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Rajesh Khanna: First superstar of Hindi Cinema moves to celestial congregation
July 18, 2012 06:12:06 PM IST By Enkayaar, Glamsham Editorial
So finally it has happened. The first superstar of Hindi cinema Rajesh Khanna popularly known as Kaka could not tide over the sickness that had inflicted him and passed away into the annals of history, or rather moved up in the sky to become a shining star to watch his aura that he created among the fans more than four decades ago.
While the jury may be out whether his featuring in the advertisement campaign of a fan was a correct decision on his part, what it underlined was the fact that the kind of obsessive fan following that Rajesh Khanna had has not been emulated again in the annals of Hindi cinema. This writer was privy to his fan following watching his film RAAZ in a village godown in Chakia in Varanasi, the film being screened on a temporary screen made out from sacks on which white paper was stuck. His songs were rewinded umpteen number of times and the spool could not withstand the pressure and the film was not shown completely. But nobody complained as they had been enthralled in his magic.
He was the first actor who created his own mannerism, the slightly tilted head that used to bobble with a jerk, his own unique hairstyle, the guru collar, and the short kurtas, which have now become a fashionable accessory, were his creation and contribution to the world of cinema. Those were the times when dress designers as an entity had still to make their debut in the world of Hindi cinema, imagine what effect would 'Kaka' have had on the fans, if he would have been helped by a designer and an image consultant. But may be he would have been helped in his image making by Anju Mahendroo who was a fashion consultant. He was a star who did not think twice before appearing with a pimpled face on the screen as well as he did in AMAR PREM. He was also the first star who popularized a new trend of wearing a belt over a shirt.
Making his debut with AAKHRI KHAT in 1966, he evolved into the phenomenon with ARADHANA in 1969, i.e. within 3 years, and never looked back before ANAND happened in his acting career, where the death scene of the film, where he passed away, saw the emergence of Amitabh Bachchan as the new phenomenon.
His evolution as a superstar was helped to a large extent by the voice of Kishore Kumar, the lilting music of Pancham aka R D Burman and the directors of the likes of Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Shakti Samanta, Yash Chopra, Dulal Guha etc., all. Such was his aura that in 1973 BBC had made a documentary on him christening it as BOMBAY SUPERSTAR and had screened it as a part of Man Alive series. Within 7 years of his acting debut to be a subject of a documentary made by none other than BBC was a tribute to the sway that this man had on the Indian audience and the cataclysmic changes that he bought into the film industry.
All his contemporaries and even the stars of the present times have gone on record to say that they would give their right hand to be in the position that Kaka enjoyed. His Carter Road Bungalow , Aashirwad was one of the favorite spots for tourists from outside and even those belonging to Mumbai, and the folklore has it that fans used to spend days outside his bungalow to get a glimpse of his face.
He was also a star who made his comebacks as well, most famous being that with SAUTAN, and they followed by AAJ KA M.L.A RAM AVTAR. As a matter of fact the issue of parents being ill-treated that Aamir Khan had dwelt upon in Satyamev Jayate, Rajesh Khanna had enacted the same role in AVATAR, which again was a phenomenal hit.
In his passing away Hindi cinema has lost its one of the most shinning luminaries that it could ever have. Now the triumvirate that created one of the most magical moments of Hindi cinema is complete, Rajesh Khanna joining the gang of Pancham and Kishore Kumar, may be god would be enthralled by the elfin charm of Kaka. May his soul rest in peace.