Book Review: Gautam Chintamani’s Dark Star: The Loneliness of Being Rajesh Khanna

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 15-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.

Gautam Chintamani's 'Dark Star: The Loneliness of Being Rajesh Khanna'
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”.

Rajesh Khanna with Sharmila Tagore in Aradhana
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 before.

Rajesh Khanna and Waheeda Rehman in Khamoshi
A 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.

Rajesh Khanna in Ittefaq
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 more than just his roles.

A satisfying book, even for someone who’s not a Rajesh Khanna fan, or not much.

P.S. 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.


62 thoughts on “Book Review: Gautam Chintamani’s Dark Star: The Loneliness of Being Rajesh Khanna

  1. Had been waiting for your review, Madhu. Like you, am not a Rajesh Khanna fan – liked him, yes, in Aradhana and Anand and to some extent in Safar, but for the rest, no, not at all. But have heard good things about the book and after your review, I will give it a shot – especially because the focus is his professional life and is not just a unadulterated ‘fan-boyish’ gush fest.

    Now, please do review the Shantanu Moitra book…. am interested in reading that one, based on a couple of excerpts from here and there. :-)


    • “especially because the focus is his professional life and is not just a unadulterated ‘fan-boyish’ gush fest.

      That was what I liked most about it! I must admit I haven’t read too many biographies, but one thing that does put me off is the thoroughly biased, “this person was a saint” gushing. I mean, being a fan is all very well, but nobody, in my opinion, can do no wrong.

      I must get around to reading the Shantanu Moitra book someday soon – perhaps I should read that next! Won’t post a review here, of course, considering I don’t do new cinema here, but I’ll review it on Goodreads and post a link on Facebook.


  2. In sharp contrast to your last post on Japanese cuisine which was alien territory for me, this post, as is obvious is very much home territory. Rajesh Khanna, is someone whose meteoric rise to stardom is something I witnessed from close quarters. When my father signed Choti Bahu he was yet to hit the big time, but he had already begun to get noticed, by the time the film completed he had become a superstar and. During Aan Milo Sajna he was well established as the reigning star of Hindi films. My father was all praise for him as a person. His huge success had not gone to his head at least where my father was concerned. Anytime my father walked into his makeup room he would immediately get up, he always treated my father with deep respect.
    My personal memory of him is that of him shooting a scene with my father for Choti Bahu and his dhoti slipping off and he rushing to his makeup room before a wardrobe malfunction happened. I of course did not see the dhoti slipping off, we just saw him moving out and later heard what had happened and of course my final memory of him is of his coming to our home to pay his last respects to my father.


    • Thank you, Shilpi, for sharing that with the rest of us! I had completely forgotten that your father was in Aan Milo Sajna too – though of course I remembered him very distinctly in Chhoti Bahu.


  3. while reading the review ,i kept looking for a mention of the songs which must have contributed so much to his success
    i liked him as a star and loved the songs in the films that I’ve seen so far,and would love to see all the films i missed seeing
    would love to read the book too…


    • As I was mentioning to a friend and blog reader (also once a fellow blogger) the other day, very few films of the 50s and 60s had really atrocious music, and a lot of Rajesh Khanna’s early films conformed to that rule. Especially early films like Anand, Aradhana, Safar and Amar Prem (or even slightly further into the 70s, The Train, Ajnabee and Mere Jeevan Saathi) had excellent music.


    • Ah, well. I doubt if there’s an autobiography in the pipeline – unless Rajesh Khanna wrote one before he died – but the biography’s pretty good. If you like Rajesh Khanna that much, you should read this.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t really like him much although a lot of the films he acted in were good. We were taken to see Anand & Haathi Mere Saathi in the cinema.
    My favourite of his is Bawarchi, like him as the non-romantic lead.


    • Interestingly, my favourite Rajesh Khanna films also have him as a non-romantic lead: Ittefaq and Anand. I’ve watched Bawarchi only once, and that as a child, so I remember very little of it except that yes, I did like it.


