intricate link with him for all the historic reasons that have been discussed before. So your paying ‘testimony’ to the event in this singular way meant even more. And I think to have Abhishek there (you needed him in a very physical sense as well to negotiate the crowds) established a certain continuity even here. In an age that is obsessed with the present and one which often actively tries to efface the past or obscure the history it was heartening and moving to see the Bachchan generations totally committed to honoring Rajesh Khanna. We otherwise see stars manipulate themselves into all kinds of photo-ops much like politicians. But on this sort of occasion this was an important gesture and crucial precisely because it was so genuine on your part.

    There has often been discussion, including on my part, about how his history crashed into yours, was truncated by it. And of course larger historical tides as well. at the same it has less often been remarked on how his history informs your thinking or has always governed it. This is just intuitive on my part but I think his example has always been a very sobering one for you. Javed Akhtar has talked about how when you got your success and kept building on it and made your own history.. that everytime he ran into you and congratulated you you always responded with ‘this will only be there for 2-3 years’ and his riposte would eventually be ‘you always promise to fade in 2-3 years but never quite live upto that promise’! Javed Akhtar as always magical with words! I recall reading this interview more than 20 years ago. But what he didn’t add there (though he might know it) is that the Rajesh Khanna specter kept haunting you. And appropriately so. Because if a man who knew those heights could have been dealt such a cruel hand by fate really anything could happen to anyone. 99% of stars forget this. even as you kept going from strength to strength you did not. Of course this is always about one’s character ultimately but the Rajesh Khanna example was perhaps decisive in many ways.]


  93. Alex adams Says:

    Just saw a pic of Amitabh in khannas funeral..
    He seems genuinely disturbed and the homage is real.
    The guy exudes classroom even visit shatru who hasn’t left a chance to pull Amitabh down!!!

    Reminds me : haven’t seen sr bachchan going gaga over abhishrek in Bol bachchan or has he said something I’ve missed !
    Bachchan should stay silent like this -has more impact..


  94. Alex adams Says:

    Typo-‘class’ not ‘classroom’!!! Lol
    Btw I’m impressed with the ‘maturity’ and responsibility shown by Akshay kumar here-not long ago was caught three or four (or five) timing !!
    (dhinka chika)


  95. tonymontana Says:

    btw.. it was a treat for RK fans, with Kati Patang, Anand and Amar Prem shown back 2 back..

    did watch Amar pprem after long.. beautiful film


  96. Irony of Life and Reality also

    Dispute breaks out over Rajesh Khanna’s Iconic mumbai bunglow



  97. The Charisma of Rajesh Khanna

    It’s common knowledge that Rajesh Khanna, the quintessential romantic hero of Bollywood, was nothing short of a phenomenon. The following essay–extracted from The Best of Quest, edited by Laeeq Futehally, Achal Prabhala and Arshia Sattar, and published by Tranquebar Press– throws light upon his star power, his universal appeal and his meteoric rise to the top.

    It is rumoured that his disarming smile costs Rs. 1.4 million. Young women devour him with hungry eyes in the afternoon darkness of cinema halls. Mothers witness his filmic deaths with helpless pangs of frustrated protectiveness. Young adult males project themselves into his limelit presence on the screen and later yearn to recreate themselves in his image. Millions of Indians queue up for long hours to see him break into his smile, get drunk, become furious, whisper love-words or burst forth into a husky, vibrant played-back song. If there is one person in India today who surpasses the Prime Minister’s charisma, he is Rajesh Khanna. The multimillion rupee Hindi film industry which prolifically produces stereotyped dreams unanimously regards him as the only authentic super-star it has so far produced. He is what makes a sure-fire box-office hit. Even films with all the essential ingredients for making a sure flop have run for weeks just because he starred in them. His success is so phenomenal that it challenges anyone who pretends to understand mass behaviour.

    He is of medium height and build. He has mannerisms of his own which show through whatever character he plays – or perhaps that is unfair to him. His producers and directors want him to play no other character but his own unique self. He has a rare plasticity: that which makes a natural actor, something which James Dean had impressed upon movie-addicts during his meteoric Hollywood career. For he gives the sense that he lives his assumed role, however crudely it is scripted and directed. Yet he will not get an Ella Kazan or a George Stevens to direct him. And his hurt-youth image, which is a factor in his success, will gradually age.

    The best script and director he got so far was in the film Anand, directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee who is one of the better directors in the world of commercial Hindi cinema. His worst role was the one in Haathi Mere Saathi in which he plays a sort of elephant-boy and in which one of the three corners of the conventional love triangle is occupied, of all animals, by elephants.

    Curiously, Rajesh Khanna is considered a hero worth killing – which is amazing since in Hindi films it is a taboo to kill the hero. Curiously too, he has to die of cancer. He died of cancer in Safar and again in Anand. In Safar he is the leukaemic lover of a would-be doctor. In Anand, he is a cancer patient who spends his limited spell of life to make people around him happy. In Andaz he dies in a motor-bike accident for a change. Is it, one wonders, the expression of a mass death-wish? Some fifteen years ago, Dilip Kumar, the matinee idol then, specialized in dying as a hero. However, Dilip Kumar’s screen deaths brought no shock to the audience since he moved and spoke, from the start, as if he were his own pall-bearer. Rajesh’s screen deaths have some novelty: he is a warm, ebullient, vivacious, blithe young man. Even if he is destined to die, it seems unfair and too early. One has seen teenage girls sob witnessing him die. Or heaving unmistakably erotic sighs when he sings a love song (with the inimitable Kishore Kumar play-back singing for him). For the first time in the history of the commercial Hindi cinema a single person has acquired such following.

    What has Rajesh Khanna got that others haven’t? He does have acting talent. But there are others who are much better. He is good-looking. But that is neither here nor there. He is certainly not very handsome. What is it then?

    One hypothesis about his charisma is that Rajesh Khanna has all the quintessential characteristics of the sort of romantic hero contemporary Indian masses would like to dote on. Here, even within the hackneyed formulae of the commercial Hindi cinema, the new generation audiences had been looking for some positive new content. In the fifties, the triumvirate of Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand dominated the scene. The first was a tragic hero who was the product of middle-class pessimism and sentimentality. The second was a comic actor appealing to the masses through his mask of a little fellow. The third one was a slick, urban westernised Indian. All three box-office draws. The sixties saw the emergence of Guru Dutt who added new values to the Saigal-Dilip Kumar image of a tragic hero by investing greater sensitivity into his existing joint-stock image. The handsome-buffoon image of which Dev Anand was a pioneer, was extended in the form of Shammi Kapoor, Joy Mukerji and a number of others who danced and leaped energetically singing duets with their assorted heroines. Then came Dharmendra, who looks like a capable, middle-aged elder son and also Shashi Kapoor, the shy boy-lover of aggressively inclined heroines. In the meantime, despite his blank face, Rajendra Kumar emerged as a substitute Dilip Kumar being to the elder hero what saccharine is to sugar. Sunil Dutt tried to introduce a little different hero-concept, but had only limited success. Trials continued. Errors went on being committed. And then came Rajesh Khanna like a deluge.

    Rajesh is close to the teenager because he shares some of their norms of group behaviour and mannerisms. His actions have a suggestion of a devil-may-care anarchistic element. However, as in Do Raaste, he can even play successfully the younger brother in a Hindu joint family rising to rescue it at the time of crisis. He also has a very infectious warmth and a very charming smile. What is interesting about Rajesh is that unlike other leading male actors he seldom shows off his histrionic talent by exaggeration. His acting is always an understatement of emotion. This is something which he shares with the younger mass audience in India. They don’t dig melodramatic acting any more (which is the reason why Sharmila Tagore and Tanuja, for instance, are liked by them according to a recent survey: and, of course. Waheeda Rehman, whom the late Guru Dutt introduced).

    Next time you see Rajesh Khanna on the screen, therefore, please note that his behaviour on celluloid is going to lay down a norm for most of the male teenagers around you and a number of people even up to their middle thirties. He is a sort of boy with whom four out of five urban female college students would be thrilled to elope. In short, he is one of the top-selling consumer products in India today. And the packaging, here too, is the product.



  98. watched the movie anand again..after years.
    the protagonist anand is a metaphor for what his name suggests….happiness.he is like happiness in our lives haunted with all kinds of ills and the specter of mortality always hanging……living every single moment to the full…squeezing the juice out of it….because he knows it will not last.
    amitabh bachchan asks anand in the film….”tum apni khusi sab se share karte ho….aaj mujhse apna gham share karlo.”
    anand says:”na! gham bahut keemti hai…yeh main nahi share karunga.ish maamle mein main thora kanjoos hoon.”
    later at night amitabh ruminates…”what is his gham? i asked anand but he did not reply…..so i did not press him further”…..amitabh decides it is his gham which is giving strength to him.
    so let me pose this question…what is the gham of anand?what is the pain inside our happiness…which paradoxically gives it strength?
    i think the pain inside happiness is the foreknowledge that happiness is not going to last..and thus it wants to squeeze every juice out of the moments that it lasts……this foreknowledge does not only makes the happiness burn brighter…but creates it in the first place …..just like a chalk needs a blackboard… happiness needs the sadness to sustain itself.dont know what shit i am speaking.
    btw…i think the theme of the movie forrest gump has been shamelessly lifted from anand….the hollywood shud acknowledge it.


  99. such a sad news. r.i.p., rajesh khanna


  100. Love, longing, Rajesh Khanna ( IE)

    In the rush of tributes that have upheld the romantic in Rajesh Khanna, we have forgotten that he was peculiarly two-sided. The good man of Hindi cinema was a bad boy in real life. Hardly a good husband, he became increasingly self-obsessed as his stardom peaked — indeed, star tantrums arrived with him. He drank and smoked, separated from the bride he had wooed overnight, and went on to have a live-in relationship



    • one of the better pieces. The writer could have been more expansive on this essential dichotomy but it is quite true that his off screen persona (and all the stories) was very much a part of his legend.


    • Extraordinary stuff.. thanks for posting here..


    • oldgold Says:

      THank you shalini. This is really a good piece. One of the best and heartfelt ones.

      >koi Rajesh Khanna karke hai.

      Such insider hindi is rare to hear!! 🙂
      It was painful to listen to Imtiaz and his stylized hindi accent. Wanted to push him away.


      • oldgold Says:

        I’m talking about the Imtiaz in the video clip above.


        • Alex adams Says:

          ^^^Oh thank god-I thought u meant to ‘push me away’ 🙂
          Well, btw what has poor ‘Sufi’ Imtiaz Ali done wrong ?
          He should be awarded for giving break to such ‘exceptional talent’ like nargis fakhri and Diana panty
          (have already given him my award) lol


          • oldgold Says:

            ‘sufi’?! Ha!! He can’t even speak proper hindi/urdu. Bet his sufiana attractions are also anglicized.


