Rajesh Khanna - Bollywood's first real superstar

Aditi Nigam New Delhi | Updated on July 18, 2012 Published on July 18, 2012

Sharmila Tagore and Rajesh Khanna in Aradhana.(file photo)

“Pushpa, I hate tears!” no one, just no one can ever render this dialogue the way Rajesh Khanna did in the film Amar Prem. So, a fitting tribute to Hindi film industry’s ‘first real superstar’, who gave 15 hits one after the other, carrying the entire film solely on his shoulders, would be to remember him as he is etched in our memory --  an endearing, gentle smile, a playful tilt of the head and romancing in style.

Most of all, Rajesh Khanna will live on in his songs, most of which were sung by his unforgettable celluloid voice –Kishore Kumar. The duo catered to almost all musical moods, created by maestros such as Sachin Dev Burman, Salil Chowdhury, Rahul Dev Burman, Laxmikant Pyarelal and others.

Who can forget the melancholic Woh Shaam Kucch Ajeeb Thi  (Khamoshi), Yeh Kya Hua ( Amar Prem), Diye Jalte Hain (Namak Haraam), are just a few memorable ones.

The peppy ones that still stir one alive – Jai Jai Shiv Shankar (Aap Ki kasam), Zindagi Yeh Safar Hai Suhana (Andaaz), Nadiya Se dariya (Namak Haraam).

The all-engulfing philosophical mood in Zindagi Kaisi Hai Paheli (Anand), Chingari Koi Bhadke (Amar Prem), Zindagi Ka Safar (Safar), Zindagi  Ke Safar Mein Guzar Jaate Hain jo Muqaam(Aap Ki Kasam), Sachchai Chhup Nahin Sakti (Sachcha Jhootha), to name a few.


Last, but not the least, the stylish and romantic rendering of Yeh Jo Mohabbat Hai, Yeh Shaam Mastaani (Kati Patang), Mere Sapnon Ki Raani (Aaradhana), Roop Tera Mastaana, O Mere Dil Ke Chain and hundreds of other songs, each one a cut above the rest.

The attire that Rajesh Khanna donned as hero was trend-setting. No hi-fi designers or labels or ramp shows or promos – he was all rolled into one. The Rajesh Khanna hair-cut, safari-suit, Guru-kurta pyjama, dhoti-kurta, pin-striped suits, polo-neck sweaters with muffler drove the dressing style of an entire generation in the 60s and 70s.

‘Kaka’, as he was fondly called, made it in the world of Hindi films entirely on his own grit at a time when underworld financing and godfathers ruled the roost.


Rajesh Khanna will live for a long, long time in his memorable film songs and unique dialogue delivery. RIP!

Published on July 18, 2012
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