  5. From your review I gather that this is a balanced review where author is not gung ho about their subject and let the audience make their own conclusions!

    Though my mother was a huge fan and she kept waiting for his comeback, I only liked him in his early movies, some that you have mentioned and another one that I liked was Bawarchi (1972, Hrishikesh Mukharjee directed). It had good content, decent acting by Rk and Jaya, good Madan Mohan songs (Tum Bin Jeevan was a stand-out for me) and well narrated by Amitabh Bachhan.

    My favorite movie of Rajesh Khana is Anand 1971, also directed by Hrishikesh, Music by Salil Chaudhary), where he seemed to have fully lived up to the character and excelled at everything he did in the movie. From there on, I think he overdid those very idiosyncrasies that made him the superstar – leading to his downfall.


    • I agree with you regarding the overdoing of those idiosyncracies that made him a superstar in the first place. Chintamani mentions that tilted head, the twinkle in the eye, that somewhat lopsided grin: they were all very attractive in his early films (like Aradhana) but they soon became caricatures – to the extent that Rajesh Khanna wasn’t acting characters in a lot of his later films, he was just being Rajesh Khanna. It was pretty much the same with Dev Anand, I feel.


      • Couldn’t agree more. I wonder if they ever tried to understand the root cause and corrected it. If they did, we would have perhaps a lot richer movie history..

        Not to put the blame elsewhere but I think there is a factor that may have contributed to Rajesh, Dev and many others – being a victim of their own success. Our menatality to worship stars we love (movie/cricket) certainly requires a very sane head over their shoulders. I give a lot of credit to Amitabh (Movies) and Sachin (Cricket) for handling it well. It’s not easy as very few can handle the fame without impacting their performance.


        • Very insightful comment. And yes, I agree with you about their success having gone to their heads – and that a result of the Indian penchant for (quite literally) worshipping film stars. It’s not just a sane head, I think it also requires an innate humility – as I’ve heard about in stories of both Bachchan and Sachin – that allows people to remain grounded and human.


  6. I grew up when Rajesh Khanna was at his peak and was (I guess, still am) a big fan. My mother bought me a guru shirt when we visited Bombay in the early 70s and I was thrilled to bits. So it was with a lot of sadness that I watched his career go down the tubes. After 1972 his career graph resembled that of the Indian cricket team’s – mostly troughs intermixed with a few peaks. And just like the cricket team no amount of wishful thinking could ever get him to rise again.
    It was a pleasant surprise to come across your review since I just got the book and am still in the process of reading it. I have to agree with your assessment even though I haven’t finished the book. The author does paint a complex portrait of Rajesh Khanna. He was a man who was used to getting his was right from childhood, suffered from a deep sense of insecurity and was a general pain in the keister to work with. But occasionally he could be very warm, very serious about his work and a generous person.


    • “And just like the cricket team no amount of wishful thinking could ever get him to rise again.

      Super simile! Very true. I can just imagine what it must have been like to reach euphoric heights (pretty much like the Indian team!) and be the brightest star in the firmament – and then suddenly go into freefall. I wonder if there aren’t further similarities between the two. A tendency to rest on one’s laurels? To believe oneself infallible to the point of taking unnecessary risks (or becoming complacent)?

      I do agree about Chintamani’s book being a well-balanced one: I haven’t read too many biographies, but this is one I liked. Which is saying a lot, since Rajesh Khanna isn’t a top favourite of mine.


