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If I can just give to the world more than I take from it, I will be a very happy man. For there is no greater joy in life than to give. Motto : Live, Laugh and Love. You can follow me on Twitter too . My handle is @Raja_Sw.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Rajesh Khanna vs Amitabh Bachchan debate


Having just written two posts about Rajesh Khanna in the last week, I had decided that that was enough – and my next post would be about another subject. After all, my interests in life thankfully span a wide canvas of subjects – and I’m never really at a loss to find something that I’d like to discuss.

But an e-mail I received yesterday from a friend has prompted me to write this post today – and once again it features Rajesh Khanna.  This time though it is not so much about him but more about that other superstar who is often brought up in discussions about Rajesh. Yes, I’m talking about Amitabh Bachchan – or Big B, as he is popularly known.

The e-mail points to a write-up, claiming that Big B is the bigger superstar, that he was the hero of the “lumpen class” whereas Rajesh was the hero of the “bourgeois class”. That Rajesh fans have always resented Big B taking over Rajesh Khanna’s place at the top, that his “bourgeois” fans have denied  “the revolution that was Amitabh Bachchan”.

Though the writer takes pains to say that he does not intend any disrespect to the memory of Rajesh Khanna  (and I’m happy to take this at face value), I was just saddened by  the tone of the write-up. In the sense that yet again, it was bashing of Rajesh Khanna and his fans in order to try to prove Big B as the bigger star.

I had to sigh – this is not new to me. I’ve been hearing  such talk since the late 1970s – and it is STILL going on.  This Rajesh Khanna vs Amitabh Bachchan comparison.

I thought I should put down some of my own thoughts on this subject, for whatever they are worth.

Let me start by saying that I think whoever came up with the observation “comparisons are odious” could not have coined a more sensible 3-word sentence in the English language.

And yet, it seems we just cannot get away from making comparisons ALL the time. This actor vs that actor, this music composer vs that music composer, this sportsperson vs that sportsperson. Mohammad Rafi vs Kishore Kumar is one of the most common comparisons out there.

I always wince at such comparisons.  Not because they  cannot be made but because they invariably result in one of the choices being belittled to prop up the other.

Whenever I’ve been dragged into this sort of discussion, I’ve always taken great pains to emphasise that it is my personal choice – and that it is not a general statement of one being better than the other, or that the other is necessarily bad because I didn’t pick him.

For example I may say I prefer watching a Rajesh Khanna romantic movie to an Amitabh Bachchan action movie. It does NOT mean Rajesh is better than Amitabh or that Amitabh Bachchan action movies are bad. It is just that I’d rather see a Rajesh romantic movie. Another person may prefer an Amitabh action film – and that’s absolutely fine by me.

But there are people – many people – who are just unable to accept that another person may have a different preference than their own. They are hell-bent on pushing their choice as THE right one – and every other choice as the wrong one.

You see that in discussions about religion too. This attitude has led to possibly every religious war that has ever taken place. The whole concept of “to each his own” and “live and let live” somehow seems to have completely passed these guys by.

Back to the Rajesh vs Amitabh discussion.

My own take on this is extremely simple.

Rajesh was THE superstar with the success of Aradhana. He had 15 hits in a row – there was absolutely no doubting his position at the top or the fan following he had.  ALL classes of society were crazy about him –  not just the “bourgeois”.  (If only the “bourgeois” were crazy about Rajesh, who was then the hero of the “lumpen classes”?)

And then around 1974 or maybe 1975, his magic began wearing off.  For a whole host of reasons that have been discussed so many times that they don’t warrant repetition here.

It was also the time that Amitabh Bachchan was finally beginning to taste success. His Zanjeer and Deewar were both not just runaway box-office successes, it was his performance in both these movies that most certainly caught people’s attention.

So, as it turned out, on one hand there was a Rajesh in descent. On the other hand, there was an Amitabh in ascent.  Rajesh continued to deliver flop after flop, Amitabh continued to deliver hit after hit. Where Rajesh had Maha Chor and Bundalbaaz, Amitabh had Deewar and Sholay.

