Wednesday, July 18, 2012

RAJESH KHANNA - NO MORE ! But, what is Really, Really, so special about him?


But, what is Really, Really, so special about him?

RAJESH KHANNA is no more. He passed away yesterday, after a prolonged illness. 

But, he will live for a long, long time to come - through his memorable Films. All of us, who loved him in his films,  know that.

Rajesh Khanna was Highly attractive. But was he beautiful or handsome – is difficult to say. There is no particular definition of Male Beauty. But, Male Handsomeness is more easily understood. Big Biceps, triceps, all brawn and no fat – sort of thing. The western Hero is typically that. Indian Heroes are fast becoming that.

Rajesh Khanna was attractive and Glamorous – and no one could match him in that, during his period, or perhaps, later and earlier too. 

It was a great treat to watch him live his Roles in films like Aradhana; every movement of every part of his face (especially)  was so captivating. His heroines were highly talented and beautiful – but – in the company of Rajesh Khanna, people watched Rajesh Khanna more, and his heroines less.

Whether it was romance, love, sadness, anger or pain, he emoted with such ease that – it was near perfect. Neither more, nor less. Just what the audience need. Just what the role needs. His face could show any emotion with such ease. Of course, his body co-operated well too.

By contrast, today, we find biceps and triceps and leg muscles acting more – and  the FACE muscles acting TOO LESS. I am not against great muscular Bodies, but face! That’s important too. Or, the most important one. That should act too.

It is not an exaggeration at all to say that – Rajesh Khanna was absolutely ORIGINAL. There was none who did what he did on the screen - either  earlier or even later- as effectively as he could. And yet, it was so effortless and so captivating.

His voice – was his great asset. It was romantic, slightly husky, extremely malleable and flexible. He could raise his voice or lower it –to the levels needed - in split seconds. He could make the blandest of Dialogues, most memorable. 

Take that memorable dialogue in Anand. When, he mouths the dialogue first, it looks comic – almost. We laugh. But, the same, repeated in the last scene – turns the film so tragic. Most people weep – at least their eyes get filled with tears invariably. 

All other actors and actresses, including Amitabh Bachhan – were only contributing factors in the movie. It was all the way Rajesh Khanna – who was the prime cause of success  of Anand. Or, of Aradhana. Sharmila’s performance was superb in Aradhana. Yet, it was Rajesh Khanna whose presence registers powerfully in audience minds for decades.

Kishore Kumar was an integral part of Rajesh Khanna. It is difficult to separate the voice of Kishore from Rajesh Khanna. I think - Kishore Kumar started overshadowing Rafi - starting with his superb Hits in Aradhana.

Rajesh Khanna’s screen Romance is perhaps the cleanest Romance I have seen for a long time. Never an overdose can be seen in his screen Romance – even in his legendary  rain song in Aradhana with Sharmila Tagore.

Whether the songs became legendary because of Rajesh Khanna's acting or Rajesh Khanna's acting became legendary because of the songs - or it was both - is difficult to tell. Many times, when a song sequence starts, we will feel, it was actually Rajesh Khanna who was singing. The previous dialogue of Rajesh Khanna so perfectly matches with the song. 

Many a time, I felt, Rajesh Khanna could as well be a Great singer.His voice was so good.

His on-screen chemistry with all of his heroines was beautiful and near perfect – but, in my view, Mumtaz was one actress, with whom he acted with real ease and closeness. Like in Aap ki Kasam. 

Many of his movies had almost no villains. Just that – the stories were so beautiful. He did not act much in MASALA movies of today’s Genre – sex-violence-villains -  etc – barring one or two, which any way were not his best movies.

In fact, he faded away later - when Good stories did not come by. This is my strong feeling.

While I am generally averse to commenting about his personal life – I feel – If Dimple and Rajesh had lived together, despite their differences , it would have been great for both. It was good that they were together when he breathed his last. That they remained single after separation, till the end – also speaks well of both of them. That ensures that his soul will rest in Peace.

He was of course the First Super Star. Such labels really carry no meaning and have no depth. He was a consummate actor. In that – there are no comparisons. There are lots of things to learn from Rajesh Khanna’s success in Films.

Any Film – needs a Good story. Any Film needs good, relevant, moving, meaningful music. The less, the villains and villainy, the more, the film, the Hero and other good things of the film will be remembered for a long time. 

Sholay (with Dharmendra and Amitabh) has a memorable villain – but much, much less villainy than today’s movies. The more down to the earth the film, the more it will have identification in the minds of audience. There are many such important lessons to learn - from the success of his films.

All this means – we need Producers and Directors – with willingness to make Great Movies. If this happens, Great Actors like Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bacchan will come up again. Else, Biceps and Triceps will be the ACTORS.

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  1. "Zindagi Ek Safar Hai Suhana, Yahan Kal Kya Ho Kisne Janaa" symbolised the high point of Rajesh Khanna's great life. Rajesh Khanna Sir was a true legend of bollywood R.I.P. A Pakistani fan.

    1. Dear Majid Ali;

      You are right. This song was so poignant and true for every Life. But then, there are many from the Romantic side - which are just as good - and RK emoted each of them so well.

      Unforgettable , living performance, really

  2. Rajesh Khanna is still a legend. There can never be another like him. Film music and romance will always be associated with Rajesh Khanna. He will be missed for a very long time.

    1. Thanks Rahul. I totally agree with You. I don't think, I ever saw Male Hero's face, expressing so many emotions so beautifully and so effortlessly.