  7. I saw this book at Crosswords the other day, and mulled over whether to buy it or not. I like Rajesh Khanna well enough, but he’s not my favouritest of actors, so I gave it a miss. Perhaps I should pick it up? Your review makes me want to, in any case. :)


  8. My views lead me to draw focus on a point that RK probably did not visualize the significance of “moving on” in life like his counterpart Amitabh did. Maybe his intense roles in Khamoshi, Anand, Amar Prem, Safar drew him into a perceived personality
    of an introvert with solitude & pain becoming his “forte” which is liked & appreciated by the masses. This streak has been evident in his personal life even later. He probably put the shutters down on even thinking about bringing in any changes
    in participating in social, advertising,floorshows TV etc.or any diversifications with time….. Given the platform he was already riding on, I leave it to imaginations to even think what the situation would have been, had he been around ‘fit & fine’ sharing space with others OR not giving any space to anyone else due to the sheer weight of his “PERSONA”


    • That’s an interesting aspect to it all. Chintamani’s book does seem to suggest that Khanna made various attempts to move on – for instance, jumping onto the multistarrer bandwagon (with Kudrat), or doing extremely offbeat roles (Red Rose), but I did get the impression of a man who – despite those darbars at home – was perhaps quite insecure. And lonely, of course, as the name of the book itself suggests.


  9. this might be of interest :
    Penguin Books India cordially invites you to the launch of
    Dr. Shashi Tharoor will be the guest of honour
    Friday 19thDec.2014 , 7.00PM . Casurina Hall at India Habitat Centre , New Delhi


  10. There was no sharp decline in Rajesh Khanna’s fortune . His movie career did not go south suddenly . It plateaued out .A box office collection graph of his films would give a better picture of his career. He continued to give hit films like Avatar and Souten even in the 80’s . Though Rajesh Khanna was before your time, if you write about/review something you should check the facts I know a lot about Sachin and his stats though I was born in late 90’s .


    • Wow, that’s rude.

      Maybe you should write to Gautam Chintamani and let him know your views on this matter? Because – since it doesn’t appear to have dawned on you that I’m talking about the book – this stuff about how Rajesh Khanna’s career progressed isn’t my own opinion; it’s what Chintamani shows in his book. Also, the question is not about his movie career per se. It’s about how a man who gave 15 straight hits (and superhits, too) one after the other, suddenly ended up with several flops. Chintamani doesn’t deny that Khanna did have hits well into the 80s. It’s just that the hits were coming much further apart.


      • Hello ma’am ,
        I am not being rude . It is a criticism of your review, a feedback and feedback is not always goody goody. As a published author you know that, don’t you ? I liked the cinema part of your blog . You seem to have more than a passing interest in movies(I have a passing interest in cinema).
        A flop film is the one in which producers loose money(of course, you know that but still…) . Most of the times, barring a small percentage of all his films Rajesh Khanna films made money . You can find the box office collections on the web.He did not give flop films one after another. His later films had a semblance of being flops because relatively, they made less money(as compared to his earlier films) but they did recover the cost of making the film. Aradhna has an adjusted box office gross collection of Rs.600 crores. Do u really expect from an actor to give that kind of films over a period of 15-20 years. Only Madhuri Dixit has done that but over a span of more than 13 years, starting in 1989. If the book author has not pointed this out then the reviewer should have because it is a huge blunder on the authors part . I expected you to point out this anomaly because you are writing extensively about cinema. Hence I said “you should have checked the facts” . I did not intend to upset you in any way .
        I have not read the book and don’t plan to read it .So I won’t be writing him. Thanks for the heads up about the book .


          • Have you heard of tone? Do you take verbal cues from what you read or are all your interactions this flat? The criticism is certainly valid, but it could have been made in a far gentler manner than you did; had you taken the trouble to do that, the author would might have agreed with you that there was this lacuna in interpretation in the book.


  11. A very poorly written book & an equally bad review. First of all, the author himself admits that he has written the book mostly on hearsay since he never interacted with kaka & also those close to him never spoke. Also, his career never sharply declined as is made out to be. He was the highest paid actor along with Amitabh till 1987. He acted in the least number of multistarrers even during his lean period. He had 10 releases in 1984 & 13 releases in 1987. Producers are not fools with their money to invest money on a flop star.

    He was christened rajesh by his uncle & the reason was not because of jeetendra. In fact, it was rajesh who taught jeetu acting, a fact acknowledged by jeetu on TV in many interviews.

