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Rajesh Khanna’s obsession with loss of life and his songs that celebrated thriller of life

“He isn’t only a star. He’s my world.” These obsessive phrases belong to the super-fan Gaurav (Shah Rukh Khan) of Fan (2016) as he stares at his bed room wall peppered with footage and memorabilia of his film idol Aryan Khanna (additionally, Shah Rukh Khan). The chorus, one imagines, simply echoes ‘the Rajesh Khanna craze’ again within the Nineteen Seventies decade when the unique King of Romance (sorry, SRK) was at his peak and impressed such devotion amongst Hindi audiences {that a} new time period needed to be invented to outline his unprecedented stardom. Thus, ‘Bollywood’s first celebrity‘ tag was born to go well with his godly standing. There have been stars earlier than, however none fairly like Khanna — each screenwriter Salim Khan and co-star Sharmila Tagore vouch for this truth in two completely different books on the star fondly often called Kaka. But, nothing lasts perpetually, least of all fame. Imprisoned by his personal fantasy in some methods, Kaka’s downfall was equally swift. Considered one of his personal dialogues from Daag (1973) encapsulates the ups and downs of his euphoric life (he later reprised this verse on stage, with figuring out slyness and irony and for all you realize, meant to function a reminder of the ephemerality and uncertainty of stardom to a lot of the movie business in attendance), “Izzatein, shohratein, ulfatein, chahatein, sab kuch iss duniya mein rehta nahin/ Aaj most important hun jahan kal koi aur tha/ Ye bhi ek daur hai woh bhi ek daur tha.”

In addition to his charming persona, romantic mannerism and a disarming smile, one big cause for Khanna’s stupendous reputation was the chartbuster music in his movies. All through his profession, the well-picturised songs and melodious duets starring him reverse a few of the top-flight actresses of their time (Mumtaz, Sharmila Tagore, Hema Malini, Asha Parekh) have conveyed all of the dramatic moods and moments {that a} Hindi movie hero has to endure, like a ceremony of passage, earlier than he can discover a everlasting spot within the viewers’s coronary heart.

rajesh khanna birthday Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore in Aradhana. (Photograph: Shakti Movies)

Between 1969 to 1975, Khanna belted out a file 15 consecutive golden jubilees beneath the legendary route of such names as Shakti Samanta, Yash Chopra, Asit Sen, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Ramesh Sippy and Manmohan Desai. Shakti Samanta’s Aradhana was his first bona fide blockbuster that catapulted him right into a nationwide heartthrob.

Within the movie, he makes his display screen entry singing ‘Mere sapno ki rani’ in an open jeep whereas Sharmila Tagore, round whose gritty character the plot revolves, is seen touring in a toy prepare, cradling a guide. In a lot of the film, she performs Khanna’s mom attempting to cover her id and residing extra in disgrace than guilt. In Kati Patang (1971), he serenades his childhood pal’s widow (Asha Parekh) on the piano with ‘Pyaar deewana hota hai.’ In Amar Prem (1972), merely minutes after delivering the well-known ‘I hate tears, Pushpa’ line, he takes the courtesan (Sharmila Tagore) on a ship outing, which turns into the setting for ‘Chingari koi bhadke.’ In Bawarchi (1972), which was Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s private favorite OST, his flawless classical rendition of ‘Hum bin jeevan’ is met with puzzled appears, particularly by the aspiring in-house music director (performed by Asrani) even because the daydreaming Jaya Bachchan’s creativeness provides the track its doleful visuals. Although no nice shakes as a dancer he manages to place up an entertaining present with Mumtaz for firm within the Lord Shiva-influenced ‘Jai jai Shiv Shankar’ from Aap Ki Kasam (1974). When you thought he couldn’t do attractive, strive watching him get all mushy with the sultry Zeenat Aman within the rain-drenched ‘Bheegi bheegi raaton mein.’ For extra swag, he swoons atop a shifting wagon prepare (transfer over, ‘Chhaiyyan Chhaiyyan’) in the identical movie.

