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Rajesh Khanna ❄ [KINDLE] ✽ Rajesh Khanna By Gautam Chintamani ➝ – Like a shooting star doomed to darkness after a glorious run Rajesh Khanna spent the better half of his career in the shadow of his own stardom Yet forty years after his last monstrous hit Khanna cont Like a shooting star doomed to darkness after a glorious run Rajesh Khanna spent the better half of his career in the shadow of his own stardom Yet forty years after his last monstrous hit Khanna continues to be the yardstick by which every Bollywood star is measured With seventeen blockbusters in succession and mass adulation rarely seen before or since the world was at Khanna's feet The hysteria he generated women writing letters in blood marrying his photograph donning white when he married Dimple Kapadia was unparalleled Then in matter of months it all changed Khanna's career hit a downward spiral just three years after Aradhana and never really recovered Rajesh Khanna Ek Tanha Sitara looks at the phenomenon of an actor who redefined the 'film star' Gautam Chintamani's engaging narrative tries to make sense of what it was that made Rajesh Khanna and what accounted for his extraordinary fall.

10 thoughts on “Rajesh Khanna

  1. Madhulika Liddle Madhulika Liddle says:

    I was born in an odd generation that somehow missed the Rajesh Khanna euphoria I missed inheriting it from my parents who had been young and film crazy when Ashok Kumar Shammi Kapoor and Dev Anand had been in their prime And I missed being part of it; I was born just after Rajesh Khanna—who had one of the shortest ever reigns of any superstar anywhere—had come to the last of his fifteen in a row super hit films Yes I admit it I am not too much of a Rajesh Khanna fan I like him alright; I think he's gorgeous in films like Aradhana and so very poignant in Anand But I wouldn't go out of my way to read a biography of the man So when I received a review copy of Gautam Chintamani's Dark Star The Loneliness of Being Rajesh Khanna Harper Collins Publishers India P ISBN 978 93 5029 620 2; E ISBN 978 93 5136 340 8; ₹499; 242 pages I was a little ambivalent I was not particularly interested in the life of Rajesh Khanna On the other hand this man had acted in some of the greatest hits of the late 60s films that were both extremely popular as well as critically acclaimed I finally decided I might as well read Dark Star And ended up being enthralled by it Chintamani's biography of Rajesh Khanna—a man once so popular that he received fan mail written in blood with accompanying certificates from doctors to confirm that the 'ink' was indeed human blood; women 'married' his photograph or bent to the road when his car passed and put the dust in the parting of their hair in lieu of sindoor—is a fascinating account of how a man with no filmi connections entered Hindi cinema shot to the top in what can only be called a meteoric rise—and then suddenly fell his collapse just as spectacular as his rise Dark Star The Loneliness of Being Rajesh Khanna begins with a foreword by Sharmila Tagore apt considering she was Rajesh Khanna’s co star not merely in his first big hit Aradhana but also in a series of extremely popular films including Safar and Amar Prem The foreword besides being a good introduction to the book is also perhaps ironically very suited to what follows; it is not an unadulterated paean to Rajesh Khanna While praising Khanna’s ‘disarming smile youthful energy an innate sense of drama and a well modulated voice’ Ms Tagore talks also of his inability to arrive on time for a shoot for a 9 am shift he never arrived before noon—and since Sharmila Tagore reached the studios by 8 am and wanted to be home with her family by 8 pm it was hard on her She writes how when they stopped doing films together “ it was a huge relief” The book itself is in a similar vein while it acknowledges Rajesh Khanna’s contribution to Hindi cinema and while it is a biography of Hindi cinema’s first ‘superstar’ it is not a biased he could do no wrong telling of this man’s story Instead over the course of 16 chapters—from Childhood College and Struggle to Pack Up Chintamani uses everything from interviews with people who knew or worked with Rajesh Khanna to excerpts from magazine and newspaper articles to references from blog posts our very own Memsaab finds a mention to present a many sided view of Rajesh Khanna the man as an actor Born Jatin Khanna in 1942 Khanna grew up in Bombay where he was adopted and brought up by his childless uncle and aunt Nicknamed Kaka when he a child Khanna had a privileged even spoilt childhood In college along with his old schoolmate Ravi Kapoor who went on to become another star Jeetendra Khanna took to theatre The switch from theatre to cinema did not come easily; but when it came—with Khanna’s winning the Filmfare United Producers Combine Talent Hunt competition—it came with some of the biggest names in the industry Part of the contract for the winner of the competition was that each of the film makers who were part of the United Producers Combine was to make a film with the winner Considering these included stalwarts like Nasir Hussain BR Chopra Bimal Roy Shakti Samanta HS Rawail GP Sippy and Subodh Mukherji it meant the moon and the stars could be within the grasp of the winner—and Jatin Khanna it was But since ‘Jeetendra’ almost the same as Jatindra Jatin’s official name was already taken he chose another name ‘Rajesh’ Khanna And debuted in one of the most offbeat films— and role—a Hindi film actor of the 60s could have chosen that of Govind a man who deserts his pregnant lover in Chetan Anand’s Aakhri Khat Aakhri Khat along with Rajesh Khanna’s next two films— Raaz and Bahaaaron ke Sapne—made little impact on the box office Aurat 1967 didn’t do well either but with his fifth film— Aradhana—Rajesh Khanna struck gold There was no looking back then as he piled up one hit after the other in a straight run of 15 films leaving the rest of the competition behind and creating a sensation such as Hindi cinema had never seen beforeA sensation as it happened that actually lasted for only about 3 years—because by about 1972 Rajesh Khanna’s luck had begun to run out It wasn’t just the fact that a certain young man who’d acted the earnest doctor to Khanna’s dying but ebullient patient in Anand had suddenly started to shine It was also that Hindi cinema was changing its dynamics and metaphors and what worked or didn’t were changing Gautam Chintamani shows the road Rajesh Khanna travelled and in the process shows us much of the man himself generous even effusively so at times ruthless imperious labouring under the weight of his own stardom at others There are stories of the darbars he used to host at his home; of his high handedness when dealing with film makers; his attempts—sometimes failed sometimes successful as in Kudrat at reinventing himself The book touches briefly on Khanna’s personal life but the emphasis remains on the professional And the end result is an interesting look at Rajesh Khanna There is trivia one that stood out for me was the fact that Rajesh Khanna could—without the help of glycerine—summon tears at one word from the director There are anecdotes an interesting contrast for instance between how Khanna gave 7 difficult retakes for an emotional scene in Aap ki Kasam even though the retakes were not his fault; but—just a few years later—was insufferably high handed about giving a retake for a scene he couldn’t get right in Mehbooba There is stuff about how films came to be made and there’s a brief synopsis for each film and there is now and then an account of Khanna’s relations with film makers other actors his fans But what I came away with when I finally closed Dark Star was not a head full of trivia and Rajesh Khanna anecdotes but a feel of what a complex character this man was How successful how longing for that now elusive success shortly after How apt an example of ‘fallen star’ How much than just his rolesA satisfying book even for someone who’s not a Rajesh Khanna fan or not much PS And yes one thing that I liked a lot each chapter heading has a subject appropriate tagline drawn from a Rajesh Khanna song Pack Up the last chapter for instance has the tagline Achcha toh hum chalte hain Very clever and it reminded me even as I read the book of all the many hit songs picturised on Rajesh Khanna Originally posted on my blog

