Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A glorious safar ends

His recent public appearance and sign of victory with his fingers did put doubts of his ailing health to rest, but not for too long. Ashirwad – the nest of a lonely heart on Carter Road witnessed a flood of admirers, media persons and friends, as they condoled his wife Dimple, daughters Twinkle and Rinke and son in-law Akshay Kumar. Rajesh Khanna, the ultimate epitome of romance, who made many-a-hearts skip a beat, breathed his last on Wednesday morning, following a prolonged illness. He was 69.

With an unbeatable record of 15 hits in a row, his journey of life indeed resembles a film reel. A struggler in Mumbai, backed by apprehensive guardians, accompanied by a car and an elementary theatre experience, he let his talent do the talking. Beating 10000 participants, Jatin a.k.a. Rajesh Khanna emerged as the winner of a talent hunt held by Filmfare in 1965, and what a gem of a find he was! His trophy was Aakhri Khat, a film by Chetan Anand. In spite of flops, he attracted the likes of Shakti Samanta, Raj Khosla, Asit Sen and A.Subba Rao. The offers kept pouring in thereafter. A cult was born.

Do Raaste, , an underrated Saccha Jhutha, Ittefaq, Doli, Bandhan Safar,  Haathi Mere Saathi and Andaz, the poignant Anand, Kati Patang, Maryada, Aan Milo Sajana, Dushman, Amar Prem, Daag, Anuraag, Namak Haram, the home production - Roti, Premnagar, Aap Ki Kasam, Ajnabee, Prem Kahani and many more. He ruled the box office. He catapulted Kishore Kumar’s career as a singer. He was a favorite with composers, who gave him the best. The most memorable songs of the 70s and 80s are picturised on Khanna and it was thanks to him that S.D.Burman, R.D.Burman Kalyanji-Anandji and Laxmikant-Pyarelal gained a plus point over their competitors. Zindagi ek safar hai suhana, kahin door jab din dhal jaye, mere dil mein aaj kya hai, - a lyric for every occasion, a life that could be narrated in songs. 

The 70’s as a decade resonated the length and breadth of the country and established his reign under the title ‘Kaka’, the first Superstar of India. Stardom is too lukewarm a term for the hysteria he generated. The Bawarchi of hits was known for his style of brewing the flames of romance. Every nod, every wink, every gesture of his, set thousands of female hearts-a-flutter.  He indirectly taught countless boys the art of approaching their dream girls and first crushes. So immense was his craze, that there were instances where girls smothered his car with lipstick marks and married his photographs.  Sacks of letters written in blood were a common sight at his home. Women brought their sick kids at his doorstep to seek his blessings. With his unique mannerisms, he was a favorite with mimicry artists. His guru kurta and char daantwala bracelet were a favorite with men. And yes, he did break a million hearts with his impromptu marriage to Dimple Kapadia. If the era could be recorded live and shown to youngsters today, they would know what a demi-God he was!

His fall struck like a bolt from the blue – some blame it on his lack of professionalism, some on his estranged family relations. He became a man who witnessed hero-worship and loneliness to its extremes. Towards his last years, his deterioration was a perfect example of how fickle stardom was, how success was temporary. Fortunately for him, in his last moments he was in the comforts of his family and home. But the fact remains that no one experienced or lived stardom the way he did. His last Television advertisement directed by R. Balki stands testimony to his life “Mere fans ko mujhse koi nahin chheen sakta”. 

RIP Kakaji – you were an Enigma indeed

3 scribbling(s):

Anonymous said...

Thumbs Up!

Anonymous said...

A sad day indeed. But Anand maraa nahi Anand marte nahi..

Himankur said...


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