          • Alex adams Says:

            Haha maybe u will realise one day that stuff like ‘Sufi’ is about a thought process/state of mind..may elaborate some day if remember.
            One doesn’t have to know good Hindi/Urdu for it 😉


          • oldgold Says:

            I hate having to explain my comments which means either I’m not clear enough or one doesn’t read the comment with thought.

            Sufi has nothing to do with hindi/urdu (though in India it does). My remark just wanted to point out the application of his phony accent to perhaps his phony interest in sufiism.

            Hope that explains.


          • Alex adams Says:

            Yes it explains..thanx
            Btw have u had personal exposure to ‘Sufism’ 😉
            Plz teach


      • @ oldgold
        “It was painful to listen to Imtiaz and his stylized hindi accent.”
        u r confusing his soft spokenness as stylized hindi accent.imtiaz had a middle class upbringing not an anglicized one.
        imtiaz lisps very slightly which causes this softspokenness and gives an uncharacteristic quality to his hindi accent.
        imtiaz’s lisp is not the speech impediment lisp….he lisps like ram krishna paramhamsa..or even osho used to lisp…..this lisp comes from a certain vulnerability of heart to beauty….and for me this vulnerability is sufi.
        his speech has nothing anglicized about it at all.it is halting,lisping soft spokenness …..which shows the heart of the speaker is smitten and bewitched by something mystical…and the word it utters cannot have the boorish…sharply edged and defined syllables of normal hindi….there is a lisping irreverence….faintness.. and feather touch quality in them.
        listen to him again.


        • Alex adams Says:

          Wow ‘Sufi’ anjali 🙂
          I learnt something from that
          Btw there’s a track in rockstar that I love -‘kun faya kun’
          It’s picturisation especially when ranbir goes into a sort of ‘trance’ -can not be filmed by any non-Sufi…


    • But one thing which caught my attention in this IBN article is location Yamunanagar-Jagadhari in Haryana.This is my native place.


  101. Amitabh Bachchan ‏@SrBachchan

    T 812 – The ‘chautha’ of Rajesh Khanna.. aesthetic, filled with an air of admiration and the finale -a prerecorded msg to his well wishers !


  102. Shashi Kapoor made it here as well (I’ve added a video).


  103. Alex adams Says:

    Now this is a new angle, I didn’t know bout—oops
    Where was Rajesh Khanna’s family for last 10 years: Anita Advani



  104. Utkal Mohanty:

    (This is one of the finest pieces on Rajesh Khanna. I love the liane about balloons on the beach.)

    On Wednesday, July 18, the day Rajesh Khanna died, the news meant nothing to me. It was just one more thing to think about — commission a piece, organise photographs, et cetera. I thought of the Havells fans advert (I had just seen an image; I couldn’t bear to watch the whole thing).

    I chatted with friends about what a bad actor Rajesh Khanna was, and when a colleague asked me to write his obituary, I said, “I never cared for him, he was before my time; he couldn’t act — he was all mannerisms. There’s nothing to him apart from his songs.”
    And then it hit me, 24 hours later. Not Rajesh Khanna’s death. That I knew was coming. The minute I had heard that he had been admitted to the hospital for the second time, I knew. Second visits are scary. I know that from experience — the death of a dear friend’s father recently and my own mother’s death. She had cancer, but died of cardiac arrest, I think. The details are hazy, not important.
    For 24 hours, I had stayed away from the Rajesh Khanna deluge. I had not watched a single TV clip, had not listened to his songs, had not watched the TV coverage of his funeral. Yet, now, I was in full mourning. Why? Rajesh Khanna was never my hero; I was never his fan. His acting was funny — all ada and terribly corny lines.
    “I hate tears, Pushpa.” Really?
    I was mourning someone else’s death. A death I’ve mourned for years. When I was a teenager, I used to have a VHS tape of Anand. I hadn’t bought it. I just didn’t return it to the video parlour bhaiyya. On most days I would steer clear of it, averting my eyes. Seeing it, touching it meant I’d have to put it on, watch the whole film, howl, and then return to life knowing that all Anands will die. They always do. It’s a lie what Dr Bhaskar Banerjee says in the end: “Anand mara nahi. Anand marte nahi.” I had mourned Anand Sehgal’s death at least 70 times…



    • great read.. thanks..


    • Alex:

      ‘Acting capability’ or stylistic mannerisms!!
      Incited by the other piece-Thanx utkal uncle: u always come up with interesting stuff…
      ” “I never cared for him, he was before my time; he couldn’t act — he was all mannerisms”-that’s a v commonly held notion (including mine to an extent)
      Interestingly, all three of the Bollywood biggies who departed recently had this ‘honour’ somewhat -namely
      Dev anand, Shammi kapoor and Rajesh khanna
      Like most things, have watched only few of their films -ESP of khannas (maybe 4/5)
      The counter question though are–
      A)Does it matter if these three couldn’t act since without ‘acting capabilities’, they could engage the viewers and find resonance…
      B) how to judge which technique is ‘superior’ ie nuanced skillful acting or plain simple charm and charisma
      C) which of these qualities deserve more credit?
      D) how are these three gentlemen rated on these criteria
      Well, personally, the little of what I’ve seen of these
      None of them are great shakes acting wise (relatively speaking)–all knew the basics of ‘screen behaviour’ well and ‘audience manipulation’ even better!!
      Have a slight weakness for dev anand, followed by Shammi and Rajesh khanna purely on the basis of charm and charisma (@ their respective peaks)
      Ay other views welcome…


  105. The darker shades of superstar Rajesh Khanna’s life

    Mumbai: It is considered discourteous to write in negative tones after any person’s demise. Never speak ill of the dead, the saying goes. Journalists and writers, however, must remain faithful to their calling and document the truth about Rajesh Khanna before it is drowned in a crescendo of blandishments from publicity-hungry cronies.
    Rajesh Khanna’s worst enemies were the sycophants in his lifetime. They created the destructive genie which lurks within but is kept in leash by most of us. Not so with ‘Kaka’, as the actor was popularly known. He allowed his ego full play and, at a later date, even rued his lifestyle; but, by then, it was too late. He had alienated his well-meaning lady friends, his old schoolmates, his aides, servants and relatives.
    In hindsight, the only similar example from the world of cinema I can recall was the famed Howard Hughes, inventor, industrialist, film producer, director and a psychotic. Hughes is also credited with a film which is a media favourite, a veritable study guide for young film directors. For film historians it is the greatest film ever made: Citizen Kane.

    Howard Hughes introduced half a dozen girls to Hollywood, but he claimed that his best discovery was Jane Russel. After acting in a couple of films, Russell actually dumped Hughes, causing Hughes to withdraw into a private world of his own with very strict rules for all who had access to it. One former actress, Jean Peters, decided to stay with him until he died, sacrificing a promising career in Hollywood.
    The only thing that separates Rajesh Khanna from Hughes is that the former contributed nothing to the industry he served while Hughes founded an entire empire of companies under the Howard Hughes Corporation which included the Trans World Airlines, Texas Equipment Co. and an armament manufacturing company. On top of everything, Hughes made stars out of ordinary men and women.
    Kaka had a mean streak. He used his star power to demolish any opposition. Actress Anju Mahendroo could have much to add to my own story which I wish to share.
    The time was when Rajesh Khanna was about to get married to Dimple Kapadia after a long-drawn romance with Anju Mahendroo. The latter and her mother had a royal tiff with Khanna before Mahendroo walked out of the home in which she had been a regular. The film industry was with her. What made Kaka furious was the reaction from even his well-wishers. He blamed Mahendroo and her friends for all the negative publicity.
    My close friend Basu Bhattacharya had just completed his latest film “Daku” featuring Kabir Bedi and Anju Mahendroo. One working print was sent to Delhi by the producer for private screenings. The film came to me for tax exemption as I was the film expert on board the official committee of the Excise Department in the Delhi Administration.
    “Daku” was based on a novelette written by the famed Punjabi writer Amrita Pritam. The writer did not charge any royalty because she had tremendous regard for Basuda as a film director. The film was issued a tax exemption for a period of one month after its first week’s commercial run in Delhi. I had found the film worthy of the exemption.
    The film, however, was never released.
    Rajesh Khanna’s fierce battle with Mahendroo led him to order the private confiscation of all films in the country featuring her. He even went so far as to declare that he would pay double the cost incurred to all filmmakers with rights over their films in which Anju Mahendroo had a role. He demanded that even lobby prints, posters, trailers and advertisement films et al featuring Mahendroo be handed to him or his representative. He paid for all the material seized.
    The entire record of Mahendroo’s film career to date virtually disappeared. Films already released, like “Road to Sikkim”, were withdrawn. The advertisement for a well-known brand of talcum powder endorsed by Mahendroo also disappeared and, of course, there remained no trace of the film “Daku” .



    • Not sure if the info is correct on Daku. I am pretty sure it was released. It certainly does exist as I own a VCD! Not the most easily available film but that’s true for many others as well.

      On the Hughes thing he was one of the inspirations for Citizen Kane. The biggest and most obvious one was William Randolph Hearst. Don’t think Hughes was ‘credited’ with anything on the film as the author claims.

      Now it is otherwise true that Rajesh Khanna was drunk on his fame and glory as few stars ever were. Then again his late 20s or something he reached such unprecedented heights, more or less without a struggle, not sure how many people could have remained more ‘stable’ under the circumstances.


  106. Pics of Choutha


    ps: better pics at Firstpost but FP links don’t get through here, weird behaviour by WP


  107. ‘Rajesh Khanna did not care for anyone’
    Last updated on: July 23, 2012 18:39 IST

    Everyone loved Rajesh Khanna the superstar, but very few actually knew him.

    Journalist Ali Peter John, a close friend of Rajesh Khanna, followed his career closely and kept in touch till the very end.

    He shares some interesting facts about the icon with Patcy N:

    I have been following Rajesh Khanna for 35 years. I used to meet him during inter-collegiate competitions. He was from Mumbai’s KC College and I was from Bhavan’s. I was junior to him. He and Amjad (Khan) participated in college dramas.

    Rajesh Khanna came to the movies after winning a talent contest, and 12 producers had to give him a break because that was in the contract. The producers were known as United Producers and the head was GP Sippy who produced Sholay.

    So, when others were struggling, walking from studio to studio for a film role, Rajesh Khanna ‘struggled’ in an Impala. His first three films — Aakhri Khat, Raaz and Baharon Ke Sapne — were flops even though they were made by the best of directors — Chetan Anand, Narendra Bedi and Nasir Hussain.