To me the biggest evidence of the changing tide was that Rajesh’s Mehbooba, with then-No. 1 heroine Hema Malini, and with a wonderful soundtrack by RD Burman – and a film that was promoted heavily – crashed at the box-office. It confirmed to many what they had already begun to realize but were hesitant to openly admit – that the Rajesh days at the top were now clearly over.

At around the same time, Amitabh, already being talked about as the Rajesh successor following the success of Deewar and Sholay, further cemented it with the success of Kabhie Kabhie. I clearly remember Kabhie Kabhie being a HUGE musical hit – and Amitabh pretty much then being accepted as the new No.1.

I will be honest – I hated it. I hated Kabhie Kabhie – I hated the title song because it was being played EVERYWHERE – and it symbolized to me yet another hit for Amitabh, yet another reason why Rajesh would struggle to get back his No.1 position.

The truth is, as a Rajesh fan at that time, I was not ready to concede that Rajesh had lost it. I still thought (or rather, hoped) that he could come back. By the time Aashiq Hoon Baharon Ka came around – and I saw it – I was convinced that the writing on the wall was indelible.

It is not that I disliked Amitabh. In fact I liked him in many of his early movies, especially his movies with Jaya Bhaduri (even those which had flopped). And I really liked him in Zanjeer and Majboor. I hadn’t seen Deewar or Sholay then (my mind was not ready though I knew many of the dialogues by heart).

As Amitabh began getting more popular I began watching more of his films. Even those that didn’t do too well -like Do Anjaane, Adalat and Alaap.

 I remember liking Amar Akbar Anthony a lot – and he was really good in it. Today it is considered a blockbuster film, but I vaguely remember it not being a runaway success from day one. I think it picked up momentum after a while – and is now considered one of the classics of the 70s.

The Amitabh movie that really sealed it for me though was Trishul. I liked the movie a lot – and I thought Amitabh (once again in an “angry young man” role) was just outstanding.

After that I saw Don – and I liked that film too.

So I really did not have any problems  anymore with Amitabh as the No.1. Rajesh’s time had come and gone, these were Amitabh’s times.

So this thing about Rajesh Khanna fans resenting Big B taking over Rajesh Khanna’s place at the top was, if I use myself as an example, a passing phase. And I’ve certainly never denied  “the revolution that was Amitabh Bachchan”.  And I’d like to think I was pretty representative of the Rajesh fan of the time.

I think it is not an exaggeration to say that those late-70s/early 80s were very heady days for Amitabh.  I’m not looking at box-office numbers here, so don’t crucify me but, off the top of my head I remember some movies as being hits from the start – and some only doing moderately early on.

To me it was obvious that though some of Amitabh’s movies were not blockbusters – at least when they were released (Do Aur Do Paanch, Ram Balram, Suhaag,The Great Gambler, Barsaat Ki Ek Raat, Yaarana) - and Shaan was a superflop - he was still the undisputed No.1 and the go-to hero for a big film-maker. For every movie that did not do very well, he had a Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, Mr. Natwarlal, Naseeb, Laawaris, Namak Halal and a Satte Pe Satta to show as successes.  He had no challenger – the next guy (whoever he was) did not even come close.

In fact, I cannot even think of a name who could have been considered an Amitabh challenger at that time. Dharam – who’d had successes throughout the 70s - was clearly on his way down by the end of the decade. The multi-starrer culture of the time meant that it was difficult for one actor to really put on a dominating or memorable performance. The storylines also were not the particularly emotional type to be memorable, or require any great acting skill from the actor.

Maybe it is for this particular reason (the storyline) that I found it difficult to warm to movies of the time. I was a big fan of a good storyline – the actors became secondary for me if I found the storyline kept me interested. Besides, I was getting busy with my studies then – so I didn’t have time to waste on seeing all sorts of movies.

By 1983, I had stopped seeing movies altogether. Partly due to my studies, partly because I was losing interest in them.  Mind you, I’m not saying they were bad movies. I’m just saying I didn’t find them interesting enough anymore.

Amitabh continued to act through the 80s – I think Sharaabi (which I saw many years after its release) was his last big hit in that period. Otherwise, I believe he acted in several films which even his ardent fans would consider forgettable.

