OPINION

Rajesh Khanna - Missing the Babu Mushai Days.

October 18, 2007
Sakshi Juneja

Bollywood – strange place na. Some people put in their heart & soul and still are not able to climb the stardom ladder. And on the other hand we witness, new faces being tagged with celebrity status with their very first appearance. As it is often said "Out of sight, out of mind" - the very people who couldn't get enough of you once upon a time, today don't have few minutes to spare to you. Mind you, this not only happens to be the story of one-time actors but sadly, some of yesteryear's superstars as well.

I mean not everyone can boast of a filmy career graph as Amitabh Bachchan or be blessed with strong family support as Dharmendra paaji or be the head of India's leading Tele-Production house, all thanks to his enterprising daughter. Today many of these past idols either earn a living by doing cameo roles in films/television shows or work behind the scenes. Some have completely given up the glamour business, while placing more importance on the family-time, which they couldn’t during their hay days.

And then you read about legendary megastars, someone like Rajesh Khanna and you can't help but wonder what a real bitch life can be. I remember my mum fondly talking about those Rajesh Khanna frenzy days - how she and her gals bunked classes to watch his films, just his smile would melt the hearts of thousands of women, his pairing with actress Mumtaz was a sure-hit formula, his off-beat dancing style and above all his greatest performance in the film, Anand.

But those babu mushai days are long gone now. Today this very actor lives nothing but a pitiful life. He may be financially sound but money surely cant substitute for love, family or bring back those days of glory. Even though he is still married to actress Dimple Kapadia, they have been living separately since early 80s. Both their daughters are happily married and immersed in their professional lives. And that leaves him with nothing but loneliness and its disturbing side effects.

Recently Mumbai Mirror reported this incident –

The yesteryear superstar Rajesh Khanna was not at his best of behavior on Saturday evening at the launch of an entertainment company. A lady journalist who went up to the actor to exchange greetings and ask for his phone number was left perplexed when she was greeted with "46-36-46". An eyewitness who was present there says, "The lady seemed quite surprised at what the romantic hero of the '70s was hinting at. He probably saw her expression and told her that it is a vital statistics of an average Italian woman. The lady didn't know what had hit the actor." Apparently, Khanna was pre-occupied with vital statistics of his female colleagues during one of his outdoors last year.

 Couple of months back there was another write-up over an incident where drunken Rajesh Khanna was nearly beaten by a man for whistling at his girlfriend near some cafe in Bandra. I think it was published in Mid-Day.

Looking at his sorry state, the first word that comes to mind is 'Ironic'. Imagine living thru the extreme highs and lows in one life time. Many of us are envious of the stature achieved by these famous faces and all the perks that come along with celebrity-hood. But what about its downside? I for one wouldn't wish it even for my enemies.

Saakshi O. Juneja is an active blogger, feminist and overboard dog lover. Currently working as a Business Development Manager for a sportswear manufacturing company in Mumbai, India. Did graduation in Marketing & Advertising from Sydney, Australia. As far as blogging is concerned...is a complete Blog-a-holic.
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#1
Adventurer
October 18, 2007
05:34 AM

YAWN YAWN YAWN YAWN!!!!

#2
Saakshi O. Juneja
URL
October 18, 2007
05:39 AM

@ Adventurer - So it's certain; you prefer the "nasty" me. :-)

#3
Adventurer
October 18, 2007
06:09 AM

Most certainly, go on dole out what you got :)

While, I like the first part the 2nd part is disappointing, more like the last page of Delhi Times / Mumbai Times, Rajesh Khana, flirtatious septuagenarian

#4
Jawahara
URL
October 18, 2007
07:43 AM

From what I remember from old Stardust and Star and Style mags...he never had a great reputation even when he was a start. I always had the impression he was some kind of sexist boor. And, of course, a 30+ guy marrying a 15-16 year old always gave me the creeps too.

Plus...he danced like he had painful boils under his arms.

#5
Jawahara
URL
October 18, 2007
08:11 AM

Errr...."a star," not "a start."

#6
updike98
URL
October 18, 2007
08:37 AM

Contrast this with Jitendra he seems to be leading a blissful mid-life.His life is filled happiness, succesful kids and a decent marriage.Even the Bachans seem tawdry in comparison.

#7
radzi
October 21, 2007
06:14 AM

That was a very carelessly written article.

The BOTTOM LINE of the article is what written as below:

"And that leaves him with nothing but loneliness and its disturbing side effects."

The collection of events to verify such claim are....:

1. Mumbai Mirror article.

Recently....??????
How recent was it published? What date? What is the date of the incident that was reported? Who was the female reporter that ask him the number?

...There were no specific data!

