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The Truth about Rajesh Khanna, seedi, saanf story (Page 5)

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http://www.rediff.com/movies/report/rajesh-khanna-the-star-who-couldnt-cope/20120723.htm

Rajesh Khanna: The star who couldn't cope

July 23, 2012 12:37 IST
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Rajesh KhannaThere was something strangely off-centre about Rajesh Khanna [ Images ], both in performance and personality, writes Sunil Sethi.

Even at the height of his fame there was a curious inanity about Rajesh Khanna, the man behind the star.


In 1970 when Aradhana became a hit in the Soviet Union, a friend of mine, who worked for the Russian unit of All India [ Images ] Radio, was sent down to Bombay to record an interview with him.

Shakti Samanta [ Images ], keen to pump up his movie's overseas prospects, arranged a meeting at a film studio.

Khanna asked her to write down the questions, which she duly did, and come back the following day.

Next evening, he asked her to drive home with him in his limousine; on the way he rehearsed his answers in parrot-like English and dispensed cash to urchins at traffic lights who mobbed the car. The encounter grew stranger when he invited her into his bedroom, an octagonal sea-facing room that had no bed but was entirely padded in a deep mattress. Large blowups of himself adorned the walls; strewn about were electronic gadgets to summon staff and draw curtains.

Her anxiety subsided at his polite manners though he failed to give a single worthwhile quote.

"He was bizarre, banal and boring," she later recalled.

That was my impression as well, when I fetched up in the early 1980s for an interview by appointment. After a long wait, I was shown into an over-decorated living room (all shimmering silk and gilt) where he appeared in a garish turquoise raw silk kurta and matching lungi. He was carefully coiffed and groomed but I can't remember a thing he said. He was like a male Bollywood parody of Norma Desmond, herself a tragic parody of Hollywood stardom in Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard ('I AM big. It's the PICTURES that got small') -- but without the lines.

There was something strangely off-centre about Rajesh Khanna, in performance and personality. Perhaps that was the reason for his phenomenal appeal, the hysterical hero worship he aroused and the gushing tributes that have poured at his death.

If you look at his big hits of the early 1970s, from Aradhana to Amar Prem, he basically reprises the same acting style with jerky head tilts and velvety dialogue delivery.

In several of his films, it is his female co-stars -- Mumtaz, Sharmila Tagore [ Images ] and Asha Parekh -- who take the lead in wooing or seducing him.

The nature of star quality is difficult to define but his iconic status seemed freakish. Was he just the guy who got tremendously lucky between the decline of Bollywood's holy trinity of Raj Kapoor-Dilip Kumar-Dev Anand and the rise of Amitabh Bachchan [ Images ]?

If Rajesh Khanna had no great acting range, his career graph was also comparatively compressed. His inability to stick with things was reflected in his personal and political life. Many of his relationships crashed resoundingly: with his girlfriend Anju Mahendru, wife Dimple Kapadia [
Images ] and the acid-tongued film journalist Devyani Chaubal, who built him up, then fell out bitterly with him.

"Oh Kaka [ Images ]," she said sneeringly when I sought her help for an interview. "I no longer see him. He is too much a victim of his own image."

The film industry is a hard-hearted place and not short on hypocrisy. Many of the co-stars who remember him fondly today were less than charitable during his lifetime. For years, an intelligent and respected actress would wrinkle her nose and refuse to comment, making her dislike of him patently obvious.

Nothing succeeds like success, and political parties like to feed off Bollywood's excess. In 1992, he defeated the BJP's Shatrughan Sinha [
Images ] as the Congress candidate for the New Delhi [ Images ] by-election with a narrow margin of 25,000 votes. He did little for his constituency and proved a pretty pointless MP. He topped the list of parliamentarians who failed to make use of their development funds.

Rajesh Khanna's life can be viewed as a paradigm of stardom's tragedy. He found both success and failure hard to handle.

Nkapoor3 IF-Sizzlerz

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Posted: 23 July 2012 at 2:09am | IP Logged
For years, an intelligent and respected actress would wrinkle her nose and refuse to comment, making her dislike of him patently obvious.
 
This I am guessing is Sharmila Tagore!LOL
 
RK and Sharmila were known to not get along privately but he used to insist on having Sharmila as his heroine in most of his films, cause of his incredible on-screen chemistry with her!
 
If you read Sharmila's comment on RK post his death, she only talks about the 'actor' that RK was and his massive popularity with the audience, but doesnt' say anything on him as a person, unlike Mumtaz, who spoke quite warmly about him!
 
The more I read about Rajesh Khanna, the more he comes out as a complexed and intriguing man...a classic case of 'Too much too soon'!
 
He would make such an excellent subject for a bollywood film, btw!


Edited by poppy2009 - 23 July 2012 at 2:11am

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Posted: 23 July 2012 at 2:21am | IP Logged

I read a really funny piece somewhere that when Rajesh Khanna married Dimple, some female fans of his purchased Dogs and named it 'Dimple', in envy!LOL I can totally see where Aamir got his inspiration to name his Dog from!LOL

There was another article which mentioned that girls used to throw their duppatas on the ground when Rajesh Khanna used to walk by, so that even his feet did not touch the ground!Shocked
 
My mum told me that there was hardly any young girl in the years between 1969 to 1974 who wasn't a fan of RK and the whole trend of buying posters of film actors was actually popularized due to him!
 
Read another very interesting article by the character actor Tom Alter, who describes RK's superstardom and how it affected literally everyone living in India!
 
I think that RK will be famous mostly for creating such hysteria amongst the audience that till date is unparalleled...no other actor before him, during his time or after him has ever been as popular as he was in his time!
 
Even if his success was short-lived and his personal life a complete mess, he is still an icon of Indian Cinema...and will always remain so!


Edited by poppy2009 - 23 July 2012 at 2:21am

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Kal El IF-Rockerz
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This whole "who was the better person" argument is a bit tasteless IMO. It's not doing either side any favours. RK was human with virtues and flaws like all humans (except his was on a much, much bigger scale than the average person). Perhaps it's best to remember him that way.

Originally posted by poppy2009

The more I read about Rajesh Khanna, the more he comes out as a complexed and intriguing man...a classic case of 'Too much too soon'!
 
He would make such an excellent subject for a bollywood film, btw!


He would indeed make a fascinating character study on film. And I recommend Rajeev Khandelwal for the role. He can act but he isn't a big star so that his stardom would threaten to overshadow the role and film (like it would with the Khans, Hrithik, etc). Plus he even has an uncanny resemblance to the young Rajesh Khanna.

The only problem is that I don't think RK's family would allow such film to happen or even if they did, I doubt they would let it be too faithful to the story of his life.


Edited by Kal El - 23 July 2012 at 2:31am

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Posted: 23 July 2012 at 2:34am | IP Logged
If Sharmila didnt like working with RK why wouldnt she refuse? Btw even I was thinking RK would be a good subject for a film...or maybe even a Balaji Telefilms serial with so many women and extra marital affairs thrown in.

Edited by -ksh- - 23 July 2012 at 2:34am

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