    That’s when his struggle began, because no producer wanted to touch him and all the films that were launched were stalled.

    Then came Aradhana.

    After shooting eight reels of the film, Shakti Samanta wanted to change Rajesh Khanna as the leading star because no distributor was ready to buy a Rajesh Khanna film. Later, he decided against it and completed the film, with Sharmila Tagore as the heroine, who went on to do 12 films with Rajesh Khanna.

    There was no one in the theatre on the first day, first show at 12 o’clock. But by evening, the theatre was houseful.

    From then on every film was a super hit. There was a time when all the major theatres in Mumbai were screening just Rajesh Khanna films. Some did 100 or 75 weeks.

    Even a bad film was a silver jubilee, such was the craze. It was complete madness. After Rajesh Khanna, not one star has got such stardom, not even Amitabh Bachchan.

    After becoming a superstar, Rajesh Khanna started demanding more money — around Rs 10 lakh per film. He was paid more than Dev Anand, Dilip Kumar or Raj Kapoor.

    Success went to his head. When he first started throwing tantrums, producers did not mind. They thought he was a superstar and it was all right.

    But he started giving trouble to the same people who had made him. There were early morning shoots, but for him the day used to begin at 3 pm. He didn’t care if people had to wait for him on the sets. He thought Rajesh Khanna is God and no one dare deny him or question him.

    He was a very good actor. You give him dialogues and he will finish his whole day’s work in hours. So they couldn’t complain though they were losing money. Once the film was released, though, all the money was recovered because his films were hits. This went on for almost 10 years.

    I used to follow him to see what is this madness… why did girls come from all over India to meet him and stand outside his bungalow for two-three days just to get a glimpse of him?

    He would purposely make them wait, then finally come to the window and the girls would swoon.

    When his car came out of his bungalow it was stopped by the girls and smeared with lipstick.

    He started the trend of wearing jeans or pants and kurta, a trend followed even today.

    He dated Anju Mahendru and was going to marry her. She lived with him but ultimately, he presented her the bungalow in which she is living even today. He saw how popular Dimple (Kapadia) was and married her instead.

    Dimple was a huge fan of Rajesh Khanna. She was one of the fans who stood outside his bungalow. Rajesh Khanna’s career had started dipping and he thought marriage to Dimple would keep him in the limelight. He would do anything to be in the limelight.

    But he did not take care of her.

    His chamchas’ only job was to flatter his ego and they got paid for that. They came in the morning and Dimple had to look after them, serve them drinks and food.

    She could not take all this and one day she left with both their daughters. He never called her but he never abused or cursed her. In fact, in the later stages of his life, he apologised to her.

    There was a film called Majnu which Kamal Amrohi was going to direct. The mahurat for the film was very grand. The whole industry was invited and a huge set was created. Rakhee was the heroine of the film. But it was never made.

    After his marriage to Dimple, his career started going downhill but he did not reduce his price or change his attitude.

    Rajesh Khanna was a very good friend of Jaya Bhaduri. Jaya was madly in love with a then struggling actor Amitabh Bachchan. Rajesh Khanna would openly tell her not to roam around with Amitabh. “Kyun tum is aadmi ke saath ghumti ho? Tumhara kuch nahi hoga, this fellow cannot be a hero — this is my challenge,” he told her.

    After Namak Haram, Rajesh Khanna was so scared of Amitabh Bachchan’s success that he made his producers sign him for a movie to show that he was still the bigger actor.

    Rajesh Khanna was so depressed with Amitabh’s rise that he showed suicidal tendencies. He told me that one day he went to the terrace of his house and cried bitterly.

    He would insult Amitabh Bachchan and not recognise him. When he and Jaya were working together in Bawarchi, Amitabh would come to meet Jaya on the sets. Rajesh Khanna would not even acknowledge Amitabh.

    Jaya was very upset about this and one day she told him, “Ek din dekhna yeh kahan hoga aur tum kahan hogey (One day, you will see where he will be and where you will be)”

    He changed lines, he changed dialogues, he chose his scenes — he wanted dying scenes in every film because he thought that all the films where he died in the climax were hits.

    He wanted to die in Namak Haram too but the role demanded that Amitabh should die. He wanted dramatic deaths. He asked for a death sequence in Safar and Khamoshi.

    He was obsessed with death because Dilip Kumjar had died in his film and become a legend. In his first big film, Aradhana, Rajesh Khanna dies in the first half and that was a hit. So he wanted to die in every film.

    The only director that he was scared of was Hrishikesh Mukherjee with whom he has worked on Anand, Namak Haram and Bawarchi.

    Later, he was invited by Rajiv Gandhi to join politics. He lost the first election to LK Advani by a narrow margin but defeated Shatrughan Sinha in the by-election held after Advani vacated the New Delhi seat.

    He did not know anything about politics and did not do any work. He would ask Anand Bakshi to write lines for him and recite those poems at all his speeches. But he started losing and he failed in politics too.

    There was no work at all. Marriage, career, politics, production house… everything failed.

    He would come to his office at 3 pm and look out of the window till 6:30 pm. After that, he would start drinking till 4 am!

    Rajesh Khanna was wise in his investments, though. Even though he was not working, he had lots of investments. He lived like a king. Three years ago, he renovated his whole bungalow. It looks like a palace. People say Akshay (Kumar, his son-in law) has done it, but he told me that he did it himself and I think he did it because when I went there, he was directing the workers and generally supervising the work.

    His daughters want to convert the house into a Rajesh Khanna museum now.

    Once, the makers of Bigg Boss called me to fix a meeting with him; they wanted him in the Bigg Boss house. But he said, “Nahi, nahi, Rajesh Khanna aise show thodi karega.”

    I tried to convince him but he said no. The Colors people told me they were willing to pay Rs 3.5 crore for one episode, but still he said no. Then, a few days later, he called me and said he wanted to do the episode but by then Colors had lost interest.

    I met him two-and-a-half months before his death and asked him what had happened. He told me, “Agar Ghalib daaru peekar mar sakta hai, toh main kyun nahi?” (If Ghalib can die of drinking, why can’t I?)

    I didn’t want to meet him in the last days. He couldn’t speak at all and he had become one-fourth his size.



    • Re: “He wanted to die in Namak Haram too but the role demanded that Amitabh should die.”

      I don’t agree with this: given the shades of Beckett, it was always far more logical that Khanna should be the one who dies and haunts the survivor.


      • agreed..

        anyway a lot of these journalistic accounts should be taken with a pinch of salt.

        Incidentally there has also been a great deal of exaggeration about Rajesh Khanna since his death. As I keep saying one needn’t distort or belie the facts to offer a generous tribute. The worst offender here was Indian Idol where they said the other day that Khanna had rough 163 films to his credit (this includes all the guest roles and so on) and out of those 73 were golden jubilees and 22 were silver jubilees. This is such bull one wouldn’t know where to begin. They’re essentially saying 100 of those films were big hits. You know Rajesh Khanna does have half that number for his entire career. This is such nonsense! After ’74, his last important year you literally have to look for the hit. He definitely had some successes after this but the show was essentially over. Between Aradhana, his first big moment in ’69 and through the end of ’74 (this year he had multiple hits) or even beginning with his debut film a couple of year before Aradhana and then getting to ’74 he had 35 films. There are a number of clear flops here. Between ’75 and ’80 he has about 25 films as a lead. So if pretty much every single release of his between his debut and 1980 were a hit you still wouldn’t have more than 60 or so films! Actually I even overstated the case earlier. I am pretty sure you can’t even get to 50 combining his golden and silver jubilee hits.

        So this isn’t even exaggeration but such incredible bull! Meanwhile there were tributes that suggested he’d dominated till the 80s when Bachchan took over and what not.


        • Exaggeration is the stock-in-trade of the media these days: it doesn’t matter what the event is, it has to be hyped to death (no pun intended), almost as if the real event isn’t “enough.”


        • reproduced this comment on Bachchan’s blog but then also added this:

          [The past and the great figures of the past are not truly honored when the history is treated in such shoddy fashion. Sure, it makes for a lot of hype that everyone then forgets about in a few days. With most of the folks offering the tributes one got the sense they’d seen no more than 1.5 Rajesh Khanna films, 3.5 for some of the better informed ones! Rajesh Khanna’s extraordinary superstardom cannot be disputed. It was for a brief period but while he was at his peak he accomplished something unique. But that singularity he represented doesn’t have to be cheapened with such grossly incorrect claims or such idiotic hyperbole. One might feel that he’s being praised but I think that this kind of praise makes a travesty of everything.

          A few months ago that Apsara awards function (I put up the clip here the other day), where many industry luminaries were honored including Rajesh Khanna and Jayaji, revealed yet another example of the larger problem here. If you don’t value the history enough to keep revisiting it or at least to be informed enough on it this sort of thing is the result. On the one hand hyping a great star’s death in less than sincere ways. It could be any star. It just makes for good media copy. The narrative that is offered on the star’s life is quite often false. Also wrong on the facts. But the other side of this is the Apsara event. Or it is one symptom. What happened here? With all due respect to the award recipients, many of whom I greatly admire (not all) and/or have great affection for (not all) and certainly whose place I would never argue about irrespective of whether I personally like them or not, you saw this crazy kind of grouping where everyone from Dilip Kumar to Jayaji, Manoj Kumar to Vinod Khanna, Vyjanthimala to Shabana Azmi, Rajesh Khanna to Zeenat Aman, were on stage. What does this mean? A veritable shopping bag of history where everyone who’s essentially alive and from any generation could simply be honored in one go and be ‘accounted’ for this way?! To somehow celebrate a century of Indian cinema?! Give me a break. And what happened to Dharmendra, Jeetendra and so on. Perhaps they have received other honors here. Whatever the reason this is not how it’s done. If you want to get different generations in you should devote more time to the enterprise, do it more thematically. The approach they had is precisely the kind that comes out of a present which had little understanding of the historical record, little interest in it, little exposure to it. So any names will do just as well as others. Put them all together, give them short intros, ask them to say a few lines, once again abuse words like ‘legend’ and ‘superstar’ (evidently both Dilip Kumar and Zeenat Aman are equally legends!) and call it a night. It might seem that I’m being rather harsh on what was essentially a nice moment. But this kind of abstraction is precisely what is the problem. I was happy to seem some of these figures but honestly felt a bit sad for them too. One must honor people with more sincerity and more genuine gestures. But this isn’t surprising. when you have the attitudes of the present no more than this can be expected. Just say anything at the moment, create the right media event and move on.]


