Rajesh Khanna, the first Bollywood actor for whom the term ‘superstar’ was coined. He was born on 29 December 1942, in Amritsar in the state of Punjab. His real name was Jatin Khanna which he later changed to Rajesh Khanna on his uncle’s device. Rajesh always had a keen interest in acting but his father initially did not approve it. He always wanted to be an actor and had no other career preference. The hard work of man paid when he got selected in a talent hunt organized by Filmfare and United Producers in 1965 and came out as a winner. He was the superstar of the Film Industry long before television was popular in India. Beating all the odds, he became a mid-night star. Then came the era of Rajesh Khanna which made his fans go frenzy about his looks and style.
Rajesh Khanna gave 15 consecutive superhits as a solo lead hero in the 1969-1971 period. The films were Aaradhna, Do Raaste, Bandhan, Doli, Khamoshi, Ittefaq, Safar, Kati Patang, The Train, Sachaa Jhutha, Aan Milo Sajna, Mehboob Ki Mehndi, Dushmun, Andaaz and Anand. It was his time, it was the time for Rajesh Khanna. People started naming their child as ‘Rajesh’. He has seen stardom in the most phenomenal way as textbook prescribed by the Bombay University had an essay titled The Charisma of Rajesh Khanna when the actor was at the peak of his career. Khanna has done 180 films in a career spanning for 45 years.
Be it his films, his songs or his life, there is a lesson behind everything. With ‘Ye Jo Mohabbat Hai’, he set another definition for love. Rajesh Khanna’s songs can make you long for loneliness and melancholy. His songs were the perfect example of how one should value their friendship. He was the only character who was able to bring every emotion onscreen with those eyes which always had a lot to convey. Rajesh Khanna enjoyed the biggest possible fan-following. Girls used to write him letters in blood. He would often be mobbed by fans at public appearances. His cars used to be full of lipstick marks of crazy fans. There were stories of females marrying his photograph.
‘Babumoshai’s always had something interesting to convey to his fans. He taught us, ‘Zindagi bddi honi chahie, lambi nhi’, which is something we can all relate to. Rajesh Khanna films were known for its chartbuster soundtracks and the actor used to personally sit in music sessions and select tunes. He shared a great rapport with Kishore Kumar and RD Burman who often worked in his films. Rajesh Khanna was always an inspiration for all the aspiring Bollywood actors. With his remarkable talent, he made his fans believe everything that he portrayed on the screen. He was the Superstar of Indian film Industry and will always remain one.