    His film baharon ke sapne had a poor opening but later picked up when the ending was changed. He was the 1st choice of directors from the south & his exit from films was voluntary. In fact, rishi kapoor had to persuade khanna to act in his directorial debut – aa ab laut chalein & this was admitted by rishi himself


  12. In the book, the author says that kaka became so poor that he traded his 555 cigarettes for cheaper brands & travelled in a maruti 100. This is laughable. Kaka
    was one of the highest tax payers in the industry even just before his death. This was published in all the papers.

    Like Amitabh, he never went begging for roles. Salim Javed ditched him even though it was kaka who gave them a big break in Haathi mere Saathi. They were paid
    Rs.10,000 for the movie due to kaka;s recommendation, which was a princely sum in 1971. . They forgot this generousity & even bad mouthed kaka later on, but he never retaliated.

    Similarly, Yash chopra approached kaka when he wanted to turn producer. When kaka agreed, he named his production company “Yash – Raj” (Raj for Rajesh khanna). That film was “Daag” which was a big hit. Years later, he changed his tune that he gave kaka a new lease of life after a few flops.

    If that was true, why did he not approach other saleable stars?
    The author has written this book for cheap publicity & money.

    The reviewer also does not know the background & has simply gone by what the author says.

    1 point – if rajesh khanna had declined terribly after 1972, he would nojt have gone to do more than 100 films as hero.

    Pls take a look at the box office figures & the hit percentage of kaka during his filmi period & U will know how much far way from the truth this book is from.

    An advice to the reviewer – Pls know what you are writing before psoting.


    • A couple of points.

      1. If only those who knew everything there was to know about a subject were to review books, I’m not sure there’d be too many books getting too many reviews.

      2. I am – as I think I’ve mentioned several times in the post – not a Rajesh Khanna fan. I have better things to do than to spend a huge amount of time researching his life in order to review a book I wasn’t too keen on reading in the first place.

      And, this is a blog. My personal space, so to say. It’s not as if I’m being paid for it. You’re well within your rights in not agreeing with what I (or Gautam Chintamani) write, but to lecture me on what I should or shouldn’t be doing is a bit steep.


      • @Dustedoff
        Hello ma’am,
        Let me state at the very outset of this reply , I am not Smita .

        I agree with you . Nobody knows everything about anything, but you don’t have to, to see the obvious mistake. If this review had appeared on amazon or some other general site I would have ignored it. But this is a cinema blog hence I posted my views .
        Here is the definition of review from oxford dictionaries : A critical appraisal of a book, play, film, etc. published in a newspaper or magazine .
        You title says “Book Review …..” . So it is an appraisal of a book . If you had said “My thoughts on …” or “My review about…” it would have been different .
        You don’t have to be a fanboy/fangirl or have to do extensive research, to note the fact that an actor cannot give flop films for 20 odd years and still be offered films over those 20 years. It is Elementary. I am not a Rajesh Khanna fan but I do know a little bit about him. His and Madhuri Dixit’s career statistics are pretty interesting .
        I also agree that this is your personal space and you can write and do anything here, including making some of your readers feel unwelcome(I have been reading this blog for sometime now, have read some of your cinema reviews and some over at Memsaabstory , just did not post any comment which i guess was a good decision) who dare to put forth their unbiased opinion .
        I would rather not comment on “I am not being paid” part. I own, contribute to and run blogs on technology, science and cricket so I have some idea about it .
        Anywayz, keep up the good work of reviewing films .
        It was nice talking to you . Have a good life .


        • Since you seem to have said a categorical goodbye to this blog, I doubt if you’ll see my reply, but anyway, for what it’s worth… how is “My review about” different from “book review” (it still remains a review of a book, so what is the difference?) The order of the words? And how, really, does it make a difference whether I post my review – or appraisal, or ‘thoughts’ or whatever you might like to call it – on a blog or on Amazon or Goodreads? It’s still a review, my opinion of a piece of writing. Semantics, no more.