His more recent history – the 1990s and beyond – is very well-known and I don’t want to talk about it here. In fact I don’t know too much about it because I am time-frozen on Amitabh in 1982 (say, Namak Halal).

What I do remember is the hysteria around his accident during the making of Coolie. It was HUGE. The accident came as a big shock to everybody, it got front-page coverage in the daily newspaper , people from all over the country (and probably overseas too) began praying for his welfare. It was a great show of solidarity and support for him as he struggled in hospital during that period. I remember that all too well – as if it were yesterday.

The reason I am documenting all this is to illustrate that Amitabh was just as popular – and at times, possibly more popular – than Rajesh.  And I say this without denying my fondness for Rajesh.  And I do like Amitabh too – it IS possible to like them both.

I want people to realize that it is NOT necessary to belong to one camp or the other. Yes, we used to have that sort of thing in school – Rajesh or Amitabh, Vishwanath or Gavaskar,  where we felt we had to align behind one of the options to show our loyalty to that option. When you grow up a bit, you realize that these are not binary choices – there’s room to accommodate and appreciate multiple choices.

And it is most certainly NOT necessary to run one of them down to prop up the other.

To me, they were two distinct periods of superstardom.

Rajesh Khanna from 1969 to 1974.

And Amitabh Bachchan from 1977 onwards.  I would consider the years 1975-76 as transition years, with Rajesh losing his No.1 position and Amitabh getting  to that position, but not yet reaching superstar status.

Why then the constant clashes between their two fans?

Why can’t they accept that both of them had their moments as the darling of the crowds?

Why is it necessary to run down one to prop up the other?

To me, this only shows disrespect to the persons involved. The media played on this “rivalry” for a long time – and must have sold lots of copies in the process. But that’s what the media often does.

The fans need not fall into this trap. They can give both these superstars their own rightful place in Hindi film history, without pushing one out to trumpet the other.

There is enough space in the annals of Hindi film history for both to co-exist peacefully, next to each other.

As they deserve to.






33 comments:

Bharath Hemachandran said...

Tbh I think Amitabh is a poor actor compared to Rajesh Khanna. He had the same kind of role that he did well ... but there was little variation once he became a "superstar"... much like his brethren in the Tamil film industry (Rajinikanth, MGR etc).

I must say that Amitabh to me symbolises the decline of Bollywood from story based movies to masala crapfests.

Bharath Hemachandran said...

That said, I am a fan of neither :)

By the time I was capable of watching movies both had completed their reign at the top.

Ava Suri said...

This is very interesting Raja. I agree with you.

The media likes such face offs; Unix vs Microsoft, Zeenat vs Praveen, Aish vs Sush, Pepsi vs Coke. Such debates grab eyeballs and that is just what media wants.

If Rajesh had been alive, it could make for a nice debate on the relative merits of the two gentlemen,(preferably without having to denigrate either) but now that he is no more the debate should die too. It is pointless.

harvey said...

"I always wince at such comparisons. Not because they cannot be made but because they invariably result in one of the choices being belittled to prop up the other."

Sentences like this and many more found me nodding and agreeing with you more than ever!
I like films by both of them and there are films from both of them, which I don't like that much.
Some people do seem to have trouble accepting more than one 'god'! :-)
Poor thing if one wants to idolise only one actor or actress (or for that matter any artistes) and then lose sight of others. But on the other hand I do admire their passion for it. :-)
There are many flowers in the meadow and every flower has its beauty, even the grass flower!

harvey said...

arre waah, maa aur bete ne saath me comment kiya!

Shashi said...

I think I would be with Amitabh on this count. He was not only a great actor, but also a greater human being. He never reported late on sets, was always humble to just about everyone, was sincere and rehearsed thoroughly for his roles.

I believe he had the goodwill in the industry, which contributed to Producers casting him again and again in their films.

Rajesh Khanna on the other hand didn't have that much goodwill once his films started flopping. I am not saying he is not a nice person, but I guess people only got to know more of his negative traits like late coming, arrogance, etc., Maybe that contributed to his downfall.

