Random Thoughts on the Superstar

Lights, Camera Action…Time is 1970…Era ..A typical Hindi movie scene , Music …the best …Audience ….Beserk…Those were the days when everything in a movie was so special just because theater was the only way we could watch a movie.No cassettes, no CDS,no DVDs, no blue rays, and particularly no internet. The filmstar was the main cult a legend a hero . If he wore blue, the world wore blue, if he smoked, the audience smoked, if he cried, the audience cried. Who wouldnt recall a typical Amitabh movie or a Rajnikant movie to the background noise of guys hooting, whistling, and dancing?

A typical 1970s movie had the three point formula – hero, singer and music director. Rest of them just fell in place. This was the time heroes like Rajesh Khanna stormed the scene and Kishore Kumar drained our imagination and Pancham da gave us those random thoughts and took us to that fantasy world called rhythmatic music. It was an era that is truly called the golden era and I doubt whether that would ever come back in filmdom. Then the unbelievable happened. Kishore Kumar died. Kishore Kumar of Dekha na Hai re, kishore of ek ladki bheegi bhaagi si, Kishore of musafir hoon yaaron…He died…None of us could believe it. But we had to. Film and music took a sabbatical yet the breather was Rajesh Khanna was there and Pancham Da still was doling out the better numbers.

Then tragedy struck again. Pancham Da died. Gone were the chura liyas and the lekar hum and the bachna  ae haseenon and the so many other famous tunes which are ours forever. No one ever replaced him and no one tried to. Life went on as we had yet the only superstar of Indian cinema – Rajesh Khanna. For me, it was a battle of which side to take. I come from an era where we had two supestars – Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh. So we had an Amitabh camp and a Rajesh Khanna camp. I belong to the Amitabh camp.

Today as I switched channels I saw something which brought a small tear in my eye. I saw that Rajesh Khanna died. Suddenly I regretted , suddenly I felt so lost. I am from the Amitabh camp, but Rajesh Khanna belongs to my generation. I have grown up listening to his songs, humming the tunes and seeing him act. He is a part of our system. He is no more and today a million random thougths race through my mind.

First Kishore, then Pancham da and now Rajesh Khanna. Last year it was Shammi Kapoor. How much more, how many to see , I cant see these people dying. I am just reminded of the Agatha Christie novel “and then there were none”….

In true Rajesh Khanna style I would say amidst my thoughts at random
zindagi kaisi hai paheli haye….kabhi toh hasaye kabhi yeh rulaye or

zindagi ka safar hai yeh kaisa safar, koi samjha nahin koi jaana nahin
zindagi ke safar mein guzar jatey hai woh makaam woh phir nahin aatey!


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