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Legendary Superstar

Legendary Superstar

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Published by Shilpa Dubey

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Published by: Shilpa Dubey on Jul 27, 2012
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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 lifehad a theatrical sweep, almost like one of his films. Bollywood's original superstar - simply thephenomenon to some - died in Mumbai on Wednesday, leaving behind memories cast incelluloid 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 hewas the superstar or idol of acting. Others would tease him by calling
 Babu Moshay or kaka.
Fora 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 centralMumbai, where he was living with his foster parents. He was born on 29
th
December 1942 atAmritsar and was originally known as Jatin Arora. People around him had always regarded himas the hero of the industry because of his startling personality.
And the curtain rose for the show
 
Well, what was planned in the destiny‟s pack of cards for India‟s first superstar was unrevealed
to him. He, in 1965, contended All India Talent Contest organized by United Producers andFilmfare which dug out around 10000 entries. Subsequently, after reaching the top 8, he won thecompetition. 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 onthe screens and mesmerized audience in the theatres, who wanted to see him often and see himmore. Looking at the budding fad for him, producers without much ado, started offering himmovies. 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 afterAaradhana with Sharmila Tagore, he rose to "instant national fame" and film critics referred tohim as the first superstar of India. RAJESH KHANNA was the only name on the lips of thepeople. He achieved unprecedented success with a record 15 consecutive hits, between the years1969 and 1972. His impeccable acting in films like
 Amar Prem
,
 Daag
,
 Mehbooba
,
 Aradhana
lefta deep impression on the masses. Khanna rose to prominence for portraying an emotional andlayered 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 notorietymade 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, “W
omen came out in droves to see
Kaka
.They would stand in queues outside the studios to catch a glimpse, they would marry hisphotographs, and they would pull at his clothes. Delhi girls were crazier for him than Mumbaigirls. 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 isstill an unbroken record in Indian film history. Despite of the number of super hits there were 35golden jubilee contributed to the Indian cinema by the legendary actor.
 BBC 
also made a film onhim, titled
Bombay Sup
erstar‟
in 1974.
Musical Saga
Era of Rajesh Khanna gave the most melodious hits to the industry. During his epoch, KishoreKumar emerged, who later became the voice of super star. R.D.Burman, Kishor Kumar andRajesh Khanna was considered as the lucky combination for the movies. They bestowed manysongs 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 7years, before meeting Dimple. He met Dimple at the sets of Bobby, who was then onl 15 and 15years younger to him. His charming persona was fascinating and this seeded a new wave of love
in Dimple‟s heart. The couple got married sooner.
After marriage Rajesh Khanna did not allowDimple to work in movies. So, Dimple often used to accompany Rajesh Khanna on his moviesets. However, their love did not last long and the couple started living separately. The reason fortheir separation was that Rajesh Khanna was always busy with his films, so Dimple also decidedto 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 afterliving separately both of them never applied for divorce. In the meantime, Rajesh Khanna foundsolace in the company of Tina Munim. She worked with Rajesh Khanna in many movies and fellin love with him. But that relation also did not last long.
Rolling down the hill
The pace with which this fêted 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 todescribe him: superstar, the phenomenon, megastar, to name a few. And every cliché of fanworship attached itself to him: screaming women, lipstick- adorned cars, sick kids brought bymothers to heal, and so on. And then, as spectacular as the rise, came the fall. After 14consecutive 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, theeditor 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 himtake 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 himto entice and hold the interest of the people for longer span. He could not become the householdface ever; he was always the man for whom one always had to go to cinemasVis-a-vis many stories about his bad and tampered demeanor was being read by the people in thenewspaper. 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 flippantactivities 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 70shappened with the change in the social economic scenario. The people, then were busy intomaking money, they wanted movie or the character that reflected the rage or angst they had intheir heart. It was not the time of romantic lovelorn movies.Akhtar along with his scriptwriting partner Salim Khan, with creating the angry young manpersona 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 factfrom 1969 to 1973, it was a one-horse race
.”
 
“Anand kabhi marta
 
nahi…Anand marte nahi” 
 
 No matter what people think of him or regard him as he was India‟s 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 doesn‟t make mistakes in the
life? There are two types of people in the world whomake mistakes and spend the rest in regretting and others are the one who make mistakes andthen d
oesn‟t 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 moreimportant than being star for the world. We salute of you for this Rajesh Khanna, the eternal idolof love in the glorious history of Indian cinema.

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