Bollywood’s first superstar Rajesh Khanna was the euphoria of the nation and youth from all metros flocked for a glimpse. There was a point in this country when youth used to rave over his films. The 1969, “Aradhana,” in which he played an air force pilot, made him the heartthrob of millions of female fans. Infact the men were envious of him while the women owned him in pride. During this time, there were instances of scores of love letters written in blood being sent to him from across the nation. Another instance that suggests his euphoria, was were ever his car was parked it was painted with lipstick marks by crazy young women, who used to feel his car as himself. Such was the impact of this great veteran on youth of the seventies. Probably he was the only superstar to have received such a tumultuous welcome even in days when the west did not take over the east, much.
Apart from his acting versatility, Rajesh Khanna owes his success to three great film personalities in whose company he shared the limelight. The first was his onscreen heartthrob Sharmila Tagore. With Sharmila his onscreen chemistry was unparallel and the pair set the screens on fire. Be it Hyderabad, Chennai or Bengaluru, the pair were the euphoria of the youth. It was also rumoured in the late seventies that they might turn into real pair from being just reel pair. Nevertheless, they were just rumors and they moved on.
Then the second person to be remembered in the Rajseh Khanna context was versatile music composer R D Burman. The soul rendering music composed by R D Burman for this veteran star’s films became the anthems to the nation. Infact R D’s music was well enacted by Rajesh Khanna, say filmy buffs. Such was the effect of this duo in the company of another great person who was the third important person of Rajesh Khanna’s filmy career’s limelight.
He was none other than noted singer Kishore Kumar. The songs that had all the above four rocked the charts even to this day. People may forget movies, stars, composers or singers but not the tunes. At any elite get together, it is incomplete without the songs like, `mera sapnoki rani kaab aayagithu’, `Roop Tera Mastana,’ or 'Ye shaam mastani'. Moreover, to this day the melodies are a treat and when our gen next asks us about these songs, we lift our head in pride and tell them, the great Rajesh Khanna saga.
Rajesh Khanna, Sharmila Tagore, R D Burman and Kishore Kumar were the success formula of the seventies. Hit after hits were their landmarks in their everlasting journey on the Indian film panorama highway. They are sensations that shall be remembered by generations of yesterday, today and tomorrow. They are good examples of earnest teamwork as our corporate world suggests. Long live Rajesh Khanna, may his soul rest in peace……(With inputs from internet- AW AarKay)