I would say Dharmendra was also a force to reckon with when Amitabh was at the top in the 70s. He even had Amitabh's arch rival Vinod Khanna play second fiddle to him in films like "The Burning Train" and "Rajput". Imagine how many of his contemporaries like Manoj Kumar, Shashi Kapoor, Joy Mukherjee and Biswajeet could do that in the 70s. I remember reading an article that in 1979, Dharmendra was ranked no. 2 and Vinod Khanna was ranked no. 3. Other stars like Sanjeev Kumar, Jeetendra were not even mentioned in the top 5 at that time.

Kaushik banerjee said...

It is true that Amitabh actually removed Rajesh Khanna from industry.
And it is not that a younger generation came and removed the older one. Amitabh is of same age as Rajesh Khanna (actually 2 months older)

Raja Swaminathan said...

@Shashi, Amitabh's several good qualities have stood him in good stead throughout his career, no doubt. Definitely a role-model for many.

@Kaushik, it has nothing to do with age. There was a change of guard in the mid-70s, with one star's decline and another's ascent. As simple as that. Thanks for visiting/commenting.

Faldo said...

I remember this issue being debated hotly around 1983-84 when Khanna is supposed to have made his comeback with Souten and Avtaar. As you rightly mention, there is little point to such arguments. Many of us appreciate both these superstars without feeling the need to belong to either camp.

That being said, it is important to note that even after Rajesh's decline at the box office post 1975, he seemed to be the preferred star for a host of filmmakers and commanded top price. Many reports make mention of him being the highest paid star from 1971 to 79. A recent article from rediff mentions that even in 1979, many south Indian producers were willing to tolerate his late coming ways if he agreed to reduce his price.
My own take on this is that for a lot of filmmakers from other film industries, he was the only top Hindi film star at that point who could be cast in roles performed by say Gemini Ganesan, Sivaji Ganesan, ANR or Uttam Kumar. Something that other top Hindi film heroes then did not easily fit into.

Raja Swaminathan said...

@Faldo, I think you may be right about the reason for South Indian producers still wanting Rajesh for their films. He suited the type of actors/roles that were then often seen in Southie movies.

As for the debate, I consider it quite pointless but lots of people still seem to want to run down one or the other actor. *sigh*

sunil said...

Enjoy!
http://www.4bubbles.com/rare-interview-of-amitabh-bachan-and-rajesh-khanna-part-1/

Anonymous said...

http://www.4bubbles.com/rare-interview-of-amitabh-bachan-and-rajesh-khanna-part-2/

Salim said...

It is always the early films of actors which are most charming. When these two started to act the 'superestar' in their films as well, the quality dropped. RKhanna films became marked by his mannerisms and AB aimed to be the super entertainer all the time - so much so he had to be in every single scene of the film (and Manmohan Desai and band pandering to his ego in this respect did nothing but to inflate it). In his attempt now to downplay it, I only feel it to be false humility. Sad - because both had charm and talent. Everyone has his time in the sun and then has to dwell in the twilight The more bothersome fact is some fans insist on projecting one above the other. And with partisan sides appearing in media, this all the more aggravated. I simply turn away from such blabbering and enjoy the artist's works on their own merit - and not because some fan media writer says so.

Abhishek Tiwari said...

At any point of time, RK proved himself to be abeeter actor. AB's films were mostly multistarrer and no producer had guts to cast him in solo roles, as they were not confident of his fan following. They rather casted several actors together to match the fan strength of RK by combining the fans of several actors. Further, if a list will be prepared of classical movies of bollywood, it will surely have a larger number of films of RK if compared to any other actor

Abhinay Dwivedi said...

RAJESH KHANNA-THE MOST ROMANTIC ACTER IN THE PLANET IS THE BEST EVER AND FOREVER ,AMITABH IS TOTALLY DIPLOMATIC PERSON.I HATE WATCHING ACTION MOVIE...I LOVE WATCHING RAJESH KHANNA VIDEO SONGS AS COMPARE TO WATCH ANY MOVIE OF ANY ACTER.

Anonymous said...

Though I like both I must admit Amitabh ruined Bollywood forever. Amitabh is little more talented than Rajesh Khanna. The 2 acted in 2 movies together & in both Amitabh has god film fare award but Khanna missed out on Namak Haraam despite having all songs.

