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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Rajesh Khanna: The First Indian Superstar Passes Away!


A small town of Assam—long time ago. The town had only one movie theatre and every Friday there was a change of movies. As small kids we were always focused on the movies being screened there. On Fridays, a cycle-rickshaw covered with huge posters and fitted with a loud speaker used to roam the town streets announcing the new movie. It came to our area too and we used to wait eagerly for the spectacle.                     
On a particular Friday the spectacle arrived and it announced the release of a new film called ‘Aradhana’ (Worship-1969) with a brand new hero named Rajesh Khanna. We never heard about him before. Songs of the movie were also being played and we got instantly attracted. We decided to watch the movie pretty soon. But rumors of a particular song (we came to know much later that the sexy song was captured in one camera take) prevented our parents giving the green signal. They watched it first and then fortunately for us thought it prudent to allow us to go for it. 
And we came to know Rajesh Khanna. We were never able to take our eyes off him ever. We desperately waited to watch one and every of his movies—as a classic romantic hero, as an action hero, as a comedy hero, as a tragedy hero and to the character roles in later years. His style of acting, his gait, his dialogue delivery, his facial contortions, his unique singing and dancing flair, his mannerisms and gestures and every detail about him got embedded in our mind since those childhood days. If his ‘Haathi Mere Sathi’ (Elephant My Partner-1971) fascinated us with the spectacle of a child being brought up by a pack of wild elephants, unheard of in those days in our parts, his family drama ‘Bawarchi’ (The Chef-1972) made us long for the movie again and again to cherish its heavenly goodness.
We started growing up with the Phenomenon of India Cinema. ‘Aradhana’ gave him instant nationwide fame that was incredible in those times when there were no television channels. Due to ill health of Mohammad Rafi who was signed to sing the songs Kishore Kumar was brought in and his voice became a made-for-each-other for Rajesh Khanna giving rise to the eternal controversy about who helped whom to rise to fame. Within the next three years from 1969 Rajesh Khanna gave as many as 16 super hits. The first superstar of Indian Cinema was thus born and we were the proud beholders of history being made—Rajesh Khanna becoming an integral part of Indian folklore. 
The greatest Bollywood hero had been unwell for the last few days with complaints of fatigue and exhaustion. He was moving in and out of a local Mumbai hospital. It had been a very painful experience for his millions of fans to see the superstar, the Phenomenon, the Indian actor legend reduced to a skeleton. But that is reality and it is always hard.
Rajesh Khanna was shifted back home yesterday and he passed away at his home in Mumbai today—the 18th of July, 2012 at the age of 69. A date that is going to remain with us forever. Bollywood has been stunned today and thousands of his fans are thronging his home here in Mumbai. The police and security personnel are having a real tough time controlling the surging crowds.
The mortal remains of Rajesh Khannal will be assigned to flames tomorrow—the 19th of July—at 11am. We pray for the eternal bliss of the departed soul.
Rajesh Khanna is here to stay to go on entertaining and enthralling his fans all around the globe. 

15 comments:

GeriLen ELinessete said...

thats sad, but at least he lived a beautiful life

Rahul said...

A great bollywood persona. The combo of Kishore Kumar Rajesh Khanna R D Burman was the best bollywood has ever produced. May his soul rest in peace.

Rosemarie-Pinay Singlemom said...

he is sure a big lose in the Bollywood industry..he may rest in peace

Thess Enriquez said...

He will be surely missed. He lived a good life, may he rest in peace.

Jen said...

It's nice to be updated on news in your country through your blog.

kath said...

truly his passing is a loss to Bollywood, may he rest in peace..

Raven Knives said...

Condolence to his family...

kat said...

I am not really familiar with bollywood stars but I have seen a few bollywood movies and I enjoyed them.

As I read his bio, he really is a great loss to the entertainment industry.

January said...

may his soul rest in peace..

shadz said...

This is a sad news for the Indian people. My condolences to the entertainment industry and all its supporters.

Vera said...

Here in the Philippines we also just lost what we call the King of Comedy. He was 83 or 84 when he passed. He and Rajesh Khanna will long be remembered.

avagabondmom said...

I'm sure he enjoyed his life! and at least, he won't be suffering anymore.

Jhari said...

Back in our country (Philippines), one of the actors that we call "King of Comedy" died as well last 10th of July. The whole Philippines was with the family's grievances all through out the week.

Aileen said...

69 is still young, I think. I am sure he is already missed by his many followers. But at least he left a lasting legacy

Sumi Go said...

This is indeed a very sad news. He will surely be missed and dearly remembered though. May he rest in peace.

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