R Francis Fernandes, Dubai
Rajesh khanna's death:
July 18th the mega super star of 60s and 70s popularly and lovingly known as kaka left us to a world where nobody returns. It was a terrible day for Hindi filmdom and more specifically for his thousands of fans around the world. He was born in amritsar and was brought up by foster parents.
First filmshot was 'Aakhri Khat' followed by Raaz which was paired with famous Babita who latter married to Randhir Kapoor.The real super star tag came to Kaka in Aradhana a fim by Shakti Samatha.
Reaction from fans:
The whole of India particularly Mumbai experienced shock due to death of Kaka. He was aged 69 . News spread within his fans like circles of fire . Fans sympathised to each other querying -- Do you know Rajesh Khanna died ? What happened to Kaka? Was he not well?? All sorts of eager questions were thrown by his fans to each other.
All important TV channels published Rajesh Khanna’s news of demise and were busy for atleast 36 hours after his death .All important radio stations played his popular songs, clips of old memories . People on road gathered near the saloons,coffee shops to see glimpses of kaka on the TV. Websites saw tremendous wed-traffic from Kaka's fans probably not seen before .
The entire Bollywood fraternity was present at his house Ashirwad to see Kaka's body on July 18. Even the stars who never worked with him hurried up to see kaka for the last time by leaving their busy work. According to some sources Bollywood came to a complete stand still during Kakas death.
Popular star Kamal Hasan went to the extent of calling kaka as--WORLD STAR--. There is news that even fans from other countries travelled to see his body in Ashirwad and many of them were disappointed as they were not allowed due to security reasons
In the history of Hindi cinema, nobody has induced fan hysteria like Rajesh Khanna. Between the years 1969 and 1972 almost everything he touched turned to gold. 15 consecutive hits of various degrees.
To name the few Rajesh Kannns hits include Aradhna, Kati Patang, Do Raaste, Anand, Amar Prem, Hathi Mere Sathi, SachaJhoota, Aan Milo Sajna, Safar,ApkiQasam, Prem Nagar,ApnaDesh,Merejeevansaati, Roti, Dushman, Bawarchi, Daag, Andaz,Amardeep, Thodi Si Bewafai, Sautan,Avtar,Kudrat,Disco Dancer(With mithun) ,Southenetc.Khanna was famous for his romantic acting and superb songs which made the fims mega hits .He gave several silver and golden jubilee hits .
He acted with Waheeda in Khamoshi where its said Waheeda suggested Khanna for this film. He acted in Baharon Ke Sapne in 1967 with Asha Parekh in which song-- Aaja Piya Tohe Pyar Du-- is still sung by old-timers though song is 40 years old. Film was directed by Nassir Hussain whose movies are anyway famous for golden hitsongs.
Though he acted as a guest actor in Andaaz the fame he received for his romantic acting was immense.His song-zindagieksafarhaisuhana - with Hema on the bike is still very popular. He is fondly remembered in this movie compared to real hero of the movie Shammi another mega actor.
Stylish Stunts Khanna did on the bike are memorable and appreciated even today.Hema acted beautifully as a youn girl acting with him.With Hema Kaka acted in many films and the pair was very famous those days. They gave maximum number of movies.
Aradhana was perhaps biggest hit in various fronts. A blend of Rajesh Khanna,Kishore Kumar,Sharmila,S.D.Burman with Shakthi Samantha made the movie a super super hit remembered by all times . All his songs of Aradhana were hit including-baghon Mein Bahar Hai- with Farida Jalal.
Sacha Juta song Meri Pyari Baheniyan is perhaps the one of the most of popular song hindi filmdom has seen. Song is by VeternKalyanjiAnandji. SachaJuta was film by veternManmohan Desai. Khanna acted also in Roti under Manmohan Desai.
With Raja Khosla too Khanna was sucessful in Do Raaste and Prem Kahani. Both with Mumtaz. Prem Kahani also was starred by vetern Shashi Kappor.
