By Mamta Roy Last Updated:
In an era of nepotism in Bollywood, actor, Rajesh Khanna remains an exceptional name. The young man, with unconventional looks, had entered B-Town after winning a national talent hunt show. He went on to woo his audience with some incredible hit movies like Kati Patang (1970), Safar (1970), Daag (1973) and Aap Ki Kasam (1974). Besides good looks, Khanna was blessed with a charming smile, which bagged him the title of Kaka by millions of cinema-goers. From Pushpa, I Hate Tears to Zindagi Badi Honi Chahiye Lambi Nahi, Khanna’s iconic dialogues became a philosophy of life for many.
Rajesh Khanna, who is known as the first superstar of India, had tied the knot at the height of his career with Dimple Kapadia in 1973. The actor had urged his wife, Dimple to leave the world of glamour and glitz soon after her marriage, and she obliged. However, Dimple’s desire to go back to the silver screen post their wedding led to their separation in 1982. Together, they have two daughters, Twinkle Khanna and Rinkie Khanna. Later, the actor succumbed to death due to cancer on July 18, 2012.
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Bollywood is known for its romantic flicks and its best on-screen couples. At times, the chemistry between two people has made us pause and wish they were together in real life. One such couple who is hailed as one of the best jodis of the 70s era is Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore. On the death anniversary of Rajesh Khanna, his then-co-star, Sharmila Tagore sat for a conversation with Audible for the audiobook, Rajesh Khanna: Ek Tanha Sitara. In the chat, she shared how a long queue of women from 9 to 90 age groups used to wait for Rajesh outside his shooting sets. In her words:
“There was a long queue of women from nine to ninety outside the studio where we worked. The hysteria was unprecedented. He (Rajesh Khanna) probably didn’t have the attributes that are normally associated with a hero. What he had was a disarming smile, youthful energy and an innate sense of drama and a well-modulated voice which he used to his fullest advantage.”
With songs like Kora Kagaz Tha Ye Mann Mera and Roop Tera Mastana, Rajesh and Sharmila have listed their names on the list of evergreen stars. Further, in the same conversation, Sharmila Tagore revealed the real reason behind her decision to stop working with Kaka, Rajesh Khanna, even though their movies were superhit. She stated:
“One thing that affected me the most about Kaka was him coming late on set. For a 9 am shift, Kaka never reached before 12 pm. And that’s why I decided to work with other actors despite knowing that our pairing was quite successful.”
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Once in an old conversation with renowned Indian poet and journalist, Pritish Nandy on his celebrity talk show, The Pritish Nandy Show, Rajesh Khanna’s estranged wife, Dimple Kapadia had opened up about her marriage and the reason behind their separation. Reflecting on the fact that they had parted ways despite welcoming two daughters, Rinkie Khanna and Twinkle Khanna, in their lives, Dimple had stated that both she and Rajesh were two completely different kinds of people, which she had realised after their marriage. She had said:
"I think we were two very different kind of people. I was probably very young to understand what was happening to this man, who was a superstar. I have never been able to understand stars and their behaviour pattern at all because I am not one myself. I just couldn't understand."
For the uninitiated ones, Sharmila Tagore and Rajesh Khanna have worked together in films like Aradhana, Safar, Amar Prem, among others.
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