Rajesh Khanna, a superstar of 1970s passed away on July 18 2012. A gigantic crowd of fans, and cinema icons visited to pray for his soul. RK's soul would however be delighted, to observe that he still holds reverence in the hearts of the Bollywood crowds. Sadly tho, his death under such duress, has raised eyebrows and theories. Not only that, several ants of the media, are garnering some quick attention or profit at the expense of his reputation. Some of the obvious and malformed information floating around, makes his fans eager to clear the air.
I have always been a fan of his melodious songs, have watched most of his best movies. I think he is charismatic, and sensitive on screen. I was born 5 years after his marriage, which goes much to say, how his movies touch people even now.
I got too busy for Bollywood last few years, however, was recently shocked to hear of his death, his unhappiness at life. The Havells ad, well made, and one that shows off the still sensitive nature of RK, was shocking too at the caricature of the glorious days of RK. I have also heard several facts, while growing up, from people who actually read magazines of those times.
A shy and introvert orphan, from a rich family, talented since childhood, started his career, after winning a talent hunt show. He did not need to put on an act. He was a natural on screen. His movies Aradhana show him off as a happy man with good humor, while his movies like Amar Prem display his sensitive side. Media is media, it hypes things, a rise or a fall. But this man truly deserved winning the hearts of so many... men, women, girls, old people.
Meanwhile he had ended up with Anju Mahendru, a cynical lady of sorts. She got insecure with his success. Being an orphan, and also an introvert, Rajesh cherished for company. By this time he had won the crowds, and couldn't hep feeling flattered. His shy modest natural nature, did not know how to take it. BBC interview clearly shows, if one observes with depth, that he looks a bit scared, and is trying to act confident. Yet, the natural charm is also obvious. This is not insecurity, but a modesty, a flattered man, who likes the success much, but does not comprehend it completely. He is worried he may do some grave mistake and topple it all.
Rajesh Khanna also has been questioned on his superstar status. At a time, when there had been no social networking, and public relations specialists, the stats of a star where dependent on his movies. Rajesh Khanna had charm oozing on the screen, he was incredibly talented. He had not been dramatic, unlike what the media states. His acting had been natural and befit the theme perfectly. His romantic songs, led viewers to be goo eyed on him, because the songs sounded natural, coming from him. He had acted in diverse roles. A humorous man in Aradhana, to a cancer patient portraying cheer , in Anand, a dejected man in Amar Prem, a confused husband at Avishkar, a criminal on the run in Ifetefaq.
His movies were most successful from 1969 to 1973, yet his movies continued to succeed till 1985. So a period of almost 20 years, which is fairly an average career. So media has some malformed statistics running out there, for sure. It is not his career, that was the crux problem, but his marriage. The downfall, where his wife failed to stand by him, and he had no other family.
Wiki stats: Rajesh Khanna was awarded Filmfare Special Award in 1991 for having starred in 101 films as the solo lead hero and just 21 two hero films in short span of 25 years. Khanna gave 35 Golden Jubilee Hits in period 1967-1975 and 3 in 1976-78 and 35 more in 1979-1991 and gave 22 Silver Jubilee Hits in period 1966-1991.
Dimple Kapadia, the Bobby hot shot symbol, has proven over the years she is just that. Tho' she looked quite snubbed down by Saagar, at fifteen, she had been a looker. Rajesh failed to watch Bobby before marriage, and fell hard for Dimple. Dimple was marrying his superstar status. Eventually when he got hold of the Bobby scenes, some scenes embarrassed him. It is also said, by readers back then, that he requested Raj Kapoor to delete some scenes. By then Dimple was pregnant with Twinkle.
Rajesh Khanna has till date lived to the image of his movies. The movie Amar Prem sums well about his life. Dimple, is a publicity hungry bimbo. Rajesh's love, stability and marital respect was not enough for her. He may have been a busy man, neglected her some. However, he had been a good father, a caring husband, and quite lavish when it came to Dimple. However, he denied her the permission to enter into movies. But she had taken the first step with Vijayendra Ghatge. Dimple may have walked out at 1984, but his movies also had started flopping. Though rumors prevail, and media hypes, Rajesh did not have any affair while married to Dimple, the years they had stayed together.