And although he was the last word lover-boy of his period — his successor, Amitabh Bachchan, was an antithesis in each respect — lots of Khanna’s iconic songs that had been integral to his success envisioned him as a melancholic outlier wallowing in poetic gloom. ‘Kahin door jab din dhal jaaye’ (Anand), ‘Jeevan se bhari’ (Safar), ‘Mere naina sawan bhadon’ (Mehbooba), ‘Mere naseeb mein ae dost’ (Do Raaste), ‘Woh shaam kuchh ajeeb thi’ (Khamoshi), ‘Maine tere liye hello’ (Anand) and ‘Hazar rahein mud ke dekhi’ (Thodisi Bewafai) to quote just some. The final three had been penned by Gulzar. But, inside that there’s a subgenre of Kaka numbers which are solemn and critical, handing out life-affirming philosophies.

For Kaka’s 79th beginning anniversary at this time, we now have shortlisted 5 such tunes which have ‘zindagi’ of their lyrics. Taken collectively, they articulate the thriller and marvel that’s life — maybe, apt for a person who redefined superstardom and lived life king-size and on his personal phrases. In spite of everything, wasn’t he the one who cheerfully quipped in Anand, “Babumoshai, zindagi badi honi chahiye, lambi nahin?”

‘Zindagi kaisi hai paheli’ (Movie: Anand)

Fairly probably Khanna’s greatest movie in addition to efficiency, it’s additionally, one dare says, his most interesting soundtrack. Picturised on a seaside in Mumbai, ‘Zindagi kaisi hai paheli’ captures the sorrows and dilemmas of most cancers affected person Anand’s (Khanna) life, which we all know is about to be snuffed out. Greater than a lament, it’s an ode to life. Gregarious and a ball of power, Anand makes use of prankish humour to cover his ache whereas making others comfortable. At one level within the track, Anand releases balloons within the sky. We comply with him as he strolls into the sundown — Anand, maybe, is prepared for his close-up.

‘Zindagi ka safar’ (Movie: Safar)

In Safar, too, Khanna’s intense character Avinash is on their lonesome and dying. Journalist Ali Peter John as soon as informed Rediff.com that the actor was “obsessive about loss of life,” as a result of each movie by which he had died had turn into a success. Written by Indeevar and composed by Kalyanji-Anandji, ‘Zindagi ka safar’ provides voice to Avinash’s futile makes an attempt at understanding the which means of life, compounded additional by the destiny of his tragic love story with Dr Neela (Sharmila Tagore) who finally ends up marrying one other man (Feroz Khan).

‘Zindagi ke safar mein guzar jaate hain’ (Movie: Aap Ki Kasam)

Kamal (Khanna) is poor however idealistic whereas Sunita (Mumtaz) is Ms Richie Wealthy. Sparks fly. They get married and simply once they assume it’s a happily-ever-after, in walks Kamal’s greatest pal, Mohan (Sanjeev Kumar). Kamal quickly suspects Sunita and Mohan are having an affair. The betrayed husband and his jealousies deliver Kamal to a near-collapse. The track expresses Kamal’s repentant sentiments.

‘Zindagi ek safar hai suhana’ (Movie: Andaz)

This uplifting ballad has three variations, picturised on the three stars of the film. Mohammed Rafi, the go-to voice for Shammi Kapoor, sings it for the Yahoo star as he tries to woo Hema Malini who’s nonetheless mourning her husband’s (Khanna) premature loss of life. Malini will get her rendition within the type of a lullaby. However it’s the Rajesh Khanna-Kishore Kumar one that continues to be the most well-liked in public reminiscence and has turn into one of many emblems of Khanna’s dazzling success story. With that motor bike and the Dream Lady on pillion, he yodelled straight into the matinee magic.

‘Zindagi pyaar ka geet hai’ (Movie: Souten)

This Saawan Kumar Tak movie has given us such isms as ‘Shayad meri shaadi ka khayal’ (marriage proposals have by no means sounded extra enjoyable) and Prem Chopra’s oft-repeated quote, ‘Nanga nahaayega kya aur nichodega kya.’ No prizes for guessing, Hindi cinema’s well-known villain performs a model of the evil Kans mama right here. The film is a transforming of the Lord Krishna-Rukmini-Radha triangle. One Edenic variant of the track is carried out by Radha (Padmini Kolhapure) whereas the sadder one is shot on Shyam (Khanna), at a second in his life when his pious relationship with Radha is being misinterpreted by the world.


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