“Zindagi ek safar hai suhana, yaha kal kya ho kisne jana…“, We can totally imagine you thinking of a man riding a bullet wearing a multi-striped shirt with black pants and a vest, singing this. Yes, we are talking about the eternally stylish and the evergreen actor late Rajesh Khanna. Jatin Khanna, as he was named, but popularly known as Rajesh Khanna to all of us is referred as the original superstar of Bollywood. He is also referred as KAKA with love by his friends and film fraternity.
Rajesh Khanna began his career with the movie Aakhri Khat, which was India’s official entry to the Oscars in the foreign language film category. He bagged Aakhri Khat as the winner of the All India Talent Contest organised by United Producers and Film-fare beating more than ten thousand contestants. But his big break was in the movie Raaz when he had to work with the then highly popular actress, Babita. After that, his popularity rose and his work portfolio increased significantly. He went on to do the ever famous Aradhna, Baharon ke Sapne, Aurat, Hathi Mere Sathi.
His popularity was so high that everyone had gone crazy over him. Women flocked to meet him, take a glance at him. They even married his pictures, applying their blood as Sindoors. That was the hysteria that followed Kaka’s popularity. So much was his stardom, there had to be police protection everywhere he went. Girls would wait for hours just to see him. Be it his shooting venues, studios or a public event.
In the years 1969 to 1971 Kaka had 17 hit films as the Lead Hero, which included the films like Aradhana, Doli, Bandhan, Anand and Haathi Mere Saathi, to name a few. In 1976, BBC made a documentary on him named “Bombay Superstar”. The following years he did more than 50 films and had been honored with 4 filmfares and many other awards. He was also the highest paid actors from 1970 to 1987! He was also an MLA from Delhi from 1992-1996.
Rajesh Khanna, the man who’s style and persona inspired millions of fans so much that men would flock to theatres wearing an outfit similar to Kaka’s and tailors were handed requests time and again to emulate what he wore in the movie. The scarfs and suits in Aradhana, his all white dressing in Amar Prem, his goggles in Andaz all brought a revolution in fashion scene in India.
To one Man who drove millions of people crazy, got the women gaga in a coservative era, Rajesh Khanna Saab, your legacy and your work will remain in our hearts forever. Pushpa,He hates tears!