However Rajesh found love again with Tina Munim. Tina adored Rajesh, and they wanted to get married. Dimple, rejected divorce, as per sources from back then, repeatedly. At a time, when his movies were flopping , the shy Rajesh may have feared bad publicity, and also hurting his children, and hence may not have taken it to court battles. Rajesh states today, that he did not marry Tina, due to concern for his children, however sources from back then have a different story. Tina moved on to marry Anil Ambani, after a bout of higher studies. Today, it is easy to say, that if Rajesh and Tina had married, Rajesh would have had a supportive family, and like other stars, (the fall is unavoidable on the celluloid world), he would have been able to take his downfall with more happiness.Dimple, on the other hand is supposed to have joked, and possibly lied, to a journalist close to the family, years later, that both had no intentions of getting married a second time, hence they had avoided divorce, and whatever.
Of course alcohol is the one way to help him forget and speed his death, an option that Rajesh Khanna should have avoided. With no well wishers around him, no one realized the magnanimity of the escape from his sadness. Sources state that there had been a time when RK would arrive at his office at 3. PM, and drink from 6.00 PM to 4.00 AM. Rehabilitation had been tried a couple of times, but a lonely man's fight is much harder. It is said that years later, when Akshay Kumar, a big fan of RK from childhood days, took a genuine heartfelt interest on his father -in -law, that RK started living again.
Despite rejecting a divorce, Dimple is involved with Sunny Deol, a married man, and is known to have played around. Loneliness kicks in at Ashirwaad home and RK hopes Dimple will return. Thats the only thing that could work. But it doesnt'. Ironically, 1991 is the year Tina gets married to Anil Ambani, after the latter finally convinces his family to concede, and the year Dimple started appearing around with Sunny. One has to wonder at the sadness of Rajesh Khanna; on having lost his true lady love to a business magnate, while the wife who enforced such a sad life on him, is not even staying by his side. It is said, by a fan and cook of RK, that RK decided to become a recluse in the early 1990s, and fell deeply back into loneliness and alcohol, after a short bout of rehabilitation had actually worked.
Dimple has already started B Grade movies, and not much credible talent witnessed, apart from the hot shot roles, and some serious acting in art movies. Most of her movies flopped. Saagar has been criticized for her displays than any genuine talent, while Kaash and Rudaali had earned her some credits in talent. Her off beat movies today, do have some effective roles. But in the world of exceptional Hindi movies, with so many talented and beautiful stars, she is just one more mediocre actress in a struggling cinema crowd. The fact of the matter is, Dimple herself admits today that she has had no real hit after Bobby. For all the whiny days and immaturity gifted on Rajesh Khanna, at a time when he craved for some solid support and warmth from his wife, Dimple has never even been in the Top 10 stars, during any era. It is a sad paradox that a family got disillusioned and lost on her rash decision.
And mid way someone asked to write a book on RK. RK considered this, and after a week denied saying to the offer, something of the like, "If I tell you the truth about my life, I will have to let down the honor of many. I will not be able to do this." and the book was never written.
I am also happy, that it appears RK had some relief from his loneliness, by the return of a childhood friend. Media scandalizes that too. Yet this lady gave comfort and company to RK, that had not been possible by anyone else. This lady stayed by RK for 8 years, cared for him as a family, and loved him, on his bad days. Yet, she was not allowed into the funeral vehicle or Chautha, by the so called dutiful wife and family. She has been cast as a opportunist by media. But RK saw her as a friend, and she was one of the few who stayed by him, when he needed someone.
RK killed himself, a slow death, by excessive alcohol. My mother used to say Rajesh Khanna, once feared he would die of cancer, as he made so many movies, on that thread. RK feared right. Psychologically, he gave up on life, and drunk so much, that his liver gave up.