  2. Amrendra Amrendra says:

    A most honest biography that looks through the life and times of the First Superstar this is a book that charts Khanna's life from the beginning to the end through his cinematic journey in Bollywood From winning the talent hunt by Producers Combine to his rise to stardom with movies like Aradhana and Amar Prem from his open rivalry with Amitabh Bachchan to his impulsive wedding to Dimple and his open affairs with Anju Mahendru and Tina Munim this book covers it all The treatment of the book is true in the sense that it throws light on the actor's life through the movies that he did and not through titillating anecdotes These movies were Rajesh's way of expressing himself in various phases of his career and he so loved the spotlight He always considered himself the King of Box Office and the King of Romance and took these titles way too seriously No wonder he retained his charismatic smile and the spark in his eyes till the very last as seen in his last commercial for Havells shot by R BalkiThe book also captures the star's reckless actions and how he always longed for stardom even in his last days Somewhere it also brings out the vulnerability of the softer and charming person that he was in an era dominated by action violence and raw physicality In personal life also it seems that Khanna's search for love and his insecurities got the better of him Still remembered for his golden heydeys his musical filmography with the likes of Kishore Kumar and RD Burman his huge fandom his portrayal of sensitive roles his championing of women oriented movies and his inimitable style of acting with his charming smile Rajesh Khanna is a Dark Star who noone can forget The very fact that he did not last long unlike Bachchan has kept his ever young and innocently charming image fresh in the minds of his admirers and it will remain so till a very long time

  3. Sayantani Dasgupta Sayantani Dasgupta says:

    I love books based on the Hindi film industry This biography of Rajesh Khanna besides being aptly titled was well written too It concentrated on his films and less on his personal life’s failures and successes

