Rajesh Khanna- A Phenomenon

Celebrity worship comes easy to us- Sport and Films being obvious candidates. So here goes, an ode to one of Bollywood's most popular "superstars".

Rajesh Khanna was not immediately successful, and had a couple of so-so films before he hit the big time with Shakti Samanta's Aradhana. Kishore Kumar and Rafi, along with SD Burman's tunes, lifted this film into the mega-hit-sphere, and Sharmila Tagore and Farida Jalal also played their roles. The songs are a hit even today, close to 50 years after they were composed- Gunguna rahe hain bhaware, Mere sapnon ki rani, Roop tera mastana, Kora kagaz tha yeh man mera, ...all classics. The debonair RK sang Baagon mein bahar hai with Farida Jalal in his second avatar in the film too.

Then followed a string of films in which he excelled, including Bawarchi, Amar Prem, Dushman, Hathi Mere Sathi, Aap ki Kasam, Mere Jeevan Sathi, Safar, Souten, Namak Haraam, and my favourite, Anand. Many were memorable, and most had great music. Kishore Kumar had a second meteoric (singing) innings in parallel with Rajesh Khanna's rise (except Anand, where Manna Dey and Mukesh sang for him).

Until Amitabh and the angry young man persona took over, RK represented the Age of Romance.

Comments

Harimohan said…
There is one line of thought in our group who grew up on Amitabh (just after Rajesh Khanna's era) that our romantic lives would have been better if we had RK as our role model and not AB. I think there is some truth there. All we did was stare angrily at the women which did not help much.
Rajendra said…
I agree. RK's approach at least would have given you a chance..

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