RIP Rajesh Khanna…

Would you forgive me if I told you you were not my favourite hero? Of course, you would. You would smile, your eyes twinkling and say something with that classic head nod and half smile which had women of my mother’s generation swooning and having to be carried off on stretchers. I was a child in your heyday. I think I saw almost all your movies, I saw you go from endearing and entertaining and effortless to hammy and stilted and embarassing. But that didn’t detract from the fact that the movies where you were glorious, you were just that, glorious. Anand. Safar. Bawarchi. Kati Patang. You had that twinkle in your eye that made one believe you knew some little secret that you were not telling us.
And you were handsome. Oh so handsome. The kind of handsome that made every woman think Xrated thoughts of you, I am sure. You didn’t have the physique and macho appeal of a Vinod Khanna or a Feroz Khan or even a Dharmendra, but you had appeal. In bundles. You made one believe in fairytales, that the prince would marry the showgirl, that Pushpa would stop shedding tears, that Anand would not die in the movie, no matter how many times one saw those movies, again and again.
I think I was heartbroken when Shammi Kapoor died, he was after all my first official crush. But when you died, a pall of sadness descended over me, you lived your life like Ozymandias. Seeing heights no movie actor has seen in India and seeing equal depths. Your life was a warning, of that quawalli, Chadta suraj dheere dheere dhalta hai dhal jayega.
I knew nothing about you apart from what was written in the magazines and your movies. I have no comment to make on your life. And it remains none of our business. But, I must say, thank you for the movies. Thank you for making me believe in the power of romance, of wistfulness, of heartbreak. Thank you for a childhood of magic at the movies.


About Kiran Manral

Author of The Face At The Window, ( 2016), Karmic Kids, All Aboard (2015) , Once Upon A Crush (2014) and The Reluctant Detective (2011).
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One Response to RIP Rajesh Khanna…

  1. S.D. says:

    Hey Kiran … I strongly believe that those were the very old sweet songs which made him a good public figure..


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