Rajesh Khanna was a superstar and superstardom was something, he couldn’t handle. At one time he was treated like a god in Indian cinema and the real problem started when he really started thinking that he is one.
Rajesh Khanna started his career with Chetan Anand’s film “Akhari Khat” which was a dud at the box office. But Shakti Samantha’s “Aaradhna” made him a superstar over the night. Success got into his head. And the first victim of this was his girlfriend of seven years Anju Mahendru. After the breakup, Khanna married Dimple Kapadia before the release of her first movie Bobby. The story goes that he got his baraat to go in front of Mahendru’s bungalow (which was actually Khanna’sbungalow). They did not speak for nearly 17 years after his marriage.
With success came a group of hangers-on, who kept reminding Khanna that he was the superstar. “Although those were the days when Khanna was ‘friends’ with nearly all his colleagues, the regular darbar that he held at Aashirwad had only small-timers in attendance. Among those he hung out with were the producers Mohan Kumar and Johnny Bakshi, writer VK Sharma and villain Roopesh Kumar (claimed to be a cousin of Mumtaz).
These people made things worse for him as Rajesh Khanna didn’t care about anyone including these fellows when he was riding high on the stardom. He used to arrive late on sets, working with him was a huge task for directors and he mostly was introverted and quite unfriendly with his co-actors. Only after four years of his success journey, in the year 1973, Amitabh Bachchan appeared in the scene featuring in blockbuster film Zanjeer. He was a boy next door type, an angry young man, and people instantly liked him. He was professional, more humble, and available to the producers and directors, and very soon, he replaced Rajesh Khanna as the next superstar.
Almost unemployed, defeated, and still, stubborn Rajesh Khanna isolated himself to his house and became an alcoholic. His wife, his daughter, and all the remaining family members also left him slowly and in his last days he was only seen with a nobody like “Anita Advani”. She was rumored to be his live-in partner and the only person around him when he died.
Tragic!!! Isn’t it???