Rajesh Khanna dead

I don’t know if people here will even know who he is, but I do, so I am making this memorial thread for him.

Link to Times of India article

Rajesh Khanna was one of my favorite actors of yesteryear…my parents’ generation, really.

Dushman is one of my favorite all-time movies, ever. Also Aan Milo Sajna, Sacha Jhuta, Anand (amazing role!), Haathi mera Saathi, Amar Prem, and god, so many more.

He was 69 years old, which is still pretty young. He won many awards in his time and has been in the business since 1966.

Rest in peace, Mr. Khanna, and thank you for all you have given us.

I heard about this because I ‘like’ Big Cinema on facebook. I didn’t know who he was, but if he was part of what makes Bollywood what it is, then the world has lost a cool guy.

In Anand, which means “joy”, he played a young man with terminal inoperable cancer; only six months to live. Everyone thought he didn’t know because he was so cheerful and went out of his way, regularly inconveniencing himself, to be kind and loving to everyone.

The movie depicted a man who believed in living his life to the fullest, and imparted many lessons to the survivors around him.

It was so funny and yet you’d be crying as you laughed. He’d walk down the street and shout a name at someone, and the person would be like “I have NO idea who the hell you are…” but Anand would greet him with so much joy and love, like he was a long-lost brother, that eventually the person would come around.

“Anand mara nahi. Anand marta nahi.”

“Anand (joy) hasn’t died. Anand (joy) does not ever die.”

Anand was a fantastic movie. It’s sad that he’s dead. I wonder if he’d have cracked that lopsided grin of his if he found out his death left a subset of an American message board kicking itself for not picking him in the death pool.

Rajesh khanna had a unique style and charm. My favorite Rajesh Khanna movies are Anand and Bawarchi. Songs sung by Kishor kumar filmed on Rajesh Khanna are legendary, unforgettable and the best ever.

RIP to a fine actor.

I saw a picture of him from January and the guy looked 20-30 years younger than he actually was.

Dushman was an awesome movie too, and the only Indian movie my (non-Indian) SO professes to like. In it he plays a drunken, rowdy truck driver, sleeping with loose women and prostitutes, drinking and driving, and not having a care in the world, until he runs over and kills a farmer in his drunken haze.

He is taken to jail, and, it being a very small village, the man’s family comes to the magistrate. The Magistrate promises them justice, but they weep, saying what good will justice do? Ram (the guy who died) was their sole support in the world, and now the family will starve to death. The family consisting of:

Raam’s blind mother
Raam’s crippled father
Raam’s wife
Raam’s two young sons (like 8 and 6)
And Raam’s younger sister (about 20 or so) (She is engaged at the start of the movie but her engagement is broken off when they cannot pay the dowry.

(In case you haven’t noticed, Indian movies love to pile on the drama).

The magistrate thinks deeply, and ends up giving Rajesh Khanna’s character (Surjit) an opportunity. He’s not going to go to jail, he’s going to go live in Raam’s house, and work the land and the soil, and if the family starves to death, it’s his lookout.

Of course Surjit is aghast, as is the family, and they are extraordinarily reluctant. The first time Surjit walks into the house, the old grandpa hits him on the head with his crutch, drawing blood. The elder child won’t even look at him, and he hears Raam’s wife screaming about having to keep this murderer in her house.

However, he hears the younger child desperately crying for food, and this awakens something in him. He decides to at least try.

The rest of the movie is about him trying to, and eventually fitting in with this new world. Of course it wouldn’t be a Hindustani movie without a villain. The villain is played by a local evil landlord who wants both Raam’s land and Raam’s wife in his bed.

Some truly moving scenes of his first harvest, and the old grandpa crying and falling down in the freshly tilled soil, feeling like his son’s soul might actually be able to rest now.

Surjit even finds himself a girl, the beautiful and buxom and very sexy (IMO) Mumtaz. It is an excellent film…

And the word “Dushman” means enemy. It comes from the very beginning, when the younger child asks who is the man who has come to stay with them, and the elder child says “Woh hamara dushman hai!” “That is our enemy!” Half sadly half sarcastically he introduces himself to Mumtaz as “Dushman” and the kids begin to call him “Dushman chacha” - Uncle Enemy.

The first thing that popped into my head when I saw the thread title was Anand! I remember watching it at the famous Stanley Theater in Jersey City, NJ when I was a kid. I don’t speak Hindi (only Gujarati) so my dad had to translate much of it for me. But I remember laughing and crying and proclaiming that Khanna was my favorite actor. The only 2 movies that I distinctly remember watching in a theater in the '70’s were Anand and Star Wars.

Funny, I just checked IMDB and see that the movie came out in 1971. But I’m certain that I didn’t watch it until 1977 or 1978. I wonder why it would have been playing in a theater so much later.

It won a lot of awards, and in those days, they only played the best of the best in the States. They certainly wouldn’t play some half-assed newer movie. :slight_smile:

Yes, I agree. That was a very fine movie. Its a pity that today’s leading actors like SRK, Akshay, Salman etc do not do such movies. All they do these days are movies like Rowdy Rathore, Ready, Dabang, Om shanti om.

Few things people do not know about Kaka:

  1. Rajesh Khanna’s real name was Jatin. His claim to fame was his acting career, but he also produced films and served as a Member of Parliament. He appeared in 163 feature films and 17 short films.

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

  3. As a struggling actor, Rajesh Khanna drove himself to work and back in his own MG sports car.

  4. Even though Rajesh Khanna had a 100 per cent success rate with actress Mumtaz, delivering eight blockbuster films with her, Hema Malini was his heroine the most number of times. They appeared in 15 films together.

  5. Rajesh Khanna was the highest paid actor from 1970-79 and shared the honour with Amitabh Bachchan from 1980-87.

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

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

  8. Director Shekhar Kapur offered Mr India to Rajesh Khanna first, who turned it down because he couldn’t relate to the invisible hero. The role finally went to Anil Kapoor.

  9. Before he made it big, Rajesh Khanna was called the “faaltu hero” because of his unconventional features. With stardom came very different epithets – Superstar and Pasha Of Passion.

  10. The “guru kurta” he made famous was originally the garment of choice of farmers and small-time politicians.

  11. Roop Tera Mastana from Aradhana, starring Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore, made history in Hindi cinema as the first single-take song.