Rajesh Khanna No More - THE "ONLY" SUPERSTAR OF INDIA BID'S ADIEU!!!

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Rajesh ji is no longer with us... he left for his heavenly abode yesterday, the 18th July 2012 after a prolonged illness in his residence, AASHIRVAAD, No. 2, Carter Road, Bombay.

Along with the mortal body of Rajesh Khanna, the ONLY superstar of India, bits and pieces of people like us, who literally grew up on his films also burned on the pyre today in Bomabay's, Vile Parle Crematorium.

My movie journey which still continues started off with his "Aradhana" in 1969, when I was kid. Since then, I have not missed even a single movie starring the ONLY Superstar of India, Rajesh Khanna, and can boast of watchinf some of his wonderful flicks for 7 to 8 times repeatedly.

Rajesh-ji is entwined, engraved, amblazoned in my bones with the memories of my shildhood, boyhood and late teens. I was thunderstruck when I came across the news in a computer perpheral shop yesterday in the afternoon, as I was devastated by the death of Dev Anand last December.

I am dying in pieces too, very slowly, liked being grilled on a bed of charcaol fire with the exits of people like Jagjit Singh, Shammi Kapoor, Pintu Bhattacharyam, Dev Anand and Rajesh Khanna.

Rajesh -ji has appeared in 163 feature films of which 128 films saw him as the lead protagonist; he appeared in 17 short films as well. 

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He has won three Filmfare Best Actor Awards and was nominated for the same fourteen times.

He received the most BFJA Awards for Best Actor (Hindi) – four times and was nominated 25 times.

In 1991, he was awarded the Filmfare Special Award for completing 25 years in the industry, appearing in a record 106 films as the single lead protagonist in a span of 25 years.

In 2005, he was awarded the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award.

Khanna was referred as the "ONLY Superstar" of Hindi cinema, and thats 101% true!!!

He made his debut in 1966 with Aakhri Khat and rose to prominence with his performances in films like Raaz, Baharon Ke Sapne, Ittefaq and Aradhana, Amar Prem, Ajnabee, Mehbooba and of course Aavishkaar and Anand, films that will keep Rajesh Khanna’s name always shining bright way above others for eternity.

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He gave 35 Golden Jubilee Hits in the period 1966-1975, three more in 76-78 and 35 more in the period 1979-1991 and gave 22 silver jubilee hits in the period 1966-1991. Kishore Kumar's Songs made Rajesh Khanna a superstar... He also holds a record of making 15 Superhit Golden Jubilee Films year after year in the brief period of 1969 to 1972.

Till Date NO ONE, I repeat - NO  ONE has been able to break this RECORD, nor ever anyone will break it!

Because "Romance" literally has died a tragic death yesterday...

The kind of craze created and witnessed by Rajesh Khanna has not been duplicated by anyone, nor can ever be.... He was the biggest and the most real Superstar Bollywood will ever produce!

Khanna was born in Amritsar on December 29, 1942. Khanna lived in Thakurdwar near Girgaon in Mumbai.

Rajesh Khanna was one of eight finalists in the 1965 All India Talent Contest organised by United Producers and Filmfare from more than ten thousand contestants. Subsequently, Khanna won the contest.

He made his film debut in the 1966 film Aakhri Khat directed by Chetan Anand, followed by Raaz directed by Ravindra Dave both of which were a part of his predetermined prize for winning the All-India United Producers' Talent Competition.

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He rose to prominence with his performances in films like Raaz, Baharon Ke Sapne, Ittefaq and Aradhana.

Rajesh Khanna was adopted and raised by foster parents who were relatives of his biological parents. Khanna lived in Thakurdwar near Girgaon and attended St. Sebastian’s Goan High School in Girgaon, along with his friend Ravi Kapoor, who later took the stage name Jeetendra, and whose mothers were friends. 

Rajesh Khanna gradually started taking interest in theatre and did a lot of stage and theater plays in his school and college days and won many prizes in the inter college drama competitions.

Rajesh Khanna became a rare newcomer who struggled in his own MG sports car to get work in theatre and films in the early sixties. Both friends later studied in Kishinchand Chellaram College (KC).

 When Jeetendra went for his first film audition, it was RajeshKhanna who tutored him. Rajesh Khanna's uncle changed his first name to Rajesh when Khanna decided to join films. However, his industry colleagues, friends and his family fondly called him Kaka (Uncle).

He was even referred as Kaka in several film magazines.

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Director Bharati Raja decided to remake his 1978  Tamil box office hit film "Sigappu Rojakkal" in Hindi as   "RED ROSE" with Rajesh Khanna playing the role of a psychopath. Kamal Haasan who played the same role in Tamil had won the South Filmfare Best Actor Award for his portrayal in this particular film.

