By Goher Iqbal Punn, Film Critic & Entertainment Analyst, Showbiz Bites
Rajesh Khanna was the first superstar of Bollywood industry. The superstardom, he witnessed in his heydays, was tasted by none among his contemporaries or even by his seniors. Although the likes of Dilip Kumar, Raj Kumar and Dev Anand were called the legends and veterans, but Rajesh Khanna emerged as the first superstar of Hindi cinema industry. The superstardom spoiled him completely and later affected his success, career and even his personality very badly. Why? Because he turned out to be overconfident, putting everyone on his toes.
Amitabh Bachchan was the new entrant into Hindi film industry in those days, and he was quite punctual, on the other hand, Rajesh was totally an opposite. He used to come very late on the sets. Even in the morning shoots, Khanna used to arrive in the evening or at night. Often the filmmakers had to pack up the shoots because of his irresponsible manners, bad professionalism and coming late on the sets. Superstardom had destroyed him utterly and somewhere behind all this behavior, there was the decline of his career as well, which had started disturbing him, and due to it he began behaving like unprofessional.
Anyway, his behavior was intolerable to the filmmakers in particular. The new entrant Amitabh Bachchan was a thorough professional and always behaved like a gentleman, arriving on the sets on time. Filmmakers had started making a comfort level with Bachchan, ignoring Khanna altogether. This all had started irking Rajesh Khanna, and as result, the jealously for Amitabh started happening inside the declining superstar.
Once a filmmaker asked Rajesh Khanna (Kaka as he was called lovingly by film fraternity) “why he comes late, whereas the newcomer Amitabh Bachchan always comes on time?)”. Responding to this question, Khanna said “Clerks are punctual. I am not a clerk. I am an artist. I am not a slave of my mood, my moods are my slaves.”
Soon, filmmakers had started signing Amitabh Bachchan in their films, leaving and ignoring the diminishing superstar altogether. And soon, Rajesh Khanna lost his stardom and his career graph slipped down tremendously. By then the new superstar of Hindi cinema industry was born – Amitabh Bachchan emerged as a new leading superstar of Hindi film fraternity. From now onwards, Bachchan has never looked back.
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