Ittefaq of 1965 with nanda also won awards a YashChopra directed movie. The Train was another musical hit movie with the evergreen beautiful song --GulaabiAankhen Jo Teri Dekhi---by Rafi Saab. ApnaDesh was also another hit with evergreen songs like –SunoTaarasunochama---and ---Rona kabhinahirona---.Needless to say movie Kati patang brought huge success to Kaka with all songs super hits.
He had acted with Simple Kapadia in anurodh. A venture with Dimple as heroine unfortunately did not complete.Kaka crazy women fans even slit their wrists particularly during Aap Ki Kasam shooting in Delhi.
Trio and others:
The trio Rajesh Kanna,RD,Kishore Kumar became super hit in those days. RD and Rajesh continued even after the death of Kishore.. Trio gave songs filled memorable hits . What a perfect combination it was ! Ofcourse Latha and Asha gave beautiful singing in these movies .Also Lakshmikanth Pyarelal proved to be lucky to kaka and vice versa
His favourite actors were Meena kumari,Dilip Kumar,Geetha Bali,Shammi,Dev anand.In AakhriKhat his firstshot movie ironically his singer was Rafi saab and not Kishore. Rajesh Khanna himself has also given his voice to few movies
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 BBC made a film on him, titled Bombay Superstar in 1974. A textbook prescribed by the Bombay University contained an essay, 'The Charisma of Rajesh Khanna
Marriage and Associates:
Kanna married to Bobby fame Dimple in 1973. Anju Mahendru was his friend for a longtime.
Mumtaz who was very close to khanna in various super hits. Shedecided to marry rich man Mayur Madvani after Rajesh decided to marry Dimple. She said goodbye to hindi films in a while after her decision to marryMayur. Rajesh felt completely lost after the absence of great actress Mumtaz.
He was associated withlyricist and scriptwriter Javed Akhtar and Salim Khan (Famous salim javed fame in those days ) in Haathi mere saathi hit in 70s. Movie was made by Mr Chinnappa Thevar . A movie with elephants and tigers proved to be a super duper hit. A very emotional movie.. Elephant Ramu played a vital role in the movie as Rajesh Kanna best friend. Song sang by Rafi saab when the elephant was killed by K.N.Singh proved to be another top hit song of the era . As we all know song was -Nafrat Ki Duniya Ko Chhod Ke ----.Even a man with hardest stone heart will cry when he sees this last scene of elephant getting killed in conjunction with Rafi saabs beuatiful sad voice . A great music by Lakshmikanthpyarelal another great director like R.D.Thanuja another hit heroine of Kaka was also his heroine in Haati Mere saathi.
Jeetendra another main star during those days was considered to be his close friend during Khannas young days. They both studied in K.C.College Mumbai. It is reported Deepti Naval was also his great fan.
Ofcourse Panchamda ,KishoreKumar,Shakti Samantha were his close friends and associates.His usual coactors included Prem Chopra,SujeethKumar,ashokKumar,Asrani,Bindu,Om Prakash ,Madan Puri etc
Association with Amitabh:
In the movie Anand was paired with another upcoming star Amitabh Bachan in those days. A sentimental movie became hit with Rajesh acting and popular songs. Very important factor was director Hrishikesh Mukherjee did not caste any heroine in this Movie. All songs were mega hits. Sippy was one of the producers of the movie.
NamakHaraam was Similar to Anand another sentimental movie with Amitabh .Rekha .Razamurad also acted in namak haraam. Song Main Shair Badnaam was a super golden hit.
Its reported Amitabh family morally supported in several ways Kaka family after his death.
Forgotten Mega hero:
Its a hard fact and unfortunate Rajesh kanna was forgotten by majority of people including his Fans after his downfall from topmost position . The rise and fall were equally rapid. The great actors absence was clearly felt in many important hindi functions. After his downfall Raj was quietly sleeping in the subconcious hearts of his fans. On the day 18Th July on the day he died this subconciousness of his fans was disturbed and broke up into tears and sadness. Fans started remembering his olden golden days again . They started searching his old Cds,Dvds,u tube etcto referesh their memories of 70S. Some cried,Some got sleepless nights remembering his old songs and some were fortunate to see him before his death like his costar mumtaz . There are eyewitnesses women were crying on that sad day. According to reliable news he was very sentimental towards his fans . He became all the more sentimental during his last days before death which is evident from last message.
