Recollect a meeting with Rajesh Khanna:
Years back, at a stud farm, where shooting for a movie was taking place, my family was invited for lunch. Iftekhar Khan, Om Prakash, Meenakshi Seshadri, and Rajesh Khanna were sitting on the lawn relaxing. I walked up and talked to everyone, but the very fair, very handsome and very pompous, (so I thought)Rajesh Khanna. There was no one around but these movie stars and my relatives. As I covertly observed the superstar I wished to tell him that I nursed a puppy crush on him, that I adored him in most of his movies, that his dialogues were heart stealers… But, I didn’t because, I, in my own crazy way, thought this arrogant man expects a giddy teenager to swoon…(as though it would have mattered to him anyway .. )
I didn’t talk to him, and after chatting endlessly with other stars and totally ignoring him, I went for lunch. It was later in the day, that I pushed a paper under his nose and snobbishly said, ‘autograph’, took his autograph, and in childish haughtiness walked away.
Does it make me feel good today, about my attitude that day? No, it doesn’t. How I wish, I had not wasted a golden chance to talk to the most romantic hero of the Indian Cinema.
However, I do feel sad for that lonely man, who had a house he dearly loved but no home, a family but none who were there., …Who made us smile with the “Pushpa I hate tears”?
.., and made us cry with,
Zindagi aur mauth upar vale ke haath hain jahapana use naatho aap badal sakthe na mein hum sab tho rang manch ke katputhliyaan hain jinki dor upar vale ki ungli pe bandhi hain kab kaun kaisa uthega yeh koi nahin batha saktha hain !! (Babu Moshai )
Just SAD… I can’t help but shed a tear or two for the original romantic hero.