        • Couldn’t agree more on the media’s (and frankly, the general populace’s as well) utter disregard for the facts and complete ignorance (willful ignorance at that) of the history of Hindi cinema. That said, I do think it’s only through hindsight that we have clarity on the timeframe/duration of Rajesh Khanna’s stardom. I don’t think that in 1975 itself it was clear that he was over. That realization or coming to terms came a few years later. As a matter of fact, I vividly remember when “Muqqadar Ka Sikandar” came out and the media FINALLY and conclusively declared that Amitabh had surpassed Rajesh Khanna and crowned him as the new superstar. That was 1978.


          • rockstar Says:

            crowned superstar really lol they where looking for new one amitabh that year in 78 and ironically he deleivered 8 superhit that year



          • LOL, and that after 1978, arguably the most impressive year anybody has ever had…


          • yeah that’s probably right. Bachchan’s ’81 was pretty extraordinary with Naseeb, Lawaaris (released within 3 weeks of each other), Kaalia, Yaarana, Barsaat ki ek Raat but ’78 is still bigger with MKS (his biggest grosser if you leave aside SHolay), Don, Trishul, Kasme Vaade, Ganga ki Saugandh.


          • Yes, but also recall that given certain golden jubilees from the PREVIOUS year (AAA?) you had some of those films also running while the new ones were being released…pretty astounding.

            I remember (feeble) arguments about alternatives to cinema today, and how we can’t expect such dominance — but Bachchan films were facing stiff competition…from his own films! [I’m not being facetious: if a new film is disappointing, it’s going to suffer because you can always re-visit the superhit from two months ago. Today, if an Aamir or SRK film arrives once a year, you kind of HAVE to watch it.]


          • even that is late.. the audience and the industry new years earlier.. even the media acknowledged it in a negative way after Deewar.. but as far as the timeline goes he had zanjeer in ’73 followed by Abhimaan, Namak Haraam (where he overshadowed Khanna), finally in ’75 with Sholay and Deewar (had Majboor in ’74) and the rest is history. In ’77 for example he had Parvarish, AAA, Adaalat, Khoon Pasina. This became the norm for him.


          • rockstar Says:

            its a question of spirit :

            if a guy can survive death , a bofors and bankruptcy and can come back with broken ribs and ashtama at this guy then its will power and tough mental toughness

            interesting analogy was when khanna in his last film again tried to do nishabd ala wafa ….its clear who his inspiration was and again for his last ad he choose balki only


        • “he worst offender here was Indian Idol where they said the other day that Khanna had rough 163 films to his credit (this includes all the guest roles and so on) and out of those 73 were golden jubilees and 22 were silver jubilees. This is such bull one wouldn’t know where to begin. They’re essentially saying 100 of those films were big hits. You know Rajesh Khanna does have half that number for his entire career. This is such nonsense! After ’74, his last important year you literally have to look for the hit. He definitely had some successes after this but the show was essentially over.”

          No satyam, if you believe http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0004435/ – those nos. are true. They have also listed all the movieshe has done


          • Also, http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0004435/bio

            This page has some amazing stats. abt RK including his fees in 70s – now in that decade – he made 4-5 cr (which is very huge I guess because at that time even 5 paise had lot of value and he bought his bungalow ashirvad from rajendra in just 3.5 lacs!!!!) – this is awesome….and he truely lived like a king as mentioned in the link above…..he continued getting good money even in 80s


          • I’m not arguing about the total number, just the hits!


  108. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0004435/bio

    This page has some amazing stats. abt RK including his fees in 70s – now in that decade – he made 4-5 cr (which is very huge I guess because at that time even 5 paise had lot of value and he bought his bungalow ashirvad from rajendra in just 3.5 lacs!!!!) – this is awesome….and he truely lived like a king as mentioned in the link above…..he continued getting good money even in 80s


    • I don’t think he recorded it..but more like in front of audience giving lecture. His voice is strong.


      • yeah that’s the surprising bit..


      • Re : I don’t think he recorded it..but more like in front of audience giving lecture. His voice is strong

        That’s the Sign of Great performer 🙂


        • oldgold Says:

          He says ‘aaj yahan aap log itni badi tadad mein ayen hain’ which makes one think, was he speaking at some gathering at some point? Would he know that many people would come for his chautha?

          Yet, again his acceptance of his fallen state from that of a super star so philosophically, without bitterness at all could only be during the near end.
          He must have thought about it and recorded this long before his illness when he was so frail and probably couldn’t have had such a powerful voice.

          Whatever the case, he spoke very well.


        • It’s evident that the tape was made from excerpts of a previous or a couple of previous speeches at gatherings (I’d say around 2006 or so as he mentions ‘chaalis saal pehle’ in there). That wonderful VOICE had reduced to a whisper before he passed away (the Havell’s ad voiceover was done by a dubbing artist). I guess the family put it together because it was so apt. They did a good job. There’s a transcript too but it’s pretty bad. And as happens with quick jobs, the transcription left out large chunks of the speech. It was really beautiful, the words he used, the way he did it – lesson in dialogue delivery…..


      • Somehow “time up ho gaya–pack up” is suspect too. I think that is what he would have wanted to say last and it was accordingly conveyed to Bacchan per his instructions. I haven’t seen death in close proximity but it strikes me that last words are more like aaah or something.


  109. Am putting up the ‘making of Havell’s ad video’ which I came across today while going through a writer-journo-blogger’s blog. I’m sure it would have been put up earlier, still…


  110. bachchan1 to 10 Says:


  111. ‘Pancham bade dil wala hai, said Rajesh Khanna’

    New Delhi: “I hope you are not a very expensive heart surgeon, I may need your services some day!” This was Rajesh Khanna’s prayer to cardiologist Mukesh Hariawala when the superstar called on legendary composer RD Burman after the latter had been operated upon in a London hospital.

    It was the fifth day after the now US-based Hariawala’s bypass surgery of Burman at London’s Princess Grace Hospital. Rajesh Khanna trooped in with Aradhana director Shakti Samanta. The year was 1989, Hariawala recalled to IANS in an interview from Boston.

    Courtesy: ibn live
    On seeing Pancham, as RD Burman was known, in hospital, Rajesh Khanna remarked: “I was looking for you in the recording studio, but they told me you are in a London hospital.”

    “Toh pehli flight lee, aur seedha yahan chala aya. (So I took the first flight and came here straight).” Burman died in 1994, and Rajesh Khanna, aka Kaka, breathed his last July 18.

    “I firmly believe that Rajesh Khanna and RD Burman were destined to be soul mates. The affectionate bonding between Pancham and Kaka was visibly touching,” said Hariawala.

    The two have together given evergreen hits. While Pancham composed melodies like “Zindagi ke safar mein guzar jaate, O mere dil ke chain and Yeh shaam mastani, the actor added his spark on the silver screen.

    Hariawala recalled how Rajesh Khanna wanted to take Burman out of the hospital to a nearby pub for a beer, but the doctor declined to give the permission. “Rajesh Khanna was disappointed but in a gentlemanly manner apologised for suggesting to break hospital rules,” the doctor said. “As an alternative, he then spoke of plans to celebrate the success of the surgery,” said Hariawala.

    In the hospital, Burman boasted to Rajesh Khanna that Hariawala had observed that his (Burman’s) heart was physically larger than most people’s.

    The superstar immediately responded with a smile: “Puri duniya jaanti hai ki Pancham bade dilwale hain. (The world knows that Pancham is a large-hearted man).”


  112. Outlook:

    View From Pakistan
    Beyond Borders
    In 1969, people from Peshawar descended on Kabul in droves to watch Aradhana. And when Rajesh Khanna died, notwithstanding a few rants, Pakistanis also mourned the demise of the prince of passion.
    Mohammad Taqi

    Many say Jitin Arora was born in Amritsar, India while some others claim he may have been born in Burewala in what is now Pakistan but most agree that as Rajesh Khanna he lived in the hearts of millions from Kabul to Kolkata, and beyond. I say most, as even when the prince of romance is mourned everywhere Hindi and Urdu are understood, some like a Pakistani television anchor Talat Hussain opted to deride him quite viciously. In his show dated July 19, 2012, which can be found at http://bit.ly/MuFrV3, Mr. Hussain disparages the media coverage of Rajesh Khanna’s demise on the pretext of evaluating its news value. The anchor’s barely concealed xenophobia is most unfortunate but let it not take away from what Kaka, as Rajesh was affectionately called, meant to literally hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis.

    Pakistani governments had opted to first levy heavy taxes on the Indian films to curb import and then banned them initially in the western wing in 1952 and eventually even in East Pakistan by 1962. But it is still hard to erect barriers to popular culture, especially where the historical and linguistic bonds unite people despite the state ideology or political dispensation. When Doordarshan India started its telecast to Lahore it attracted not just the locals but also many others who could manage to travel to Lahore. On the other hand, Peshawar’s lifeline to the Indian cinema turned out to be the metropolitan Kabul of 1960s and 1970s. Theaters like the Temurshahi, Kabul Nandareh, Zainab Nandareh and Behzad screened new Bombay movies in Kabul. And as one Peshawari elder put it, they “descended upon Kabul to watch Aradhana in hordes”. Indeed one need not look beyond that 1969 release to grasp the magic of Rajesh Khanna.

    The chemistry between Rajesh and his leading lady Sharmila Tagore in Aradhana, and thereafter, was almost palpable. Add to it Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar’s playback rendition to Sachin Dev ‘SD’ Burman’s music and there was no looking back for Rajesh. The beat, rhythm and use of orchestra to produce an exceedingly contemporary melody – as against SD’s semi-classical and folk-based tunes – in one song at least, also had the unmistakable fingerprint of SD’s son Rahul Dev Burman, whose name appeared as the assistant music director. Kishore Kumar and RD Burman became to Rajesh what Mukesh and Shankar-Jai Kishan were to the great Raj Kapoor. The trio did some 32 movies together. Rajesh was to later say to the documentary filmmaker Jack Pizzey about Kishore: “This is one of those playback singers … I mean … you hear the playback singer and you feel it is me who is singing …more or less … lots of similarity between his voice and my voice … only thing is that he can sing, I can’t!”

    About that song Nilanjana Bhattacharjya notes in a 2009 study on the Hindi film song sequence in the periodical Asian Music: “Roop Tera Mastana (Your Beauty Intoxicates Me) from Aradhana, for example, unfolds in a secluded log cabin in Kashmir. The lyrics to the song annotate the rising level of passion between the couple amidst their awareness that despite having eloped, they approach dangerous territory. The lyrics effectively rule out any need for dialogue as the song sequence depicts a young man and young woman drawn increasingly closer before cutting to an unrelated scene the next morning.”

