When Rajesh Khanna passed away in 2012, Bollywood lost one of its shining stars and India's first superstar. Long before Shahrukh Khan opened his arms and left everyone swooning, you had Rajesh Khanna embodying romance. Such was the craze that girls would sent him blood-written letters and men would inundate hair salons to replicate the 'Rajesh Khanna Hair Style'. Such was his charisma that Amitabh Bachchan once said, " "I got famous purely because I was working with Rajesh Khanna in 'Anand'. People asked me questions like, 'How is he to look at? What does he do?"
Beneath this super-stardom and mannerisms was a man with a fine skills who gave us iconic films like Aaradhya, Anand, Kati Patang, Do Raaste, Amar Prem, Bavarchi, Chupke Chupke, Daag and many more.
On his 6th death anniversary today, we take a look back at Anand, one of his most iconic films which seemed like a lesson on life, pain and death-
Anand Was An Ode To Hrishikesh Mukherji's Friendship With Raj Kapoor
Hrishikesh Mukherji and Raj Kapoor first met in Moscow and connected instantly. Hrishida later went on to direct him in films like Anari and Aashiq. Anand was an ode to their friendship. The idea for making Anand germinated when Hrishida once saw the asthmatic Raj Kapoor gasping for breath making him think that how empty life would be without the smiling, always chatting RK.
Rajesh Khanna Was Not The First Choice For Anand
The film was supposed to star Raj Kapoor. But Hrishida couldn't watch his friend die even if it was for reel. After Uttam Kumar, Kishore Kumar and Shashi Kapoor turned down the role, Rajesh Khanna heard the narration and immediately came on board.
He Slashed His Remuneration For The Movie
It is said that Rajesh Khanna slashed his remuneration from Rs 8 lakh to a lakh for Anand because he wanted to work with Hrishikesh Mukherjee.
When Rajesh Khanna Couldn't Stop Laughing While Shooting The Climax Of Anand
In an interview with Mumbai Mirror, Big B had shared that while filming the death scene, he'd wept inconsolably, his head buried in Anand's chest as the tape recorder played his last words, "Babumoshai, zindagi aur maut uparwale ke hath mein hai..." only to realize that Khanna was shaking with laughter. "My hair was tickling Rajesh Khanna who was laughing silently. Soon I joined him. Fortunately, it was a top angle shot so nobody could see our faces," Big B was quoted as saying.
Did You Know This?
Yasser Usman in his book, Rajesh Khanna- The Untold Story Of India's First Superstar reveals, "Rajesh Khanna was so busy shooting for so many films that he didn't have much of a clue as to what was happening on the sets of Anand. Actress Seema Deo, who played an important role in the film, recalled, "He couldn't remember the lyrics of any song, so there was a prompter sitting on the sets to tell him the lyrics; he would listen to each line and then lip-sync it, but no one realized it."
While the legend is not amongst us today, he and his inspiring films continue to hold a special place in our hearts. Because 'Anand marte nahin'!