But the Hindi movie was seen as controversial by traditional and orthodox Hindi moviegoers and was not a commercial success, although Khanna's performance has been rated later higher by critics than the original. But, whatever the traditional minded cine-goers of the bygone times say, Rajesh ji-s performance as the killer in “Red Rose” was definitely one of his finest and had many grey shades of a disturbed mind which he portrayed in utter detail.

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Rajesh-ji loved to test his boundaries as an actor, and that is the reason, he donned various characters over the years, though always the main and vital character in the script, but he put his talent on the anvil by playing roles as varied in films like a tragedy Babu” as a rickshaw puller, in “Red- Rose” (thriller)  as a psycopath, a politician in B. R. Chopra’s “Awam” , along with negative roles in “Dhanwan” , a fantasy character in Shammi Kapoor’s “Bundalbaaz” and another wonderful role in the film “Jaanwar”, an investigator in “Phir Wohi Raat” and a crazed escapes convist in the nerve wracking thriller “Ittefaq”, as  a police detective in the super entertaining thriller "The Train", to varied roles like a  rip-roaring comedy in “Hum Dono” and “Masterji”, a man bent on revenge in Umesh Mehra’s “Ashanti” , and also doing emotional characters in dramas like “Aanchal” and “Amrit”,  “Avataar”  and “Agar Tum Na Hote”, “Aakhir Kyon, “Awaaz” and  “Naya Kadam” etc.


He also experimented with different themes like reincarnation very successfully in films like “Mehbooba”

and “Kudrat” , patriotism in "Prem Kahani", immature young love theme handled in different ways in

 “Anokha Rishta”,” Nazrana” and “Dil E Nadaan” and did also college romance at such a mature age in a film titled “Bandish”. He has played variety of characters as the lead hero – as a postman in “PalkonKi Chhaon Mein”, as a lawyer who proves that his senior has committed a rape 25 years earlier in “Kudrat”, as a politician in “Aaj Ka MLA Ram Avtaar”, as a young musician forced by fate to marry two women in “Asha Jyoti”, as a criminal advocate in “Awaaz”, fisherman in "Prem Bandhan”, a revolutionary patriot who is torn apart by love and policeman like in “Prem Kahani”, as a righteous farmer in “Bandhan".

The list is practically endless…

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Bollywood superstar Rajesh Khanna's final journey has begun from his Aashirwad home in Bandra, Bombay, today in the morning in the presence of thousands of well-wishers and fans, who gathered to pay their last tributes to one of the biggest matinee idols of Hindi cinema.

The last rites of Rajesh Khanna, was performed  at the Ville Parle crematorium a little while ago.

The hearse carrying Rajesh Khanna's glass encased coffin was decorated with white flowers, as it made its way to the crematorium in rain. Fans have gathered in large numbers to have a last glimpse of their superstar despite the rainy weather.

The route to the crematorium was lined with posters of the ONLY Superstar RajeshKhanna, and some with his famous film dialogues and songs were being played through loud speakers everywhere.His Son-in-Law actor Akshay Kumar said that and his son Aarav would light the funeral pyre.

As news of the 69-year-old actor's death broke on Wednesday, many of his colleagues from the industry rushed to 'Aashirwad' to pay their last respects to RajeshKhanna.

Rajesh Khanna, who enjoyed unprecedented adulation from his fans across the country, was rushed to Lilavati Hospital twice in the past one month due to exhaustion and weakness.

Rajesh Khanna's health started deteriorating since April this year when he stopped taking food and complained of exhaustion and weakness.

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Rajesh Khanna, who married actress Dimple Kapadia in 1973, has two daughters Twinkle and Rinki. Twinkle, an interior decorator and a former film actress, is married to actor Akshay Kumar.

Rajesh Khanna, also fondly known as RK was born in Amritsar on December 29, 1942. Rajesh-ji lived in Thakurdwar near Girgaon in Mumbai.

He will always be remembered for his unforgettable performances and songs in films like - ANAND,   premnagar  

PREM NAGAR, ARADHANA, AJNABEE, PREM NAGAR, AMAR PREM, AAVISHKAAR, AAP KI KASAM, BAWARCHI, MEHBOOBA, ITTEFAQ, KATI PATANG, THE TRAIN and of course AVATAAR.

As far as his songs are concerned, the trio of Rahul Deb Burman, Anand Bakshi, Kishore Kumar and Rajesh Khanna was nothing but MAGIC!!! SIMPLY MAGIC from Kati Patang to Mehbooba...songs that are fabulous and will remain forever fresh till the day this world gets smashed to smithereens...!!!

LONG LIVE RAJESH KHANNA...I SALUTE HIM!!!

nilanjan.nandy@gmail.com