    The Hindi film music and lip-syncing are virtually synonymous but this song sequence perhaps is unique in that Rajesh matched the range of Kishore’s voice only through the panoply of his expression without moving his lips. And did the male protagonist Arun’s body language and gaze fixed on Vandana, the female lead, delivered – and evoked – every emotion it could or what! Perhaps inspired by this and similar song sequences, Jack Pizzey had to say: “Kissing may be forbidden on the Indian screen but Rajesh has found more ways of implying love than the Kama Sutra has of making it!”

    Little wonder that the movie, which on the face of it was a maternal melodrama, practically broke every taboo on sensuality in the Indian cinema and established Rajesh Khanna as the unmistakable prince of passion. He essayed the double role of a father and son, both dapper air force officers, in a movie that condemns a woman’s victimization at one level and at another more sublime one punishes her for a ‘lapse of judgment’. Unlike majority of Hindi movies the real protagonist of the movie is Vandana and no surprise that Sharmila Tagore’s powerful performance landed her the Filmfare award for best actress that year. Rajesh, however, came out of Aradhana as the heartthrob, whose mention forever would entail anecdotes about how girls would slap kisses on his car, write letters to him in their blood or marry his picture.

    The Rajesh Khanna phenomenon was actually the sub-continental middleclass finding its first original celebrity post-1947. Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand were past their prime in more ways than one. The Nehruvian ethos of the former two especially was ready to be replaced by something more compatible with the increasingly urbanizing masses that were craving, yet not willing, to let go of the tradition. In Pakistan Rajesh was not quite the idol of the Anglicized upper crust and obviously not of the ideologically anchored-types. That is in fact true for whole commercial Hindi cinema. But Rajesh’s appeal was in the mohallahs and streets of the large and small towns where the arrival of the videocassette recorder (VCR) in 1980s provided the young and old an opportunity to cram through his entire filmography. There was hardly a neighborhood in any town where the local “music center” would not have at least his first 13 blockbusters. In a way, arrival in the Pakistani market via the VCR gave Rajesh certain immunity against the box-office as the barometer of success and forever archived his image as the quintessential flamboyant romantic.

    Rajesh Khanna was a Bollywood icon when there was no Bollywood, Bombay had not become the puritanical Mumbai yet, and Pakistan, of course had not produced its own version of Bal Thackerays. The news value of anything and how it should be slotted is certainly debatable but let there be no doubt that to Pakistanis too Rajesh Khanna’s death means the passing of an era. He will always be remembered as The Superstar – the one for whom the term was coined. RIP Kaka!


    Dr. Mohammad Taqi is a regular columnist for Daily Times, Pakistan. He can be reached at mazdaki@me.com or via Twitter @mazdaki


  113. Outlook

    Zindagi Ka Suffer
    Rajesh Khanna was the last star, from an era when India was still innocent
    Vir Sanghvi

    There is a scene at the end of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s 1971 masterpiece, Anand, where Rajesh Khanna has just died and Amitabh Bachchan, playing his doctor and friend, sits distraught at his bedside. Then, just as Amitabh finishes his lines, Rajesh’s voice is heard, emerging not from the dead man but booming out of a tape-recorder.

    That scene replayed itself again and again in my mind as I watched the TV footage of a dismayed Bachchan visiting ‘Aashirwad’ after the real-life Rajesh Khanna’s death. Even as the cameras zoomed in on Amitabh, the voice-overs were all about Rajesh Khanna, the once and forever superstar.

    When Anand was made, Rajesh Khanna was the biggest star of his time and Amitabh a virtual unknown. In less than a decade, Khanna’s career would be in terminal decline, while Bachchan would become the emperor of Hindi cinema. But as Amitabh himself has often said, nothing in his career has ever approached the hysteria that Rajesh Khanna generated. The whole of India went Khanna-crazy, his mere presence on a street could cause a riot, girls married his photograph, women wrote letters in blood to him, children idolised him and he was the son that every mother wished she had.

    Couples Rajesh and Dimple, Amitabh and Jaya, in 1973. (Photograph by Indian Express Archive)

    Bear in mind that all this was before the explosion of mass media. There were no TV channels to promote his movies, far fewer newspapers and magazines to celebrate his success and no Twitter to allow his fans to cultivate his legend. All Rajesh Khanna had going for him was his charisma.

    And in those days, that was enough. In many ways, Rajesh Khanna was the last star. He was like one of the heroes of 1920s Hollywood, who became the characters they portrayed on the screen. Certainly, there was a side to Khanna that his fans never saw. He was always late for shoots. He routinely kept his co-stars waiting. He would make producers come for script readings and then forget to turn up. He was moody, capricious and prone to extended sulks. He bought into his own legend (and that of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a book he treated as his own biography), creating an off-screen persona that mirrored its screen counterpart, spouting dialogues, forever crinkling his eyes and favouring extravagant gestures.

    He liked his chamchas and his camp followers. He gave boastful interviews (to The Illustrated Weekly, for instance) saying he had “been intimate” with some of his co-stars but complaining that a few had bad breath. He liked his liquor and made no secret of it. And like the great Hollywood stars of the 1920s, he expected the world to dance to his tune. When his career collapsed, it was partly because he made disastrous film choices. By then, people had stopped telling him what he did not want to hear. And, moody and introverted, he saw enemies everywhere and resorted to bombast to bolster his confidence.

    But mainly, it was that the era had changed. By the time he had become too old to play the young romancer, and India had lost its innocence. Once audiences had thrilled to Rajesh Khanna’s smile and copied the outlandish fashions he promoted: double-breasted shirts, short kurtas, V-necked shirts, belted safari jackets etc. Now an angrier audience wanted the smouldering intensity of Amitabh Bachchan. If Khanna had kept the tailors in business, Bachchan simply knotted his shirt at the waist or wore a banian.

    Off camera too, Bachchan was the anti-Khanna. He never missed a shoot. He was always on time. He was polite, well-mannered and never lost his temper. He did not touch alcohol. He did not insult his co-stars. He had no camp and no chamchas. And he kept his own personality entirely separate from the street fighters he played on the screen. Plus, Bachchan had an advantage that Khanna never possessed. He could convincingly bash up the villain. Khanna lacked the physicality for action and as the fashion for angry, fight-packed movies took over, he seemed increasingly isolated, a sad and puffy reminder of India’s age of innocence.

    And yet, as the outpouring of grief and emotion over the last few days demonstrates, many of us still long for the romance that Rajesh Khanna symbolised. We grieve for the loss of our innocence and we look back fondly to that gentle era when lovers serenaded pretty girls in trains and when drunks always sang in tune. Perhaps Rajesh Khanna’s career flamed out because India changed so quickly and perhaps his reign at the top was so brief because the light that burns twice as bright can only last half as long.

    Like some blazing meteor, Rajesh Khanna shot swiftly through our world, lighting up our lives as he passed. RIP.


    • wonderful image here.

      On the piece itself the cliche about ‘lost innocence’ is quite ancient! I also note how many in the media have used bachchan’s own words to assert that ‘Rajesh Khanna was the incomparable superstar’. Bachchan’s words have never as easily settled a debate before this!


    • The piece sadly misreads Bachchan’s work, especially in the 1970s — how many films did he play a “street fighter” in in that entire decade? Certainly that wouldn’t characterize his roles in any of the Mukherjee films, any of the Yash Chopra films, Zanjeer, Namak Haram etc.


    • Brilliant stuff by Vir Singhvi.
      “He bought into his own legend (and that of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a book he treated as his own biography)”

      Jonathan Livingston Seagull …what a book! A book written by a not so great writer but can easily compare with the great Hemingway’s “The old man and the sea”…. perhaps this(JLS) is the only book which can explain and sort of justify the “moody, capricious and prone to extended sulks”…nature of Rajesh Khanna at his peak.
      The book is an unabashed celebration of wanton individualism…..a paean to human Ego and its glory.
      As the poet Allama Iqbal said:
      “Yeh maauje nafas kya hai talwaar hai
      Khudi kya hai talwaar ki dhaar hai.”
      “What is this life that breathes in us…..but like a sword
      What is human Ego…..the sharpened edge of this sword.”
      And now shamelessly coming back to my favorite theme “Osho”….like a true blood fan woman…. Jonathan Livingston Seagull was a personal favorite of Osho too(perhaps it explains his own radical and individualistic behaviour)
      Here is a list of Osho’s favorite books(from the great author’s of the past)…..they include some very interesting titles….have a look:


  114. RIP Kaka
    Rajesh Khanna: The star who died twice
    Mahesh Bhatt | July 21, 2012

    On one birthday, the flowers stopped coming to his bungalow. That was when he realised it was all over. I will never be Rajesh Khanna again.

    And then one day, the flowers stopped coming… They used to come in truckloads. My entire bungalow would be converted into a garden. There wouldn’t be an inch that wasn’t filled with flowers. The entire house became a perfumed garden! And then, one birthday, there was nothing. Not one bouquet. Nothing, ” said Rajesh Khanna to me unflinchingly, looking at that painful moment with an almost masochistic half smile on his face. “That was the day I realised that the best years of my life were behind me. There wasn’t going to be a second innings. I will never be Rajesh Khanna again. ”

    I had run into Rajesh Khanna on a flight from Patna to Mumbai. He looked like a king without a kingdom. But even in that mournful state, he had this air of splendour about him.

    I was moved by the strength and audacity with which Rajesh Khanna spoke. After all, here was the man whom I had seen at the pinnacle of glory. The year was 1970, and I had started my career as a production hand with Raj Khosla’s iconic film Do Raaste, which worked as a springboard to his superstardom. I remember being privy to a conversation at the Golden Jubilee of Do Raaste, in the early hours of a breaking dawn, at the Sun n Sand Hotel in Juhu, Mumbai, where seniors like Anand Bakshi, Laxmikant and Raj Khosla still sat down and drank and we menials attended to their needs, and played bartenders.

    The greatest showman India has ever seen, Raj Kapoor, who had just had the debacle of Mera Naam Joker, was in a melancholy mood, and I overheard him wooing Rajesh Khanna to star in his forthcoming film, thereby averting his landslide into the abyss of oblivion. “Don’t punish me for my stardom sir please, ” Rajesh told Raj Kapoor. “The manner in which you are talking to me demeans me. I can’t have greats like you speaking to me like this. Order me and I will play the role of an extra in your film, ” he said.

