Rajesh Khanna RIP

Indias first superstar hero passes away at the age of 69

Rajesh Khanna RIP

India’s first superstar, actor Rajesh Khanna, passed away at his residence in Mumbai on Wednesday afternoon, after a prolonged illness. He was 69. He is survived by his actor-wife Dimple Kapadia and two daughters, Twinkle and Rinkie.

The actor breathed his last at his residence, “Aashirwad,” the swanky sea-side bungalow considered to be a landmark   at Bandra Bandstand in north-west Mumbai.

Dimple, daughters Twinkle and Rinkie along with their husbands, actor Akshay Kumar and Samir Saran, respectively, grandchildren and other relatives were at his bedside when the end came.

The actor, credited with powerful riveting performances in his 44-year-long career, will be cremated on Thursday. Since morning, even as rumours of the critical condition of the actor started, thousands had been congregating on Carter Road, Bandra Bandstand. The usually wide-open windows and doors of the balcony of the building were closed, with a stillness surrounding the bungalow.

The police by mid-morning cordoned off the main road facing the bungalow with all and sundry from the film industry slowly filtering into the bungalow. Social networking sites were flooded with messages and condolences as the word of the actor’s demise spread.

Rajesh Khanna, born in Amritsar in 1942, grew up in Mumbai after being adopted by relatives of his biological parents. After his schooling and graduation in Mumbai, he got a break in films after winning an all-India talent contest bagging two movies, “Aakhri Khat” and “Raaz,” simultaneously.

Though his first two films did relatively well at the box-office, his movies like “Aradhana,” “Haathi Mere Saathi,” “Daag” and others made him a superstar with a following among girls bordering on mass-hysteria. The late seventies saw his popularity gradually waning, a corollary of an increase in interests in politics. While he continued churning out successful films, Khanna in 1973 got married to the then rising actress Dimple Kapadia of the teeny-weeny bopper cult film “Bobby.” 

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