One should realise Rajesh was always with his team who were supreme in their trade, Kishore as singer, Anand Bakshi as lyricist, RD Burman for music were inseparable to KAKA. Amitabh was alone, he never had any fixed team like Kaka to assist him. Despite the odds Amitabh was able to become No. 1 shows he had more stuff.


I must say Rajesh had the ability to pick good storylines to act & Amitabh was a godforsaken picker of good storylines. Amitabh's good movies are lot lesser than Rajesh's. Amitabh's supreme emotive skills & loafer acting grabbed all the masses. Amitabh could act all what Rajesh did but Rajesh looked misplaced on any angry young man role that is why I would put Amitabh 51

Anu subba said...

Exactly my sentiment (excellent points). They are both superb in their own categories. However, RK's persona and good look is very addictive. As a teenager, I rarely watched Hindi movies. I hated heroes/heroines running around the trees etc. RK was my mom's and aunts' fav. When RK passed away, I started youtubing him and saw some old movies and now I can understand that hysteria and mania of his fans. His looks, mannerism, delivery of dialogues, facial expression are just hypnotic (no comparison). I find myself watching some of his movies over and over again. Its intoxicating. I am feeling the euphoria now. At the same time, I am really saddened that RK was dillusional and couldn't accept the fact that he was descending. It was very painful to watch such an exquisite looking and talented star to have the kind of end that he did. One thing comes to my mind is "when you laugh, the world laughs with you but when you cry, you cry alone". Everybody benefited from him but it looks like there was nobody for him when he needed the most. Where were all his fans when he was so desperate? Its so strange that people never care for people when they are alive and after death, they say and do crazy stuffs but alas! RK is not here to see all that. May his soul rest in peace.

sahil devgn said...

Rajesh khanna is one man show but Amitabh always have multistarer films and his acting is not good as RK.......If someone not believing check it out by seeing hisfilm......RK has very beautiful voice also.....And you know he was very handsome too.....

SSS Batsingh said...

Amitabh is a personality actor - in all his performances he never let's go his personality post zanjeer. All the producers and directors after deewar. We're just trying to cash on the angry young man /bully persona - he was never a directors actor - poor fans suckers -pre mohabbatein amitabh is just angry young man -post mohabbatein he is angry old man - same changes-same hand gestures - no facial expressions -lucky for him his personality is popular-plus there have been many talented story writers and directors around him who know how to capitalize it thru a Nieves audience.amitabh was an actor pre zanjeer - a mediocre but flop actor who could not emote and get a single character he played to be appreciated by the audience. That gentlemen his record .rajesh on the other hand becomes the character in his great roles - lets you feel life thru the eyes of his character -watch amar prem- watch Kati patang , aavishkar,avatar,amardeep,tho disk bewafai,anand,even namak halal . Look at every frame rajesh and amitabh are together in you will see. Also realize as you watch hirishkesh gave amitabh simi to emote his feelings to audience without her help amitabh sitting and drinking with his face buried and staring into his glass is all that's left of his acting. All amitabh has to display in his entire is anger at his friend anger at his dad anger at union leader anger at worker. Simi is there to tell us that he loves his friend rajesh guys -rajesh on the other hand must single handedly show us he loves and understands and appreciates his friend all the while he feels he is misguided- rajesh khanna gets two minutes of screen time to deliver this message . Amitabh gets every frame to deliver his message and simi . I have seen critics judge these performances and all those judgements are tainted in favour of amitabh because the angry young man persona became a hit -arguably amitabh delivers some of those lines very well . Obviously everyone comes out remembering those - that is a directors decision - to give an actor popular lines - almost to the detriment of the story he was telling - think about it - is the purpose of the movie to show how angry amitabhs character is or was the main purpose of the movie to show the transformation of a middle class man to start seeing life from the point of view of the people he went to conquer.rajesh delivers a flawless performance- director overshadowed the main role by a side kick - I suspect jaya had a lot to do with this-rajesh was too self absorbed and talented as an actor to even realize the political game man ship. That's my two cents . Amitabh is very good in Avery limited cerebral acting capacity . In matters of the heart he is awful - can not emote - lucky for him the industry was about to undergo change-I am sure his mother being key government portfolio related to films. What had amitabh done by 1975 that he would be the point man for the govnmnt in controlling the film fraternity.??

coolmolly said...