          I have no objection to readers giving an unbiased opinion. Plenty have, including people I have a lot of respect for. The question is, how do you give that opinion? There’s a certain way of giving feedback that makes it acceptable to the intended recipient. Yours, sadly, has the opposite effect: it puts one’s back up.

          Just giving you some feedback.


      • If you had better things to do than do research on khanna, then why did you write this blog in the first place?

        U need not know everything about the subject to review a book, agreed but U need to know atleast something & not simply nod your head to whatever the author says.



    • LOL!!!

      You know what I find hilarious? That someone who can’t even spell (generousity? nojt? psoting?) and obviously has no idea of good English (&s by the dozen? U? Pls? ‘gone to do’? ‘invest on’?) has the gall to accuse anybody of bad writing.


  13. Just want to chime in since I was accused of playing ‘follow the leader’. ‘Feedback’ is perfect when it is constructive. When it becomes accusations flung at a reviewer – without understanding that the ‘facts’ she mentions are those written by the author of the book – then, yes, it does beccome rude. Two, a reviewer reviews a book. It is not incumbent upon them to fact-check statistics.

    @Smita (same person as Gawky Geek?) ‘Yash -Raj’ had nothing to do with Rajesh Khanna agreeing to star in Daag. ‘Yashraj’ is Yash Chopra’s full name. So perhaps you should do some fact checking before you write?

    Finally (to both?), you do not have to agree with a word of what Madhulika writes. But there is a way to disagree in civil society.


    • @Anu Warrier .

      My feedback was constructive . No two ways about it.
      Accusations ? What accusations ? I pointed out a mistake in her review using appropriate language. It would be nice if you would make the effort to read any of my first two replies . Also you really need to check definition of the word review .
      No part of my any comment was rude. I did not “accuse” you of playing “follow the leader”, you were playing “follow the leader”, because you labelled my comment rude but you did not point out what part was rude. You said I was rude just because the blog author misconstrued it to be rude. And now that you have pointed out the supposedly “rude” part, it becomes clear you have not read any of my replies. I have made my point crystal clear in another reply which Dustedoff has not yet published(I hope she will) . Miraculously your replies seem to get published immediately . I guess your replies are pre-approved .
      I completely agree with you that there is a way to disagree in civil society . And I have disagreed in an extremely civilized manner .
      I am not in the habit of using multiple nicknames to lend support to my point of view as my point of view is robust enough to sustain on its own.
      What about you StarryNight ? Do you have the habit of using multiple nicknames ?


      • This is really getting too much. Now you’re accusing me of blocking your comments until I feel fit to publish them? I’ve just gone through the stats of your comments, and have seen that your last three comments have been posted with a new mail ID each time. Just FYI, my blog’s controls are such that every time someone posts from a new mail ID, the comment comes to me for moderation. Anu Warrier always uses one mail ID to comment, which is why her comments get published immediately.

        And I neither know nor care who StarryNight is. That he or she saw the humour in Smitha’s comment is fine with me. Whether or not I agree with StarryNight is my business.

        Incidentally, you seem to not understand what I find rude in your initial comment. This is what I find rude: “Though Rajesh Khanna was before your time, if you write about/review something you should check the facts I know a lot about Sachin and his stats though I was born in late 90’s.” That is high-handed and supercilious. If you wanted to be civilised, that should’ve been omitted.

        And can we please call off this childish “I will stick to my guns” stuff? You didn’t like my review, cool.


      • I wasn’t going to continue to post and riposte, but I have to adress the implication that I’m ‘Starry Nights’. For one, I post under my own name – always. Never under a pseudonym. Because I stand by what I say or write. I post from one email id, never multiple ones.

        And for what it is worth, I have also undergone moderation when I changed the email I used for commenting. You are not being singled out. So before you accuse Dustedoff of deleting or not publishing your comments, perhaps you should pause and realise that all blog-hosting platforms have their own set of rules.