    Such was the stardom of Rajesh Khanna. When he walked into that party, I was serving whiskey to the he-man Dharmendar, who had just started working in one of our forthcoming films, Mera Gaon, Mera Desh. Suddenly, Rajesh entered the room and the whole room gravitated in his direction, leaving Dharamji alone with me in that corner. Dharamji looked with admiration at that sight, as flash bulbs went off blindingly, and turning to me generously conceded, “Now that is what I call a superstar”.

    But just as the story of the mythical Icarus is incomplete without his fall, the story of Rajesh Khanna does not end with him being a superstar. I am reminded of a day two years ago. I am at the Kolkata airport waiting for my late night flight. A good-looking ground staffer walks up to me and asks me why we contemporary filmmakers don’t look after the icons of yesteryear. “It was very sad sir, to see the great Rajesh Khanna, whom we have loved, sitting in the airport lounge, weeping inconsolably and totally drunk, ” he said to me. “Can’t you people make a system to protect your screen idols of the past? They need to be protected sir. They are our national treasures. Our memories are attached to them. ”

    But little did this well-meaning young man know that in showbiz, when the arc lights go off someone, they become invisible. No one sees them. This is the journey of the alone to the alone. Unless a star who is way past his prime re-invents himself, like some have done, they just fade away like dying meteors. This business chews you up and spits you out on the sidewalk. This is planet Bollywood after all. The ‘has-beens’ are only pulled out from the dustbin of history and written about when they die.

    The extensive media coverage of Rajesh Khanna’s death has kept journalists and camera crews occupied for more than thirty six hours now. Alas, he had to die to be on every headline once again. If only there was a way to make him see that with his death he has once again touched the ‘glory’ which had abandoned him years ago. That bitch goddess called fame was once again seen hovering around his abode Ashirwad which was once upon a time in the seventies, a kind of a shrine for the who’s who of the film industry.

    There is no disputing that Rajesh Khanna was a cultural icon. His contribution to the world of movies defines that specific period of Indian cinema that belonged to innocence and romance. He kept the fairy tale of enduring love and the triumph of goodness alive till the angry young man Amitabh Bachchan tore that narrative to shreds with Salim-Javed’s Deewar and Zanjeer. Once that happened, it was the beginning of the end of this superstar called Rajesh Khanna.

    It is said that great people die twice. Once when their greatness dies;and secondly, when they physically die. And if the time gap between these two points is a long one, the icon suffers unimaginable anguish.
    As a public figure, Rajesh Khanna’s slow and painful death forces us to deal with the passage of time and mortality – his and ours. I believe the enormity of the response to Rajesh Khanna is more about us. As someone else’s death always does, or at least should, it reminds us that we too are mortal. For people of my generation, the passing of Rajesh Khanna is a profound loss, because our lives played out against the backdrop of his stardom. And with his passing away, a bit of us dies. The human race creates heroes just so that they can insulate us from the terror of death. We do not like it when a hero like him, whose movies have enchanted us, is devoured by time. And with him dies our fairytale dream of immortality.

    The death of Rajesh Khanna has brought the dread of our own mortality into the centrestage of our consciousness. It will take a lot out of us to cope with this event. For me and most of us, living with the certainty of death is like trying to enjoy a car ride knowing that the road heads straight off a cliff. Rajesh Khanna had kept us distracted for a while. But with his absence, the cliff seems to be inching closer.


  115. Alex adams Says:

    Mahesh Bhattaks post on ‘kaka’
    There has been a sudden spurt of writeups on Rajesh khanna, but didn’t care to read any of them properly, frankly speaking
    Don’t really find em honest wherein an erstwhile super famous person has to die to suddenly become relevant (but only for a few days till the next headline!!)
    To this effect, the above post by mahesh Bhatt-ak is the only one I’ve probably read-since there is a rare insight, honesty and empathy…
    Will rate it as one of the best I’ve read on Rajesh kbanna this week or so ( other than the one where utkal uncle transported us to his younger boys hostel days …)
    And the name ‘Bhatt-ak’ is not a typo…
    More than saaraansh or arth, it is ‘naam’ where he showed his true class–bhattak shows he may have lost his way, but not his understanding of human relations and psyche by this post on ‘kaka’


    • this Tom Alter tribute is wonderful as well:


      On Bhatt his debut film with Kabir Bedi, Manzilen Aur Bhi Hain, ought to be checked out.


      • oldgold Says:

        This was the best as far as I’m concerned. A piece written to acknowledge the death of someone held in great esteem at first and later in memory of those glorious days.

        Mahesh Bhatt’s piece is good too, though his observation that;

        > Rajesh Khanna’s slow and painful death forces us to deal with the passage of time and mortality – his and ours.

        …is underestimating people. We all are aware of the passage of time, and mortality. It’s not as if people have suddenly woken up to this fact. Death in the family being a major reason for learning to deal with it.

        Statements like;
        >The human race creates heroes just so that they can insulate us from the terror of death

        ….is an unnecessary attempt at philosophising.
        There are several statements here which seem to be just searching to grasp something to form profound theories.

        Feelings are best left to simplicity of thought.
        Coming up with theories makes it dry and very objective.


    • @ alex
      Must say have to agree with you there. From Amitabh’s rather formal tight lipped prose(sorry to displease satyam)….to the maudlin piece by Tom Alter……not to speak of countless others……no other condolence on the demise of Khanna…..has the insight which Mahesh Bhatt effortlessly shows in his tribute.
      A rare insight, honesty and empathy……indeed.


      • i think only mahesh bhatt was capable of writing it….his forte is human relations and the psyche


      • Mahesh Bhat is not a simple bird but the one who has lived life through all phases from neglect to bohemian to Osho ( was disappointed ) and finding last refuge in U G Krishnamurti …

        Been there and seen all ..


        • @ Bliss
          Totally agree. Only to clarify a point here. Mahesh Bhatt’s disappointment regarding Osho had more to do with the fact that Osho was not personally catering to him.Osho had 10 million followers all over the world…and the neglect and lack of special treatment shown to Mahesh Bhatt hurt his ego and made him leave.It was Vijay Anand who had brought him and they both left together.
          Both of them got these things(special treatment) from UG.
          UG is no mystic in my eyes.He is just a frustrated and abusive joker who had knowledge of philosophy and mysticism.
          Jiddu and Osho were the genuine stuff….men with superabundant consciousness.U can see that evident in the stillness of their body language(that was not an act).
          The reason why Osho scores over Jiddu is that Osho had a lot of juice and humor while Jiddu was dry.Listening to Jiddu is like eating bread with sand.


  116. The truth of it aside, in this moment I imagine it must be hard on Bachchan to see the posthumous narratives that link his meteoric ascendance to Khanna’s downfall. There are just so many pieces out there right now that at the very least make mention of this and while it’s pretty much an accurate assessment of what occurred the extent to which this has been echoed has got to be disconcerting.


    • “The truth of it aside, in this moment I imagine it must be hard on Bachchan to see the posthumous narratives that link his meteoric ascendance to Khanna’s downfall.”
      what was that?….no one is ever ashamed of his past or present success.success is its own justification and reward.
      It must be hard on Amitabh bachchan???…hahahaha
      leaving fake modesty aside….the will to power is the basic urge.


      • It’s not at all not a matter of shame or false modesty. Just that I doubt Bachchan gets much pleasure from seeing the reams of articles that repeat the idea of his ascension functioning as a symbolic professional “death knell” to Khanna’s career. Quite the opposite is the case, I suspect.


    • that’s quite true..

      on a related note this was part of a comment I left on his blog, looking at things from the other side:

      [There has often been discussion, including on my part, about how his history crashed into yours, was truncated by it. And of course larger historical tides as well. at the same it has less often been remarked on how his history informs your thinking or has always governed it. This is just intuitive on my part but I think his example has always been a very sobering one for you. Javed Akhtar has talked about how when you got your success and kept building on it and made your own history.. that everytime he ran into you and congratulated you you always responded with ‘this will only be there for 2-3 years’ and his riposte would eventually be ‘you always promise to fade in 2-3 years but never quite live upto that promise’! Javed Akhtar as always magical with words! I recall reading this interview more than 20 years ago. But what he didn’t add there (though he might know it) is that the Rajesh Khanna specter kept haunting you. And appropriately so. Because if a man who knew those heights could have been dealt such a cruel hand by fate really anything could happen to anyone. 99% of stars forget this. even as you kept going from strength to strength you did not. Of course this is always about one’s character ultimately but the Rajesh Khanna example was perhaps decisive in many ways.]


    • and this is today’s comment following on your cue:

      [It must be disconcerting beyond a point to have to read so many write-ups on Rajesh Khanna where your history is always brought into the equation. Quite naturally I think but still it must be a bit strange to be considered a great factor or ‘the’ factor responsible for his professional demise. The other day I came at all of this from the other side of the equation. The extent to which I think his history haunted you throughout your career. In the late 80s when you were having some trouble with your films Rajesh Khanna said in an interview that when he saw your mistakes he was reminded of his own. Of course this was a bit self-serving on his part as his ‘mistakes’ came about in his 30s while yours (to accept his terms for a moment) happened when you were approaching 50! An age when even for a star of your event-like status serious reinvention was required. No matter how great the star there is one thing which cannot be conquered and this is of course time. A lot of times one might wonder why you express such a sense of loss about not being ‘in the sun’ anymore given how successfully you have defied age and maintained your transcendence, even increased your stature in so many measurable ways. But this is understandable. Because the peak you’ve known was a glory of such blaze and blinding light that anything else must necessarily seem like a comedown. But I introduced Rajesh Khanna for a reason. Of course the symmetry he tried to establish with your career couldn’t be more ‘wrong’. However (and to continue my armchair psychoanalysis a bit more! for which I hope you’ll forgive me..) I think that there is a strange intuition hidden here. When you did experience a certain professional decline perhaps you had prepared for it all too well, learning all the while from Rajesh Khanna’s cautionary tale. Even though you spent so many years dominating the scene in the most absolute sense whereas his success was truly that Shakespearean ripple that dissipates relatively quickly perhaps emotionally your always occupied a very ‘compressed’ sort of time frame. When one is always very afraid of death even though one might live for many years this period will always seem very condensed. Similarly no matter how many years you enjoyed at the top perhaps these always seemed like two year segments for you or when these got extended your anxiety only increased. Because this was in a sense terra incognita. The industry had seen great stars who enjoyed longevity and the industry had seen a superstar who was only gifted with a very ephemeral period of success but no one had ever seen these two elements combined. And so as you extended your ‘reign’ you perhaps experienced a sense of vertigo with much greater intensity. Finally when the ‘decline’ came you were in a way all too prepared for it because you have never stopped being haunted by Rajesh Khanna’s specter. You always defined your present throughout your peak period as always potentially ‘ended’. Perhaps then the ‘fall’ such as it was came to you with a certain emotional force.. as if you too had never seen more than the few years Rajesh Khanna enjoyed. Objectively the opposite was true but perhaps it wasn’t in this deep inner sense. which is not to say that great success does not in any case create that strong vertigo. Almost as a universal condition. But in your instance the haunting was just too profound throughout.

