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Era of a legend- Rajesh Khanna

From the dizzying heights of fame to quiet shadows behind the arc lights, Rajesh Khanna's life had a theatrical sweep, almost like one of his films. Bollywood's original superstar - simply the phenomenon to some - died in Mumbai on Wednesday, leaving behind memories cast in celluloid of that famous crooked smile and head tilt. Game of the names The luminary personality was awarded names for many facets in his personality. For some he was the superstar or idol of acting. Others would tease him by calling Babu Moshay or kaka. For a few he was the Casanova and for rest he was the legend. He was deemed as a very striking personality since his childhood in Thakurdwar in central Mumbai, where he was living with his foster parents. He was born on 29th December 1942 at Amritsar and was originally known as Jatin Arora. People around him had always regarded him as the hero of the industry because of his startling personality. And the curtain rose for the show Well, what was planned in the destinys pack of cards for Indias first superstar was unrevealed to him. He, in 1965, contended All India Talent Contest organized by United Producers and Filmfare which dug out around 10000 entries. Subsequently, after reaching the top 8, he won the competition. As the predetermined prize, he bestowed AAKHRI KHAT followed by RAAZ produced by Chetan Anand and directed by Ravindra Dave. He soon started leaving his marks on the screens and mesmerized audience in the theatres, who wanted to see him often and see him more. Looking at the budding fad for him, producers without much ado, started offering him movies. He got projects like Aurat, Doli and Ittefaq. Sky was the limit! He was then noticed for his performances in films like Baharon ke Sapne, Aurat.Then after Aaradhana with Sharmila Tagore, he rose to "instant national fame" and film critics referred to him as the first superstar of India. RAJESH KHANNA was the only name on the lips of the people. He achieved unprecedented success with a record 15 consecutive hits, between the years 1969 and 1972. His impeccable acting in films like Amar Prem, Daag, Mehbooba, Aradhana left a deep impression on the masses. Khanna rose to prominence for portraying an emotional and layered character of Anand that displayed Khanna's ease of outstanding acting skills. Reaching the zenith of the stardom His cheery screen presence, charming smile and the abilty to carry out his roles with notoriety made him not only popular but also gave him significance of God. Mumtaz, who was his

neighbor back then said in one of her interview that, Women came out in droves to see Kaka. They would stand in queues outside the studios to catch a glimpse, they would marry his photographs, and they would pull at his clothes. Delhi girls were crazier for him than Mumbai girls. He needed police protection when he was in public. I have never seen anything like this before and since. Rajesh Khanna gave 15 consecutive super hits during 1969 to 1971, which is still an unbroken record in Indian film history. Despite of the number of super hits there were 35 golden jubilee contributed to the Indian cinema by the legendary actor. BBC also made a film on him, titled Bombay Superstar in 1974. Musical Saga Era of Rajesh Khanna gave the most melodious hits to the industry. During his epoch, Kishore Kumar emerged, who later became the voice of super star. R.D.Burman, Kishor Kumar and Rajesh Khanna was considered as the lucky combination for the movies. They bestowed many songs together till 1991. Love off the reel The Megastar lover boy of the industry had not been much fortunate with the relationships. Before entering the glamour world, he had been dating model of that time Anju Mahendra for 7 years, before meeting Dimple. He met Dimple at the sets of Bobby, who was then onl 15 and 15 years younger to him. His charming persona was fascinating and this seeded a new wave of love in Dimples heart. The couple got married sooner. After marriage Rajesh Khanna did not allow Dimple to work in movies. So, Dimple often used to accompany Rajesh Khanna on his movie sets. However, their love did not last long and the couple started living separately. The reason for their separation was that Rajesh Khanna was always busy with his films, so Dimple also decided to comeback in films but Kaka wanted her to stay at home and take care of his two daughters, Twinkle and Rinkie. Also, his bad habits took a toll on their relationship. Interestingly, even after living separately both of them never applied for divorce. In the meantime, Rajesh Khanna found solace in the company of Tina Munim. She worked with Rajesh Khanna in many movies and fell in love with him. But that relation also did not last long. Rolling down the hill The pace with which this fted icon clambered the stairs of success and fame, he rolled back downhill with the same lick. Khanna came out of the blue, a virtual outsider to the world of films. In half a decade he tasted such spectacular success that a new lexicon had to be adopted to describe him: superstar, the phenomenon, megastar, to name a few. And every clich of fan worship attached itself to him: screaming women, lipstick- adorned cars, sick kids brought by mothers to heal, and so on. And then, as spectacular as the rise, came the fall. After 14 consecutive box office hits, seven clanging flops were as mortifying as they were mystifying. "Today words like superstar and icon are loosely used. But he truly was a megastar. And before

he got lost in a whirl of his own caricature, he knew his acting chops," says Jitesh Pillai, the editor of Filmfare, the magazine responsible for introducing Khanna. Old habits die hard Rajesh Khanna got everything in his life with a little of hard work and in his life. This made him take the leisure and pleasure of taking things for granted. He had his unique style statement, which made him stand out from everyone. But of late, his own signature style made him look repetitive in every role. People were bored in seeing him as The Rajesh Khanna in every role. He never fused himself into the character or the role of the movie. This made it difficult for him to entice and hold the interest of the people for longer span. He could not become the household face ever; he was always the man for whom one always had to go to cinemas Vis-a-vis many stories about his bad and tampered demeanor was being read by the people in the newspaper. He was said to be arrogant and moody actor. And in 70s, when the concept of relationship started from marriage and ended with it, they saw their idol indulged in flippant activities with many women, which lampooned his image in minds of people. The Bachchan wave of the 1970s killed Khanna's superstardom. Emergence of Bachchan in 70s happened with the change in the social economic scenario. The people, then were busy into making money, they wanted movie or the character that reflected the rage or angst they had in their heart. It was not the time of romantic lovelorn movies. Akhtar along with his scriptwriting partner Salim Khan, with creating the angry young man persona for Bachchan, which is supposed to have turned the tide against the Khanna said that : Khanna witnessed unbelievable popularity, such that no one had ever seen or imagined. In fact from 1969 to 1973, it was a one-horse race. Anand kabhi marta nahiAnand marte nahi No matter what people think of him or regard him as he was Indias first superstar and he lived his life as majestically as one could. He had an appealing personality that people could relate to. He will be remembered always for his magical style, ease at screen with head tilted and sparks in the eyes. Who doesnt make mistakes in the life? There are two types of people in the world who make mistakes and spend the rest in regretting and others are the one who make mistakes and then doesnt let that mistake bother them. Rajesh Khanna definitely belonged to the later one. He never cared what one thought of him. For him being a superstar in his own eyes was more important than being star for the world. We salute of you for this Rajesh Khanna, the eternal idol of love in the glorious history of Indian cinema.