New Delhi: The undefeated prince charming of Bollywood Rajesh Khanna ruled the tinsel town from 1969-1975. The rise of Rajesh Khanna on the horizon of Hindi Cinema was no less spectacular than a meteor. The years between 1969 and1975 witnessed the Rajesh Khanna phenomenon sweeping Bollywood off its feet. The madness and hysteria generated by Rajesh Khanna were unparalleled in Hindi cinema. A mere smile of this supernova caused women to faint, slash their wrists and send him letters written in blood. His hairstyle and distinctive ‘guru kurta’ was a fashion statement among youths of that time. His sideways nod, typical style of delivering dialogue and his charming smile were admired by everyone.

In fact, it was an entire female generation’s adulation of this actor that was at the centre of the Rajesh Khanna phenomenon. The Rajesh Khanna story is unparallel. He became the craze of the nation, and critics started calling him the First Superstar of Indian Cinema (No. 1 Actor). He remained the Superstar for 7 years (1969-1975) and shared the status with Amitabh from 1977-1991 till he left films to join politics in 1991.

Khanna’s political journey

He unsuccessfully contested against BJP veteran LK Advani from New Delhi constituency. However, Khanna later defeated noted actor and BJP candidate Shatrughan Sinha from the same constituency which was vacated by Advani.

Story of lovelorn

It never had a prequel and can never have a sequel. Though in reel life he was the king of romance, the one and only prince of women’s heart, in real life he was a lovelorn.

When Rajesh Khanna was a superstar, his first girlfriend Anju Mahendru was a model-actress who was struggling to get a foothold in Bollywood. They had a stormy affair from 1966 to 1972. While Kaka was a conservative man brought up in a traditional household, Anju was bold and independent. The differences between them resulted in conflicts leading to separation. As Anju was not ready for marriage, the relation got bitter. After their break-up, the ex-superstar quoted as saying, “The world was after me and I was after her (Anju).” The lack of understanding and compatibility forced them to call off their relationship.

When ‘Bobby girl’ Dimple Kapadia came into Rajesh Khanna’s life, little did she know that she would have to bear the brunt of the fiasco of his first affair? Khanna married to Dimple who was 15 years younger to him in March 1973. The marriage proved wrong from the very beginning.

According to sources, Dimple, who was vulnerable and eager for drawing attention from Kaka, was so awestruck by her superstar husband that she was robbed of the confidence to behave in a natural manner. She did what Kaka liked; she wore what her husband told her to put on.  For teenage Dimple it was like a climbing a ladder and failing again and again.

Things became worse, when Rajesh Khanna’s films started flopping at the box-office. He had become more rigid and withdrawn into his shell. Dimple couldn’t recover from his failure. Amidst this situation, separation was the only way out for unhappy marriage.

With the passage of time they had learnt to understand one another and distance brought a mutual understanding between both of them. When Kaka fell serious ill, Dimple was by his side.

The worst come back ever:

In one of the most terrible comebacks ever recorded in the history of cinema, Superstar Rajesh Khanna, aged 66, jumps into the bed with a clueless Laila Khan aka Saara Khan in B-grade movie Wafaa. With a pathetic brown hair patch to cover his baldness, Khanna tried to win back his fans’ heart with a Michael Douglas act! At the age of 66, doing such bold intimate scenes with an actress half of his age set Rajesh Khanna under a negative shade.


1. Before he married Dimple Kapadia, Rajesh Khanna bought a lavish bungalow called Dimple from actor Rajendra Kumar and renamed it Aashirwad. The house had proved unlucky for "Jubilee" Kumar, but Rajesh Khanna delivered 15 hits in a row, a record still unbroken by any actor.

2. As a struggling actor, Rajesh Khanna had  a MG sports car.

4. Rajesh Khanna was the highest paid actor from 1970-79

5. His closest friends in Bollywood were singer Kishore Kumar and music director R D Burman.

6. Rajesh Khanna's debut film Aakhri Khat was India's official Oscar entry in 1967. It didn't make the final five cut.

7. Director Shekhar Kapur offered Mr India to Rajesh Khanna first.

8. Before he made it big, Rajesh Khanna was called the "faaltu hero" because of his unconventional features.

9. The "guru kurta" he made famous was originally the dress of choice of farmers and small time politicians.

10. The song Roop Tera Mastana from Aradhana starring Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore made Bollywood history as the first single take shot.


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