      One of the problems associated with being a public figure is that you have to put up with a great deal of commentary of all kinds and which sometimes includes this kind of pop psychological analysis! The star is annoyed by the naive, superficial biographer but perhaps much more wary (if not afraid) of the bolder one. With good reason!

      It is true that one’s inner self will always be of the order of a secret. Never completely transparent even to the most sincere, deep analysis. But it is equally true that the ‘fiction’ properly constructed can establish an economy with the secret. Even though the latter does not thereby become more ‘known’. Fictions are dangerous.. without one realizing it these secretly alter one’s ‘secret’…]


      • Someone on Bachchan’s blog said he didn’t agree with my reading as Bachchan had always been humble and so on. I said none of that contradicted my reading. Furthermore the whole notion of a ‘secret’ and/or ‘fiction’ implicated here could not be missed.


    • Shalini Says:

      Satyam, have you read the joint interview Amitabh and Rajesh did back in 1990? I think it corroborates, though that may be too strong a term, your “psychoanalysis” of what Rajesh K’s rise and fall meant to both of them and what lesson(s) each derived from it. I also think GF’s instinct is correct and AB is probably distressed by being constantly cast as the Yamadut of Rajesh Khanna’s career!


  117. Alex adams Says:

    Yes: bhatts done the drill…
    “we menials attended to their needs, and played bartenders.”
    Good to see him graciously admitting to this
    Also this is what these ‘star kids’ probably miss….
    A telling mention of raj kapoors ‘desperation’…
    This post is filled with some telling moments–unsurprisingly, the only khanna ‘tribute’ post where my gaze stopped and I actually read…. Lol
    Khanna-bachchan ‘celebration’ pic
    Really liked this pic-a collectors item
    Like the child like ‘happy’ khanna (slightly inebriated) & bachchan struggling with the booze bottle-must be a newcomer in that then..
    Also note how the ‘ladies’ are quietly watching the blokes show their ‘manhood’ and quietly watching them consuming the booze (& not having some of their own!!)-illustrative of the times
    Loved the look in khannas eyes there…

    And look @ the ‘shy’ dimple–a distant contrast from her eventual ‘saagar’ (ahem beach) days….
    So much detail in one pic….like it


    • Alex adams Says:

      Bachchan -khanna ‘celebration’ pic-addendum
      Contd from above-
      Now have seen this pic for the first time…
      As always i get excited about small ‘trivial’ things while mostly can stay unmoved by big essays/complete movies etc.
      a photo speaks thousand words (love photography myself)
      A) just check out jaya bachchans ‘ultrashy’ expression
      Obviously, it’s a genuine one since not part of any film
      Why? Is it bcos bachchan is doing a ‘sin’ of opening a bottle of booze or what!!
      B) khanna is clearly in his own ‘giddy’ plane not caring a damn about anything and just ogling the booze
      C) bachchan clearly doesn’t drink alcohol and probably has never handled many bottles (till then)
      But here, it’s too much for a ‘gentleman’ in him to deny khanna the ‘company’
      D) and look at the homely dimple-couldn’t recognise her
      Now in Hindi films, she is an ‘aunty’ I always found attractive..but hadn’t seen her like this (b4 this pic)
      Think folks have had enuf of my body language analysis of one pic -will stop 🙂


  118. oldgold Says:


    I read somewhere that ABsr is going to be a torch bearer in London tomorrow.


  119. Alex adams Says:

    Ya: am not really that interested in Olympics as of now
    The confusion about the new ‘Olympic lanes’ is bothersome while driving for eg 🙂


  120. The guy showing his one finger is saying: Come on Amitabh!…bus ek bottle.ek bottle se kuch nahi hota…. beer hai…daaru thore hai!
    Amitabh: haan…eh!….bottle khul hi nahi raha.
    Jaya is thinking: My god! what are they doing to my pati parmeshwar!
    Rajesh khanna(probably on his 5th bottle)…is thinking: “Kaun kambakht nasha hosh mein rehne ke liye karta hai!
    Dimple is totally vacant.she is probably staring at the fat finger and imagining something similar.


  121. Alex adams Says:

    Hahah anjali: that was a good analysis… ^^
    “Dimple is totally vacant. she is probably staring at the fat finger and imagining something similar.”–shhh, double meaning lol ….
    Talking of dimple: reminds me–where did Di/dimple disappear !!!
    Di has not liked the role I have her in my spoof.
    C’mon Di-next time-
    how many deepikas and Diana pantys can I possibly have in one film….lol

    and talking of dimple–a tribute
    Will post this for anjali, Oldgold, Di and Amy (know she is reading)-gud nite


  122. LOL, they’ve made a whole movie out of this with that narration!


    • what a beautiful piece this is in every sense..

      and only Rangan could have mentioned Ashanti! A guilty pleasure incidentally!


      • Beautiful piece indeed but there is isn’t very much about Khanna there; rather its about Rangan’s relation to that period that Khanna evokes. The Mahesh Bhatt tribute with its first hand reminiscences remains my favorite.

        I rather think that an apt goodbye song for RK, one that effectively captures the early 70s zeitgeist and RK’s place in it is “bye bye Miss Goodnight” (can’t link to youtube right now). Oh there are other songs where he oozes his legendary charm as well but this has the words bye bye and good night.

        And thats what we want to remember, not the Havell’s “cadaver” (as Rangan so harshly puts it). Khanna shouldn’t have done the ad–it serves neither him nor Havell. Rather than take us down memory lane (and an impulse purchase), it brings up a new equation altogether. At the very least we are forced to reckon with a fallen idol and … realize we may not have loved kaka as much as we thought we did.


        • But I think Rangan’s point is that all such reminiscence is really autobiographical.. the ‘factual’ stuff about the star can be ‘reported’ by any one. The star then emerges through this ‘personal’ experience.


  123. http://rajaswaminathan.blogspot.com/2012/07/the-rajesh-khanna-vs-amitabh-bachchan.html

    “The Rajesh Khanna vs Amitabh Bachchan debate

    Having just written two posts about Rajesh Khanna in the last week, I had decided that that was enough – and my next post would be about another subject. After all, my interests in life thankfully span a wide canvas of subjects – and I’m never really at a loss to find something that I’d like to discuss.

    But an e-mail I received yesterday from a friend has prompted me to write this post today – and once again it features Rajesh Khanna. This time though it is not so much about him but more about that other superstar who is often brought up in discussions about Rajesh. Yes, I’m talking about Amitabh Bachchan – or Big B, as he is popularly known.

    The e-mail points to a write-up, claiming that Big B is the bigger superstar, that he was the hero of the “lumpen class” whereas Rajesh was the hero of the “bourgeois class”. That Rajesh fans have always resented Big B taking over Rajesh Khanna’s place at the top, that his “bourgeois” fans have denied “the revolution that was Amitabh Bachchan”.

    Though the writer takes pains to say that he does not intend any disrespect to the memory of Rajesh Khanna (and I’m happy to take this at face value), I was just saddened by the tone of the write-up. In the sense that yet again, it was bashing of Rajesh Khanna and his fans in order to try to prove Big B as the bigger star.

    I had to sigh – this is not new to me. I’ve been hearing such talk since the late 1970s – and it is STILL going on. This Rajesh Khanna vs Amitabh Bachchan comparison.

    I thought I should put down some of my own thoughts on this subject, for whatever they are worth.

    Let me start by saying that I think whoever came up with the observation “comparisons are odious” could not have coined a more sensible 3-word sentence in the English language.

    And yet, it seems we just cannot get away from making comparisons ALL the time. This actor vs that actor, this music composer vs that music composer, this sportsperson vs that sportsperson. Mohammad Rafi vs Kishore Kumar is one of the most common comparisons out there.

    I always wince at such comparisons. Not because they cannot be made but because they invariably result in one of the choices being belittled to prop up the other.

    Whenever I’ve been dragged into this sort of discussion, I’ve always taken great pains to emphasise that it is my personal choice – and that it is not a general statement of one being better than the other, or that the other is necessarily bad because I didn’t pick him.

    For example I may say I prefer watching a Rajesh Khanna romantic movie to an Amitabh Bachchan action movie. It does NOT mean Rajesh is better than Amitabh or that Amitabh Bachchan action movies are bad. It is just that I’d rather see a Rajesh romantic movie. Another person may prefer an Amitabh action film – and that’s absolutely fine by me.

    But there are people – many people – who are just unable to accept that another person may have a different preference than their own. They are hell-bent on pushing their choice as THE right one – and every other choice as the wrong one.

    You see that in discussions about religion too. This attitude has led to possibly every religious war that has ever taken place. The whole concept of “to each his own” and “live and let live” somehow seems to have completely passed these guys by.

    Back to the Rajesh vs Amitabh discussion.

    My own take on this is extremely simple.

    Rajesh was THE superstar with the success of Aradhana. He had 15 hits in a row – there was absolutely no doubting his position at the top or the fan following he had. ALL classes of society were crazy about him – not just the “bourgeois”. (If only the “bourgeois” were crazy about Rajesh, who was then the hero of the “lumpen classes”?)

    And then around 1974 or maybe 1975, his magic began wearing off. For a whole host of reasons that have been discussed so many times that they don’t warrant repetition here.

    It was also the time that Amitabh Bachchan was finally beginning to taste success. His Zanjeer and Deewar were both not just runaway box-office successes, it was his performance in both these movies that most certainly caught people’s attention.

    So, as it turned out, on one hand there was a Rajesh in descent. On the other hand, there was an Amitabh in ascent. Rajesh continued to deliver flop after flop, Amitabh continued to deliver hit after hit. Where Rajesh had Maha Chor and Bundalbaaz, Amitabh had Deewar and Sholay.

    To me the biggest evidence of the changing tide was that Rajesh’s Mehbooba, with then-No. 1 heroine Hema Malini, and with a wonderful soundtrack by RD Burman – and a film that was promoted heavily – crashed at the box-office. It confirmed to many what they had already begun to realize but were hesitant to openly admit – that the Rajesh days at the top were now clearly over.

    At around the same time, Amitabh, already being talked about as the Rajesh successor following the success of Deewar and Sholay, further cemented it with the success of Kabhie Kabhie. I clearly remember Kabhie Kabhie being a HUGE musical hit – and Amitabh pretty much then being accepted as the new No.1.

