As I watched the TV last night, I was surprised by the play of emotion on me, watching the most memorable dialogues and scenes from Rajesh Khanna’s films. I guess that kind of sums up the feelings of Indians who grew up in the 70s, an era of innocence, idealism and romance that Rajesh Khanna carried with great élan. I can hardly be described as a movie buff and yet news on Rajesh Khanna’s passing away took me to those yesteryears.
I certainly have no idea on what kind of person he was, off screen, but he simply was the best we had on screen. He belonged to an era when films did well if people went and watched them in theatres and spoke about it to their friends. There was no promotion of the stars, nor the movie, there was no news programme on “making of the film” by the lead actors, gushing inanities like they do, today. At most, we got to watch the songs on “Chayageeth” for those of us who were lucky to own a televisionJ. The only other exposure was on Vivid Bharathi on AIR where these songs became immortal.
Listening to people who worked with Rajesh Khanna, sharing their interesting tidbits and anecdotes got me thinking about life in the 70s. for these movie stars. I guess if you were successful in the 70s, with very little media at your disposal and not much of brand building and hype, it must be cakewalk for them, in today’s world. I mean, these people, be it the actors, the lyricists, the music composers, directors, had awesome talent and were so original. There were movies that were grossers by the sheer strength of the songs it had. Or a superstar like Rajesh Khanna could carry a movie on his shoulders and deliver a hit.
If only we could get them all back, they can easily push the current stars into oblivion, permanentlyJ