Rajesh Khanna and His Films

Rajesh Khanna was born in Amritsar on the 29th of December, 1942. His real name was Jatin Khanna before he entered the film industry. He studied in Girgaum’s St Sebastian’s Goan High School. Noted actor Jeetendra (then named Ravi Kapoor) was Khanna’s school and college mate. He is popular among his friends and fans as Kaka.
Rajesh Khanna

Rajesh Khanna had a flair for drama and theatrics from his college days and had even helped Jeetendra with his first film audition. He had won the 1965 All India Talent Contest where he got his first exposure to the film industry. The next year saw his debut film Aakhri Khat which was India’s entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 40th Academy Awards. The film was directed by Chetan Anand who let the story unfold by letting a fifteen month old child loose on the streets of Mumbai and followed it with his camera. Rajesh Khanna played the father of that child who had deserted his mother after marrying her secretly at a temple. Later on he finds the child and legitimizes him as his own son.

A year later he was shooting for Raaz with Babita (mother of the Kapoor sisters). Babita was a famous actress by then and the relatively new Rajesh Khanna felt a little intimidated by her presence initially. Later the director Ravindra Dave helped Khanna come out of his shyness and deliver a decent performance. In Raaz Khanna played the role of an Indian based in Africa who keeps having strange dreams about a station named Viran Nagar in India. He and his friends decide to visit this place but on their arrival they come face to face with Khanna’s past and he comes to know from a villager that Khanna had been killed in the forest. The film follows Khanna’s quest for his murderer in the past life. After the release of Raaz, Rajesh Khanna bagged many films like Aurat, Ittefaq and Doli.

The film Aaradhna with Sharmila Tagore where he played a dual role as a father first and then the son gave him instant stardom; plummeting his career to great heights. It was after this film that veteran actress Waheeda Rehman referred his name to director Asit Sen for the film Baharon Ke Sapne.

After Baharon Ke Sapne, Rajesh Khanna’s popularity had reached its full momentum and girls used to drool at the sight of Khanna. He had become the heartthrob of the nation with girls marrying his photograph and queuing up in front of his house at midnight. During the shooting of Bombay to Goa, the director had to cancel a boat sequence with Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore, fearing that the Howrah Bridge would collapse if all his fans gathered over there.

In Bibhutibhushan Bandhopadhyay’s Amar Prem, Rajesh Khanna was seen alongside Sharmila Tagore again playing an unhappily married businessman who falls for a courtesan Pushpa. It is in this film that the clichéd dialogue appears where Khanna tells Sharmila Tagore “Pushpa, I hate tears”.

Among Khanna’s ace performances is Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Anand. He acted alongside Amitabh Bacchan and made this movie the tear jerker of the century. He played the role of Anand who had been diagnosed as a cancer patient. He does not submit to depression but struggles to find happiness in every moment of his life instead. He meets a morose and angry with life Amitabh Bacchan and teaches him the way to live life to the fullest. The movie is narrated by Amitabh Bacchan’s character who decides to write a book on his deceased friend Anand. The film fetched Rajesh Khanna the Filmfare Award for Best Actor that year.