Life time awards:
Kaka was finally awarded with Life Time Achievement very recently by IIFA Macau. He was awarded same awards from other bodies too earlier. He has received filmfare awards,Phalke Legendary Actor Award,,Bengali film journalists association awards,Tamil cine world award and so many other awards. Even if career was at the last leg his movie avatar feteched several awards but Khanna missed flimfare award in avtaarnarrowly . However Kaka acting was highly acclaimed in Avtaar. Sachin also Played a vital role in this movie as Khannas worker.
Khanna was a MP from congress once won against film star shatruganSinha.Before this win he was defeated by advani with a meagre margin in another election. Khanna was not at all happy with this result considering huge numbers involved in Loksabha and margin he lost. Khanna thought he was cheated since the margin was only 1,500 votes !
Comments from costars:
After his death we had a golden chance to hear old memories from his yesteryears costars like SharmilaTagore,Asha Parekh,Mumtaz,Hemamalini, ShabanaAzmi,waheeda,Poonam giving their precious comments. Avtaar film with Shabana which ran so well by winning several awards.Shabanasinformation towards Kaka was really reallyAdmirable and appreciated. Her memories were really sharp and the details she gave about Kaka was really informative. Comments from Waheeda,Mumtaz were really sentimental and were taking back to us 40 years back when we were all small . Mumtazwho stays in London had visited Kaka a month before his death. She feels highly fortunate that she visited him before his death. His friend ShatruganSinha was also in hospital during Kaka death. Hurt by his friends death he sent a sad note from his hospital bed itself.
Comments poured from Indian President, Indian Prime minister,Sonia,LathaMangeshkar,Goa assembly,Cricketers like Sachin,Manjrekar,Pak Prime Minister,Madhya Pradesh Governor Ram nareshyadhav, Lord Paul and other big wigs from various industries around the world to the great star. According to sources in paktv programme of an hour was used for rajesh kanna events when he died.
His ex College KC college had a mourning meeting after his death. It seems kaka during his young days was practicing plays everyday in KC college upto 11PM in the night.LallanChacha, a peon at KishinchandChelaram Collegein Churchgate, was nearly in tears when recalling the days when the first superstar of the Indian film industry rehearsed for hours at the college auditorium
A prayer function was held in taj after his death where all top film and other personalties attended . Other then regular personalties it was attended by Sippy, Godrej, Amar Singh .ailingShashiKapooralso took the trouble to participate in prayers for his old friend. It is said Imran Khan Cricketer was also Kakas fan.
As per some reports whenever actor Rajesh Khanna, who gave haunting performances that propelled him to his legendary superstardom, died on screen, his mother used to curse the directors for the scenes that she could not bear to watch.
Sons in law Akshay Kumar and Sameer,His Daughters ( Twinkle and Rinki) and wife Dimple were with him in his last days. His wife Dimple became close to him again during his last days. Ironically after his death even the people/stars who were not close to him also started saying they were close to him even if they had not visited him recently!.I really do not how many were really close during his last days. Only almighty knows the truth .
Its much more and plenty to write about Kaka perhaps many manypages . But now we can only remember our Kaka old sweet memories since he has gone tootoo far away. Only these Memoriesare with usnow and rest all is history. May his soul of our star rest in peace.
One thing is sure he was the only star who got maximum popularity which no one has received so far. You are the megastar and will remain as megastar always for us.No one can match you -----------No one can match you---.
I end this small article with fantastic hit song from kakajis(kakaji means a small little boy.This was revealed by Kaka in an interview) super hit movie with grand music of Panchamda and ofcourse beautiful voice of mega singer Kishore da .Song is from hit Amar Prem
--yekyaahuaa, kaisehuaa, kabhuaa
kyohuaa, jab huaa, tab huaa
chhodo, ye naasocho---