Why would a lady ask for his personal number? She was the one that chased him, not him chasing her? It contradict the earlier statement written ..."today don't have few minutes to spare to you."? Rajesh Khanna do not want to responce to the media...and they still are chasing him.

Please note that when he visited the golden temples, people waited for hours to storm him....
...Now Rajesh is alone???????? Lonely????? those are real data...people still adore him, chase him. That is why he keep his number to himself. Yeah...if you'd ask me. I'll too would say "34-24-34."

Now who had harassed who? This half baked story will surely sided the media.

The 2nd evident...

2. May be a report from Mid-Day.

Again for a strong attacking report, there was no concrete data again. Not sure of the reference. Again NO exact date...(a couple of month ago?)...Incident where Kakaji was almost beaten by a boyfriend ....."I think it was published in Mid-Day."......What???? "I THINK???" What kind of a report is that?

If this is an engineering or a scientific report. It will be thrown out off the window. There is NO DATA! There is no direct reference. Very vague! but sharply attacking Anand (not Babu Moshai).

And the picture too was from "AMAR PREM"??? and not of Babu Moshai?
Poor poor article. Third world paper. or is it a tabloid?

#8
radzi
October 22, 2007
05:50 AM

I wonder.

In the first place...Why write anything about the yesteryear superstar Rajesh Khanna when nobody cares about him anyway?

#9
PH
URL
October 23, 2007
05:57 PM

One thing I'm biased about: I never liked Rajesh Khanna (even Anand/Baawarchii were more well written roles than Rajesh Khanna)
Mahmood became my fav ever since he satirized him in Bombay To Goa; the bus driver and conductor are called "Rajesh" and "Khanna" respectively (or was it the other way round?) and they run around the bus calling out to each other "Raaajesh" "Khannaa"...and then Mahmood congratulates Kishore Kumar "Your film Aaraadhana was a hit", obviously giving credit where it belongs:)... oh its hilarious!

Creepy and a bad actor. Why, o why, was he a star?

#10
radzi
October 28, 2007
03:55 AM

PH,

For me....

I hate those who became star with poorly written roles...

Poorly written that corrupted and down graded the society and the industry. It further demoted and killed talents from the industry.

#11
Mitra
URL
October 31, 2007
05:47 AM

Rajesh Khanna was God. No questions asked. The world knows. He knew how to use the media and the press. he still does. thats why all these stupid articles. The press is used automatically. The media still remains the slave of the Ever reigning God and one of the nbest actors of all times. Period.

#12
Gosh
November 1, 2007
09:19 PM

Surely he was not God, but just a special human being. To some of these folks, he is a Ghost that is still haunting them for some reasons only these stupid folks understand.

#13
V. Manohar
URL
January 8, 2009
07:09 AM

An unique phenomenon - Super Star Rajesh Khanna
Years may have passed, blockbusters may have happened, the film galaxy may have produced several other stars, but those who have seen Super Star Rajesh Khanna in his heydays (first super star of the nation) still believe that there was, there still is or there will be, no one like him. Because he is an Unparalleled Phenomenon

#14
Kerty
January 8, 2009
10:56 AM

Rajesh was my fav stars along with Dharmendra and Sanjeev. He was amazing in some of his early movies - Anand, Amar Prem, Bawarchi, Kati Patang, Namak Haram, Do Raste, Haathi Mere Sathi etc He became repetitive and boring after years, as he mistook facial and physical mannerisms and hamming for acting and begin to exaggerate them and also begin to get typecast by picking same roles - so he lost his acting range and freshness. One can say, he got trapped in his own stardom. I do not think Media was kind to him. The same media that raised him to the starry sky was merciless once his acting began to falter and media took it out at his personal level. Stars do lead crazy personal lives, which star does not? But fallen stars are easy prey and media tends to feast on them.

I think one of the biggest blunders actors can make is to enter into politics. As an actor, one acquires fan base that cuts across party lines. Actors are natural unifiers. But nature of political sphere is to divide the allegiance of people along party lines. Politics tend to divide the fanbase along party lines. An actor might bring few fans into the party fold, but he would lose a few too. Why would a congress supporter rally behind a BJP actor? So it does not add anything to the political party. While actors personally come out losers as they truncate their own fanbase. Producers do not make movies strictly for party-delimited audiences. So such actors lose their value for the movie industry. Very few actors have made it successfully in politics. And very few have made it successfully in both politics and movies. Media persons with party-line bias get one more reason to go after damning stories and such actors. Saga of Kaka should be a cautionary tale for all other stars.

#15
Vinod Kumar
February 19, 2009
12:32 AM

I have gone several articles its media responsible for writing against the actor rajesh khanna. There were no such incidence occured and all manipulated stories against the star to defame with help of some power. He is real hero of bollywood.

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