Bollywood – strange place na. Some people put in their heart & soul and still are not able to climb the stardom ladder. And on the other hand we witness, new faces being tagged with celebrity status with their very first appearance. As it is often said "Out of sight, out of mind" - the very people who couldn’t get enough of you once upon a time, today don’t have few minutes to spare on you. Mind you, this not only happens to be the story of one-time actors but sadly, some yesteryear’s superstars as well.
I mean not everyone can boast of a filmy career graph as Amitabh Bachchan or be blessed with strong family support as Dharmendra paaji or be the head of India’s leading Tele-Production house, all thanks to his enterprising daughter. Today many of these past idols either earn a living by doing cameo roles in films/television shows or work behind the scenes. Some have completely given up the glamour business, while placing more importance on the family-time, which they couldn’t during their hay days.
And then you read about legendary megastars, someone like Rajesh Khanna and you can’t help but wonder what a real bitch life can be. I remember my mum fondly talking about those Rajesh Khanna frenzy days - how she and her gals bunked classes to watch his films, just his smile would melt the hearts of thousands of women, his pairing with actress Mumtaz was a sure-hit formula, his off-beat dancing style and above all his greatest performance in the film, Anand.
But those babu mushai days are long gone now. Today this very actor lives nothing but a pitiful life. He may be financially sound but money surely cant substitute for love, family or bring back those days of glory. Even though he is still married to actress Dimple Kapadia, they have been living separately since early 80s. Both their daughters are happily married and immersed in their professional lives. And that leaves him with nothing but loneliness and its disturbing side effects.
Recently Mumbai Mirror reported this incident –
The yesteryear superstar Rajesh Khanna was not at his best of behavior on Saturday evening at the launch of an entertainment company. A lady journalist who went up to the actor to exchange greetings and ask for his phone number was left perplexed when she was greeted with "46-36-46". An eyewitness who was present there says, "The lady seemed quite surprised at what the romantic hero of the ’70s was hinting at. He probably saw her expression and told her that it is a vital statistics of an average Italian woman. The lady didn’t know what had hit the actor." Apparently, Khanna was pre-occupied with vital statistics of his female colleagues during one of his outdoors last year.
Couple of months back there was another write-up over an incident where drunken Rajesh Khanna was nearly beaten by a man for whistling at his girlfriend near some cafe in Bandra. I think it was published in Mid-Day.
Looking at his sorry state, the first word that comes to mind is ‘Ironic’. Imagine living thru the extreme highs and lows in one life time. Many of us are envious of the stature achieved by these famous faces and all the perks that come along with celebrity-hood. But what about its downside? I for one wouldn’t wish it even for my enemies
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