        In any case, if you do not understand how you were rude, or why I pointed out that you were, then there is no further discussion to be had.


      • Grow up, kiddo. (Or are you Smitha, after all?? ;-)) That comment of mine wasn’t even addressed to YOU.

        By the way, I’m neither of the ladies you suspect me of being. I use a pseudonym because I want to, not because I need to. Yes, GawkyGeek? :-D


    • Anu,
      I do not find anything wrong in my post that U consider uncivilized. I had only mentioned that the reviewer should know what he posts & not write some crap.


  14. i read that legal age of marriage of girl in India till 1978 was 14 years. his marriage was valid. dimple ji said in jaimala that kaka ji called me and my father on beach and said that i want to marry your daughter. and then in filmi style they all jumped into sea and sealed his proposal.she said when she heard he is making a film and went to him that i want to work with you and they worked in jai jai shiv shankar. my analysis of his career was too much success in initial phase became a reference point to his later career plus frequent comparison with new superstar. sharing some trivia he was excited for a role in multi starer film. may be kind of coming back as No 1. but the movie was shelved to date problems of stars. 2nd poonam dhillon said she was unable to do a scene in red rose and he helped her by going out of the way. also he was particular about music of his films from beginning. he attended recording of songs of his first movie unable to do later on due to contracts. my mother is big Rajesh khanna fan so i can relate to admiration he once had. 3rd he had a habit that when his guest were eating he used to take half rotis mid way saying thandi ho guyi giving new roti.


  15. my area of kaka ji movies where i like him genuinely is Aakhri khat my mother says it was shown in her school. Raaz ( looking most handsome in his career), itefaaq. khamoshi , sacha jutha, joru ka gulaam, anand, safar, kati patang and mehbob ki mehendi.


  16. i like the way he speaks in court room scene of MKM. ease with urdu and simple acting. wish he would have stick with this only.


  17. The review of the book is apt Madhu Ji. I recently read the book as I had time and also by yaseer usman untold story. The dark star the loneliness of being Rajesh khanna the tittle of the book. By reading both books I was shocked to know his loneliness . the untold story analysis reflects being given in adoption affected him deeply n was reflected in his behaviour.

    It was difficult to see him in award shows as he used to repeat the same dialogues time n again. I don’t know what he wished to convey.

    As an actor he has left a rich legacy of flims. His songs come daily on retro musical shows on tv. He loved to shoot songs. I felt he acted very well as a listener in song like in -. Aaja piya tohey and jab bhi Ji chahey. In 80s he had few good movies. Amrit comes on tv frequently.

    He tried to change in mid 70s by doing bundelbaaz, aashiq hu, chalia babu . I felt he always overexposed himself as an actor from his peak days which I also read in producer harish shah book ( producer mere jivansathi) . He never fit in action and multistar . I read vinod Mehra saying he feels muti Star trend will not stay long and he does not like multi star.

    I wish as a fan he would have tried to nurture his stardom and also his life.


  18. Thanks Madhu Ji for replying. I remember him in watching a doordarshan show to my disbelief which made me to know his later career and life. He used to long for his kids. His family only came in his last time.

    From last years Vividh Bharti clearly mentions about his childhood in aaj k fankar . Born to chandrani and lala hiranand khanna. Adopted by elder uncle and aunt chunni Lal and leelavati khanna. I do remember tributes on his passing away. Salim Khan tribute was most wonderful and long. So was of seema deo Ji.

    Did expect a tribute from yash Ji as I saw him outside aashirwad. He did helped out of way for daag. ( Harish shah book mentions it )

    I am sharing a link from his own production majnoon . He loosing Satyam made him to announce this flim.

    I do imagine him singing kabhie kabhie as he claimed he was the first choice. My fav song of him will always remain woh Shaam kuch ajeeb thi. He loved the Havells add .
    But I did not like at all. May Kaka Ji soul rest in peace.


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