Amitabh is a mediocre actor at best. His movies are to entertain the illiterate of India who have no taste of good movies or knowledge!!!
Amitabh destroyed the innocence of hindi cinema he brought in Masaala multistarrers with messages of sex violence and revenge!!! Great contribution he did to society!!!
Rajesh khanna actor par excellence his movies had social messages showed respect to women were non violent!!!
Amitabh at his best is just a stunt man with no emoting capability at all !!!
Kaka was the greatest actor bollywood will ever see!!!
His legacy lives on his movies are work of art as you watch them he takes u on a journey a beautiful journey that u don't want to return from!!!!
Such a great loss to the industry when dirty politics was played against him by Jaya (the witch) amitabh and hirikesh on the sets of Namak haraam!!! Hirikesh and Amitabh were the real life Namak haraam and jaya was the namak haraamin!!!

Anonymous said...

Rajesh's films had a better storyline than amit's.

Amit was always the angry young man during his supertstardom.

Rajesh did experiment when he was superstar - a songless ittefaq, bigamy in daag, negative characterisation in aap ki kasam.

VIJAY KANCHAN said...

Well said, Raja. I almost completely agree with you and couldn't have penned it better.

Growing up in the seventies brings back fond memories of a bygone era.

There was honesty and integrity and innocence in our relatively young republic.

It also coincided with the meteoric rise of Rajesh Khanna and Kishore Kumar - arguably India's finest singer.

Much has been written about the intense rivalry between two of the greatest actors in Indian cinema, that it would pointless to make any significant addition without getting repetitive.

I feel that posterity will judge him (Rajesh) more kindly than the earlier generations.

When you look at the sheer quality of (single hero) his films, you realize that here was someone special.

He was unjustly pilloried by media specially during his lean days. He was probably one of the few actors who was never given his due during his lifetime.

While going thru your blog and the subsequent comments, it felt nice to know that at least there are people who still hold him in high esteem.

The legacy of Rajesh Khanna will outlive all of us. Notwithstanding his excellent credentials as an actor, his songs (which are now a rage in youtube) will grant him immortality.

May his soul rest in everlasting peace.

VIJAY KANCHAN said...

Well said, Raja. I almost completely agree with you and couldn't have penned it better.

Growing up in the seventies brings back fond memories of a bygone era.

There was honesty and integrity and innocence in our relatively young republic.

It also coincided with the meteoric rise of Rajesh Khanna and Kishore Kumar - arguably India's finest singer.

Much has been written about the intense rivalry between two of the greatest actors in Indian cinema, that it would pointless to make any significant addition without getting repetitive.

I feel that posterity will judge him (Rajesh) more kindly than the earlier generations.

When you look at the sheer quality of (single hero) his films, you realize that here was someone special.

He was unjustly pilloried by media specially during his lean days. He was probably one of the few actors who was never given his due during his lifetime.

While going thru your blog and the subsequent comments, it felt nice to know that at least there are people who still hold him in high esteem.

The legacy of Rajesh Khanna will outlive all of us. Notwithstanding his excellent credentials as an actor, his songs (which are now a rage in youtube) will grant him immortality.

May his soul rest in everlasting peace.

VIJAY KANCHAN said...

Well said, Raja. I almost completely agree with you and couldn't have penned it better.

Growing up in the seventies brings back fond memories of a bygone era.

There was honesty and integrity and innocence in our relatively young republic.

It also coincided with the meteoric rise of Rajesh Khanna and Kishore Kumar - arguably India's finest singer.

Much has been written about the intense rivalry between two of the greatest actors in Indian cinema, that it would pointless to make any significant addition without getting repetitive.

I feel that posterity will judge him (Rajesh) more kindly than the earlier generations.

When you look at the sheer quality of (single hero) his films, you realize that here was someone special.

He was unjustly pilloried by media specially during his lean days. He was probably one of the few actors who was never given his due during his lifetime.

While going thru your blog and the subsequent comments, it felt nice to know that at least there are people who still hold him in high esteem.

The legacy of Rajesh Khanna will outlive all of us. Notwithstanding his excellent credentials as an actor, his songs (which are now a rage in youtube) will grant him immortality.