    I will be honest – I hated it. I hated Kabhie Kabhie – I hated the title song because it was being played EVERYWHERE – and it symbolized to me yet another hit for Amitabh, yet another reason why Rajesh would struggle to get back his No.1 position.

    The truth is, as a Rajesh fan at that time, I was not ready to concede that Rajesh had lost it. I still thought (or rather, hoped) that he could come back. By the time Aashiq Hoon Baharon Ka came around – and I saw it – I was convinced that the writing on the wall was indelible.

    It is not that I disliked Amitabh. In fact I liked him in many of his early movies, especially his movies with Jaya Bhaduri (even those which had flopped). And I really liked him in Zanjeer and Majboor. I hadn’t seen Deewar or Sholay then (my mind was not ready though I knew many of the dialogues by heart).

    As Amitabh began getting more popular I began watching more of his films. Even those that didn’t do too well -like Do Anjaane, Adalat and Alaap.

    I remember liking Amar Akbar Anthony a lot – and he was really good in it. Today it is considered a blockbuster film, but I vaguely remember it not being a runaway success from day one. I think it picked up momentum after a while – and is now considered one of the classics of the 70s.

    The Amitabh movie that really sealed it for me though was Trishul. I liked the movie a lot – and I thought Amitabh (once again in an “angry young man” role) was just outstanding.

    After that I saw Don – and I liked that film too.

    So I really did not have any problems anymore with Amitabh as the No.1. Rajesh’s time had come and gone, these were Amitabh’s times.

    So this thing about Rajesh Khanna fans resenting Big B taking over Rajesh Khanna’s place at the top was, if I use myself as an example, a passing phase. And I’ve certainly never denied “the revolution that was Amitabh Bachchan”. And I’d like to think I was pretty representative of the Rajesh fan of the time.

    I think it is not an exaggeration to say that those late-70s/early 80s were very heady days for Amitabh. I’m not looking at box-office numbers here, so don’t crucify me but, off the top of my head I remember some movies as being hits from the start – and some only doing moderately early on.

    To me it was obvious that though some of Amitabh’s movies were not blockbusters – at least when they were released (Do Aur Do Paanch, Ram Balram, Suhaag,The Great Gambler, Barsaat Ki Ek Raat, Yaarana) – and Shaan was a superflop – he was still the undisputed No.1 and the go-to hero for a big film-maker. For every movie that did not do very well, he had a Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, Mr. Natwarlal, Naseeb, Laawaris, Namak Halal and a Satte Pe Satta to show as successes. He had no challenger – the next guy (whoever he was) did not even come close.

    In fact, I cannot even think of a name who could have been considered an Amitabh challenger at that time. Dharam – who’d had successes throughout the 70s – was clearly on his way down by the end of the decade. The multi-starrer culture of the time meant that it was difficult for one actor to really put on a dominating or memorable performance. The storylines also were not the particularly emotional type to be memorable, or require any great acting skill from the actor.

    Maybe it is for this particular reason (the storyline) that I found it difficult to warm to movies of the time. I was a big fan of a good storyline – the actors became secondary for me if I found the storyline kept me interested. Besides, I was getting busy with my studies then – so I didn’t have time to waste on seeing all sorts of movies.

    By 1983, I had stopped seeing movies altogether. Partly due to my studies, partly because I was losing interest in them. Mind you, I’m not saying they were bad movies. I’m just saying I didn’t find them interesting enough anymore.

    Amitabh continued to act through the 80s – I think Sharaabi (which I saw many years after its release) was his last big hit in that period. Otherwise, I believe he acted in several films which even his ardent fans would consider forgettable.

    His more recent history – the 1990s and beyond – is very well-known and I don’t want to talk about it here. In fact I don’t know too much about it because I am time-frozen on Amitabh in 1982 (say, Namak Halal).

    What I do remember is the hysteria around his accident during the making of Coolie. It was HUGE. The accident came as a big shock to everybody, it got front-page coverage in the daily newspaper , people from all over the country (and probably overseas too) began praying for his welfare. It was a great show of solidarity and support for him as he struggled in hospital during that period. I remember that all too well – as if it were yesterday.

    The reason I am documenting all this is to illustrate that Amitabh was just as popular – and at times, possibly more popular – than Rajesh. And I say this without denying my fondness for Rajesh. And I do like Amitabh too – it IS possible to like them both.

    I want people to realize that it is NOT necessary to belong to one camp or the other. Yes, we used to have that sort of thing in school – Rajesh or Amitabh, Vishwanath or Gavaskar, where we felt we had to align behind one of the options to show our loyalty to that option. When you grow up a bit, you realize that these are not binary choices – there’s room to accommodate and appreciate multiple choices.

    And it is most certainly NOT necessary to run one of them down to prop up the other.

    To me, they were two distinct periods of superstardom.

    Rajesh Khanna from 1969 to 1974.

    And Amitabh Bachchan from 1977 onwards. I would consider the years 1975-76 as transition years, with Rajesh losing his No.1 position and Amitabh getting to that position, but not yet reaching superstar status.

    Why then the constant clashes between their two fans?

    Why can’t they accept that both of them had their moments as the darling of the crowds?

    Why is it necessary to run down one to prop up the other?

    To me, this only shows disrespect to the persons involved. The media played on this “rivalry” for a long time – and must have sold lots of copies in the process. But that’s what the media often does.

    The fans need not fall into this trap. They can give both these superstars their own rightful place in Hindi film history, without pushing one out to trumpet the other.

    There is enough space in the annals of Hindi film history for both to co-exist peacefully, next to each other.

    As they deserve to.”


    • well-intentioned piece perhaps but still quite factually wrong, specially on the idea that some of the Bachchan films picked up later and were not instant big ones. This was of course true for a few but not most of the ones mentioned here.

      secondly no one even at the time thought that the transition period went upto 1977! Because Rajesh Khanna was really flopping just about everywhere after ’74. meanwhile after Sholay and Deewar in ’75 Bachchan did not need further cementing. Did Bachchan get even bigger? of course. That’s a different matter.

      The writer than despite his best intentions is still struggling with that sentiment he had when Kabhi Kabhie released! It’s natural and understandable at a human level. But factually he’s pretty incorrect on some key points. Including by the way on Shaan. This carried huge expectations specially after Sholay and no film could have lived upto these but this film was one of the big grossers of its time. Did not live upto expectations for sure but still comfortably profitable. It wasn’t the Silsila sort of deal (which itself didn’t lose money).

      Memory is a tricky thing! It needs to be supplemented with rigor!


      • on that note check out the Shaan verdict from Film Information:

        Shaan 1980 7,00,00,000 A*


        not that I agree with every single rating of theirs. But consider the rating of Shaan relative to some other films. Similarly the blogger above is quite wrong on Adalat too. No one contests its hit status. Alaap on the other hand was one of the rare Bachchan flops in the truest sense (as was for example Imaan Dharam).


        • Satyam, was Nastik a flop? I like the film a lot though i believe Desai should have helmed- the subject of ‘Bachchan being an aethist’ would have worked as a great contrast to the lovable ‘minority’ characters Bachchan played in AAA and Coolie etc


          • Nastik didn’t do well, had a weak script. But again it was fairly profitable. For about 15 years or more there were only half a dozen Bachchan films that actually lost money. In some ways this is a record even more stunning than his hits or superhits. On Nastik though I don’t like this film much at all. Directed by Pramod Chakravorthy incidentally. He was very successful in the 70s, most notably with a number of Dharmendra films.


  124. Just finished watching Namak Haram on some TV channel – very moving. Was struck by how this movie felt more like one on friendship more than anything else! Loved RK-AB’s chemistry . Watching RK’s death scene was certainly a little difficult-felt like it was being enacted for real! This is one of the few movies of the ear;y 70s where RK’s mannerisms are visible the least


  125. “Like so many unrepentant South Indian chauvinists, I grew up memorising old Hindi movie songs and paying no attention to the movies themselves. And so I wasn’t affected by Rajesh Khanna’s passing away (I didn’t even know he had been affectionately called Kaka) in the way that many Hindi movie fans were. And strangely, my minor encounter with his movies (and the songs from those movies) and an (overnight) appreciation for them came through the eyes and ears and soul of Joel Flegler, the publisher and editor of Fanfare which is perhaps, along with Gramophone, the most respected and admired music journal for the serious music collector.

    One day, out of the blue in 2005, I received an email from Mr Flegler asking if I would like to review CDs of Indian movie music for his journal, Fanfare. I looked up the magazine and discovered its solid pedigree in the world of Western classical music. He thought it would be good to include an Indian voice, someone who had a native feeling for these movies and songs.

    Joel Flegler had recently stumbled on Hindi movie music and thought so highly of it, that he wanted to include reviews of old and new titles in Fanfare — it would be a section at the back of the journal. He had even persuaded Fanfare’s eminent American reviewers to watch these movies, pay close attention to the songs, and write about them. I was a little amused and taken aback by all this: I had only a nostalgic liking for them, having all through school heard these vintage tunes from radios and transistors and public functions. And the occasional hit movie which we saw as a gang with favourite cousins or with classmates on a Saturday afternoon. The first CD and DVD Flegler sent me was an S D Burman-R D Burman trilogy: Aradhana, Kati Patang and Amar Prem. Flegler added that he thought Rajesh Khanna the most charismatic Indian star and one of the most moving actors he had ever seen. (Flegler was also a huge film aficionado — this is how he had stumbled on Indian movie music).

    “I am currently watching Mere Jeevan Saathi,” Joel wrote, “the 1972 Rajesh Khanna starrer. It took me a year-and-a-half, but I now think that Khanna is the most winning leading man in the history of Indian movies and I’m trying to get everything he did as a young actor. The movie itself is a soap opera, but R D Burman’s songs are among the best I’ve heard from him and Khanna is incredible. The star power that he exudes is unique, and I’m overwhelmed by the combination of the music and his persona.”

    My own memory of Khanna (and several Indian stars) had been marred and mocked by my own growing fascination with American method actors. Finally, when I got around to seeing the movies (and listening to the CD several times) I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed them, delighting especially in Rajesh Khanna.

    This was all very condescending of me at that time, but over time I came to have a true and full appreciation and knowledge of Indian cinema. (I pointed Flegler in the direction of South Indian music and movies, and he grew to be a great fan of Illaiyaraaja, quickly owning everything by the composer. He badly wanted to interview and profile the Mozart of Madras on the cover of Fanfare, but repeated emails to Raja’s office went unanswered. I owe Flegler a debt of gratitude for turning me back to these vintage movies and songs when I thought I had bid goodbye to them)………”



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