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Monday, Oct 18, 2021
Outlook.com

Zindagi Ka Suffer

Rajesh Khanna was the last star, from an era when India was still innocent

Zindagi Ka Suffer
Zindagi Ka Suffer
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

There is a scene at the end of Hrishikesh Mukherjee’s 1971 masterpiece, Anand, where Rajesh Khanna has just died and Amitabh Bachchan, playing his doctor and friend, sits distraught at his bedside. Then, just as Amitabh finishes his lines, Rajesh’s voice is heard, emerging not from the dead man but booming out of a tape-recorder.

That scene replayed itself again and again in my mind as I watched the TV footage of a dismayed Bachchan visiting ‘Aashirwad’ after the real-life Rajesh Khanna’s death. Even as the cameras zoomed in on Amitabh, the voice-overs were all about Rajesh Khanna, the once and forever superstar.

When Anand was made, Rajesh Khanna was the biggest star of his time and Amitabh a virtual unknown. In less than a decade, Khanna’s career would be in terminal decline, while Bachchan would become the emperor of Hindi cinema. But as Amitabh himself has often said, nothing in his career has ever approached the hysteria that Rajesh Khanna generated. The whole of India...

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