May his soul rest in everlasting peace.

VIJAY KANCHAN said...

Well said, Raja. I almost completely agree with you and couldn't have penned it better.

Growing up in the seventies brings back fond memories of a bygone era.

There was honesty and integrity and innocence in our relatively young republic.

It also coincided with the meteoric rise of Rajesh Khanna and Kishore Kumar - arguably India's finest singer.

Much has been written about the intense rivalry between two of the greatest actors in Indian cinema, that it would pointless to make any significant addition without getting repetitive.

I feel that posterity will judge him (Rajesh) more kindly than the earlier generations.

When you look at the sheer quality of (single hero) his films, you realize that here was someone special.

He was unjustly pilloried by media specially during his lean days. He was probably one of the few actors who was never given his due during his lifetime.

While going thru your blog and the subsequent comments, it felt nice to know that at least there are people who still hold him in high esteem.

The legacy of Rajesh Khanna will outlive all of us. Notwithstanding his excellent credentials as an actor, his songs (which are now a rage in youtube) will grant him immortality.

May his soul rest in everlasting peace.

VIJAY KANCHAN said...

Well said, Raja. I almost completely agree with you and couldn't have penned it better.

Growing up in the seventies brings back fond memories of a bygone era.

There was honesty and integrity and innocence in our relatively young republic.

It also coincided with the meteoric rise of Rajesh Khanna and Kishore Kumar - arguably India's finest singer.

Much has been written about the intense rivalry between two of the greatest actors in Indian cinema, that it would pointless to make any significant addition without getting repetitive.

I feel that posterity will judge him (Rajesh) more kindly than the earlier generations.

When you look at the sheer quality of (single hero) his films, you realize that here was someone special.

He was unjustly pilloried by media specially during his lean days. He was probably one of the few actors who was never given his due during his lifetime.

While going thru your blog and the subsequent comments, it felt nice to know that at least there are people who still hold him in high esteem.

The legacy of Rajesh Khanna will outlive all of us. Notwithstanding his excellent credentials as an actor, his songs (which are now a rage in youtube) will grant him immortality.

May his soul rest in everlasting peace.

Varshini Venkatesh said...

Amitabh did not take away the career of Kaka. Kaka destroyed his career himself by his late coming, tantrum throwing, walking out midway from shootings, drinking and spoiling his good looks. His charming looks of Aradhana were not present when he married in 1973. When Kaka's looks disappeared his lack of acting skills became visible.
Amitabh has nothing to do with producers shunning Kaka who was difficult to get along with.

Dr. C V Ramanan said...

While Rajesh Khanna Sir's supreme portrayals in soulful films in late sixties to mid seventies are too well known, Kaka Ji also gave some of his most powerful and dramatic performances in Amardeep (79) and Avtaar (83) catapulting him back to the top! Also in Thodisi Bewafaii, Red Rose, Dard, Dhanwan, Kudrat, Rajput, Souten, Atar Tum Na Hote, Maqsad, Durga, Babu, Nishan, Dharam Kanta, Awaaz, Awaam, Amrit and Aakhir Kyun?, all in the 80s, Swarg in 90 and in the Rishi Kapoor directed R K Films' , Aa Ab Laut Chalen, in 1999.

Khanna Saab was and will always be the king of romance, emotions and hi-drama. Eternal and Evergreen. A true legend. Let's celebrate his legacy comprising of so many idealistic movies, haunting songs and colossal histrionics...

Sonam said...

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Unknown said...

100AB=1KAKAJI.

souradip pal said...

100AB=1KAKAJI.

Anonymous said...

As a Human being Amitabh is way better than Kaka, as an actor also he is a shade better than Kaka but Amitabh is a very bad chooser of stories, directly or indirectly he ruined the film industry with formula movies & violence. Kaka's 80% of movies were very good or good. Amitabh's only 20% were very good. The new age movies or Amitabh are nothing but garbage. The dialogues of Amitabh have also become whispers now & now Amitabh's movies are not even watchable. Kaka embodied class with his food movies & Amitabh just went for filth more so on the last decade.

Anonymous said...

Amitabh is the best and will remain.