The unheard and untold tale of Rajesh-Dimple

Jatin Khanna was born on 29th December 1942, in Amritsar, Punjab. The child was brought up by foster parents Leela Wati Khanna and Chunni Lal Khanna. They were relative to his biological parents. The boy grew up with the dream of making acting as a career. He participated in lots of school plays and college dramas. His uncle changed his first name to ‘Rajesh’ once he decided to join the film industry. The rest as they say is history and we are all well aware of the legendary name ‘Rajesh Khanna’ that graced the Bollywood industry.

Indian cinema has never witnessed the type of fan following and craze around an actor as Rajesh Khanna enjoyed. He created the aura of superstar with his style and charisma that stunned the wall. His mannerisms and hair cuts were religiously followed by his male followers. Even copying his style of speaking was a popular activity.

Female fans were a different story altogether. They did remarkable things to prove their loyalty and love for the hero. A waiting crowd of girls shouting for Rajesh Khanna was a common site. Rajesh Khanna frequently used to receive love letters from his fans written in blood and marriage proposals. Even his car was most of the time covered in lipstick lip marks affectionately placed by his admirers. It was not uncommon to hear of young girls who got married to his photo. We wonder how Kaka controlled all this attention.

The personal life of Kaka was also larger than life; it was no less glamorous than his reel life avatars. Rajesh Khanna was in love with the fashion designer and struggling actress Anju Mahendru. The couple was madly in love and they used to live together. However, due to some petty difference the couple separated ending the relationship of 7 years. It was a bitter separation and they never spoke to each other for the next 17 years.

Later he married actress Dimple Kapadia in March 1973. This was almost six months before her first film ‘Bobby’ released. The film gave her the title of a sex bomb. She was only 16 at the time of marriage and Rajesh Khanna was 15 years older than her. However, this never deterred the love birds.

Dimple and Rajesh Khanna separated in the year 1984. She moved away with their two daughters Twinkle and Rinke. They never completed the divorce process though.

After the break up with Dimple, Rajesh found solace in the lovely lady Tina Munim. She was the heroine in few of his movies and she fell in love with him. The relation ended abruptly in 1987 as Rajesh Khanna refused to marry her. He thought the effect of the marriage will have bad impact on his daughters. After the break up Tina Munim left the Bollywood industry behind and went to America to complete her graduation.

A few quotes from the ladies in his life are as follows.

‘He is the father of my children and a very integral part of my life. He can never be unimportant.’- Dimple (July ’87).

'Rajesh and I are good friends.’- Anju Mahendru (July ’87).

‘After every quarrel, he would inundate me with gifts as if he was courting me all over again.’- Tina Munim (August ’87).

It was Dimple who returned to Rajesh Khanna in the last years of his life. She was seen to attend the parties and political rallies with Rajesh Khanna. Dimple and her daughters were the pillars of strength for the ailing actor. 

The legend passed away on 18th July 2012 but his memories will live on. The million of Indian fans will never forget the favorite ‘Babumoshai’ with the sweetest disarming smile.