  4. Madhavi Ghare Madhavi Ghare says:

    An insightful look into the ups and downs of Rajesh Khanna's career The first superstar of the Indian film industry this was a man consumed by his own mythThe author treads a fine line successfully I might add of staying on topic and doesn't bring references of the actor's personal life unless it is connected or reuiredA brilliant portrayal of the career graph of a man who was once the romantic ideal and idol of many a women

  5. Rakhi Jayashankar Rakhi Jayashankar says:

    If we should learn from someone's life it surely would be the one with the most ups and downs We have seen numerous stars rise and fall before us but never did India witness an immediate rise and fall of someone before and after Rajesh KhannaBorn to an aristocratic business family brought up and spoilt by the familial love Jatin Khanna had the seeds of ego narcissism and possessiveness right from the childhood From his rise as a theater artist to the winner of an acting contest to the first superstar in the history of Indian cinema to the deepest fall in history Jatin aka Rajesh Khanna's life has everything that a thrilling blockbuster would ask forAuthor has portrayed the actor's life with the level of reflection that none would dare to Author has managed to contact practically everyone barring a few to have a clearer idea of what led to what and has succeeded to a great extend Author has beautifully explained each and every film by the actor right from the plot to the songs to the behind the camera glimpses If adapted into a movie the book has everything that the maker would ask forThe parallel track of the rise of Amitabh Bachan is depicted so subtly that author has put forward the real circumstances that led to the change in graph of the actor at the same time managing to make sure that he did not hurt anyone's sentiments Deliberately or due to lack of data author has not delved much into the personal life of the legendary actor which might be disappointing to an average voyeuristic readerWhile author has put forward the facts to the maximum precision possible interpretation of some of the actions of the actor for eg decision to marry Dimple were uni linear and inspired from the assumptions of the third persons which could have been wrong But author has made sure not to be too vocal about the same The book is surely a lesson to every youth as to how one should not get carried away by hisher success the biography proves that handling success and remembering their base is important to anyone irrespective of the level of successI recommend this book to everyone who wants to become a winner

  6. Santosh Rangapure Santosh Rangapure says:

    What a wonderful book to finish with It was like a treat to read story of a Megastar Rajesh Khanna who was mostly known as Kaka The writer Gautam Chnitamani has thrown light on every aspect of Kaka's life with his elegant writing style The story takes you on ride like roller coaster throughout Khanna's life's ups and downs The story teaches you to be humble even if you are at the top of your professional life The people you are humiliating or hurting today only because of their circumstance today they may become successful or even star in future It is very important to be kind humble and respectful to the people around you be it your personal or professional life and Khanna somehow ignored this most important aspect of life and paid heavily for his mistake One thing to be learned from Khanna episode is to be always be updated with the constant change happening around you because what is hit successful and flourishing today is not going to be there always time is going to change and you cannot afford to be living in same pattern of life When Amitabh Bachhan wave arrived with symbolic angry young man image after Zanjeer it completely devastated Khanna and he was being entirely isolated from the audience and film fraternity He could not make sense of the situation and being in total frustration started doing mistakes which totally sank his career boatAlso his personal life had many flaws with relationships with Anjoo Mahendru Tina Munim and failed marriage with Dimple He was born in super rich business family and somehow because of his improper upbringing he had no value for people relationships and money for which he had to pay heavily in his adult life The final touch of the story with Khanna facing camera for the last time in his life was Havells advertisement mad by Balki and the writer has elaborated this story in very interesting manner which is like a climax of fascinating life of Rajesh Khanna a legend of Bollywood

  7. Sharang Limaye Sharang Limaye says:

    This is melancholic reading even for the ones not fanatic for Rajesh Khanna The story of the actor's meteoric rise and even sharper fall is well known but not well chronicled That's sad considering Khanna was India's first bonafide superstar Chintamani does well to fill a conspicuous gap There's the usual fare of unknown tidbits about actor's personal life thrown in This book however is a summary of his professional life Interesting vignettes about his movies and his relationships with colleagues makes this extremely readable The author is clearly a fan of his subject and tends to glorify his rather pedestrian acting abilities That apart 'Dark Star' is a pretty unbiased account of a remarkable career that promised than it delivered

  8. Animesh Mitra Animesh Mitra says:

    Partly entertaining partly boring give the feel like a big Wikipedia The only crucial information of the book is Rajesh Khanna sexually molested and attempted to rape 15 year old debutante minor actress Sabeeha Khiladi 1994 on the set of the film Anokha Rishta 1986

  9. Dippak Dippak says:

    BeautifulVery heart touching and nicely narratedcame to know much than knew about legend of legend and all time super star

  10. Saurabh Kumar Saurabh Kumar says:

    A readable account of Hindi cinema’s first and only superstar

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