And then Dimple returns! Why? Obviously for cheap publicity! Or maybe her meaty roles tired her, and she realized that the marriage that RK had gifted her was actually better than them! And RK, has been stated to be dignified to talk dirty about his ladies. He may have stated in the end, "I still love my wife", tho it makes me wonder, how much of that was the emotional force exerted by the suddenly concerned family. A man who sounded natural while saying, "I hate tears Pushpa" on the sets of Amar Prem, was forced to a life of tears. A Naseem Khan who used to visit RK often for fanfare, states, that RK felt lonely, and lost. He would be quite unhappy. At his death, this man has given an exaggerated performance on some TV channels. But that does not take off the validity of RK's sadness.
Last few days, his fans resent his reputation, his talent being butchered. It is truly sad that the man who gave us so many romantic moments, the man who many loved and died for, failed to find true love.
Rajesh Khanna's tweet in August 2011 is
"Soft nature of a person does not mean weakness. Nothing is softer than water, but its force can break the strongest of rocks"
And his nature could have won, had he had the right loved ones around him.
Rajesh Khanna's favorite quote , that suits his life,
"Kise apna kahe, is kaabil nahin milta, yahan pattar tho bahut milte hain, lekin dil nahin milta!"
Whom shall I call mine, do not find someone worth it, Lots of stones are here, but no heart to be found.
RK's talent is immortal.
Some videos worth watching, in a media malformed cinematic world, to understand the true man behind the shy, soft nature RK, who knew not to fight back well from the media, or the types of Dimple.
Some stas credible:
Rajesh Khanna's twitter page, started in April 2011, when he decided to make public appearances:
Rajesh Khanna's last words to his fans:
Akshay Kumar with RK, the rapport between them is obvious.
What Shabana had to say on RK:
9 videos on BBC, taken at his heyday:
Amitabh-Rajesh Interview together in 1990
Memorable Photos on the Superstar
Lastly the corrections on errors:
1. He was "not" a fallen star. He had a career of 25 years, 170 films and many awards, which is quite great and impossible for most stars.
2. Rajesh Khanna had excellent charisma. He was 5' 9" and not short, but not as tall as the lanky AB.
3.Rajesh never abused Dimple, but had been a loving husband. However, he
did not permit her entry into movies. He once stated, had I seen Bobby, I
would not have married her. He obviously did not think her acting
suited his wife, with all that display.
4.Rajesh liked mujras, but never had any affair or flings, when married to Dimple.
5. Rajesh did not have an affair with Devyani. Devyani was known to be a venomous media lady, back then, Mumtaaz actually sued her once.
Devyani stated that Rajesh had been friendly to her, but once success
visited, he got remote. Who wouldn't from a gossip columnist? Rajesh
actually feared the media, and who likes it? Devyani wrote great tales of Rajesh, at his success and exaggerated tales of his failure. That is the real media. Rajesh took it in his stride, and never spoke against Devyani, despite her back biting nature.
7. Rajesh, had always
been waiting for Dimple to return, but Dimple played with him, while
refusing divorce yet her fling with Sunny, who did not even acknowledge
her. Rajesh kept telling the media, "It is a misunderstanding, she will
return". Dimple kept stating, "My marriage had been a farce. If it had
not been for my marriage I would be successful today"
8. Anita Adwani stated the truth. She loved Rajesh, and stayed by him, on his bad years, when no else stood by him.
Akshay did not bail Rajesh from any "financial" problems. In an
interview, Rajesh has openly stated, "Humare biradri me ladkiyonke
family se paise nahi lete" --> "We do not take money from our
Rajesh may have left Anju, but one has to remember he had also forgiven
her fling with Gary Sobers. If you see magazines those days, it is very
obvious that Anju was insecure with his success and used to act high
12. Bachans have great respect for
Rajesh, but not on Dimple. Only Rinky had been invited to Aish's godh
barai, as she is good friends with Shwetha.
14. Rajesh had come to terms with himself albeit slowly, as is clearly indicated by his later interviews.
Let us all fans hope that the media hysteria gets taken for what it is, and trust our opinions on the Rajesh Khanna, we knew.
Edited by lamhejaate - 25 July 2012 at 4:53pm