Happy birthday to Rajesh Khanna.
The viewers of bollywood films wish happy birthday to Rajesh Khanna on 29th December, 2011. He had remained one of the most popular actors of 70s, before Amitabh Bacchan entered the film arena and gave birth to action films. The other reason why Rajesh Khanna is remembered even today was for the melodious music that he got from Kalyanji Anandji, RD Burman, Salil Choudhury, Laxmikant Pyarellal and other composers.
Although he started his career with films like Akhri Khat, Raaz, etc., in the late 60s, he got recognition with Shakti Shamanta’s super hit film Aradhana which was released in 1969. In the 70s, Rajesh Khanna had a dream run with films of different directors including Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Asit Sen, Shakti Samanta and others.
Most of his films from 1971 to 1973, were super hit. And the music of these films created history. The songs of the film Anand, composed by Salil Choudhury were super hit, including “kahin door jab din dhal jaye”, “maine tere liye hi saat rang” sung by Mukesh and “zindagi kaisi hai peheli” sung by Manna Dey. The songs of the film Aan Milo Sajna composed by LP became super hit including Rafi’s song “aan milo sajna” and Kishore’s song “accha to hum chalte hai”.
The songs of the film Amar Prem composed by RD Burman became super hit including KK’s song “chingari koi bharke”, “kuch to log kahenge”, etc. Amar Prem was the hindi version of Uttam Kumar’s famour Bengali film Nishipadda. Similarly the songs of the film Kati Patang composed by RD Burman became super hit including songs of KK like “ai shaam mastani”, Mukesh’s song “jis gali me”, etc.
Similarly songs of the film Safar composed by Kalyanji Anandji became super hit. Kishore’s song “zindagi ka safar” can be considered as one of the best songs that he sang during his long career. The songs of the film Namak Haram composed by RD Burman, Roti composed by LP, Raaz composed by Kalyanji Anandji, Bawarchi composed by Madanmohan, were all very successful.
Rajesh Khanna created a romantic image and his films opposite various actresses like Sharmila Tagore in films like Aradhana, Amar Prem, Mumtaz in Aap Ki Kasam, Asha Parekh in Kati Patang, Aan Milo Sajna, Tanuja in Mere Jeevan Saathi, Hema Malini in Mehbooba, and others created an era of romantic films. He became a role model for the younger generation.
Rajesh Khanna was remembered as the next door neighbour’s character. Other than the commercial films he acted in Asit Sen’s Safar, Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s Anand, Shakti Shamanta’s Amar Prem, where the central character was a human being having human feelings.
But from the time Amitabh Bacchan entered the film arena he not only dethroned Rajesh Khanna but more than that changed the dimension of bollywood films. He played anti-establishment characters and persuaded other superstars like Vinod Khanna, Shatrughun Sinha, Dharmender, Firoz Khan, Sunil Dutt and others to play similar type of roles.
Action films dominated bollywood industry and films like Sholay, Deewar, Kalicharan, Burning Train, Jugnu, Zakhmee, Dharmatma faded away Rajesh Khanna’s romantic films like Soutan, Prem Nagar and other films.
Rajesh Khanna’s wife Dimple Kapadia established herself into one of the most powerful actresses of bollywood films with success in Saagar, Jaanbaaz, Rudaali, Lekin, Krantiveer, etc.
Even then Rajesh Khanna continued acting for another 20 years and is even seen in a recent film in a role of an old person. Even Rishi Kapoor did cast him in his directorial venture title A ab laut chale. He had received filmfare best actor award a number of times and also received lifetime achievement award.