There cannot be another Super Star Rajesh Khanna, no never and ever in indian film industry

Rk- reduced

Vinita Dawra Nangia
21 July 2012, 06:39 PM IST

Because there cannot be another generation that innocent, that untouched, that gullible and that willing to be romanced through the camera!

Each era idolizes stars who symbolize the collective yearnings of the time. And the amount of adulation or attention a star evokes is also a reflection of the spirit of the times.

Young girls today find tales of the collective Kaka mania fascinating, but ridiculous. Marrying his photograph or sponging it when he had fever, writing letters in blood to him, slashing their wrists when he had an affair with a co-star, or grieving when he married Dimple Kapadia – today’s young girl cannot possibly relate to any of this.

But then today’s sexually liberated youngster cannot possibly relate to her counterpart of the 1970s either. Young girls with newly discovered dreams and the hope of a life beyond what their mothers lived. Girls whose only experience of romance was possibly a steadily held gaze across the street or in a crowded bus, girls who even innocently believed that possibly a brush of the hand with a male may impregnate them!

The maximum freedom they were allowed was a visit to a female friend’s home, where they may share a few innocent glances with the friend’s brother, and then live out the rest of their days in a haze of romance generated by that interaction! Arranged marriages were a given, and romantic love still frowned upon. A girl yearned for even the little freedom that marriage afforded her from the restricted, over-protected existence at her parental home, and so romanticized even a wedding organized for her in the most cold-blooded corporate merger style.

And then came Rajesh Khanna, the quintessential friend’s brother, tender and caring, with a wealth of romance and understanding in those crinkled eyes. He was romance of the times personified, with that tilt of his head signifying interest, the come-hither wink, and that sexy smile that promised the fulfillment of a lifetime of dreams and desires. How could the girls of the time not be enticed? For Rajesh Khanna wooed the camera, not just his heroine. Each girl in the audience felt those eyes on her, the tilted head directed to her and the wink meant just for her! Each one gave her heart to the dream that he wove especially for her. He was her escape window into a tender world of romance that may never be a reality for her. But she dreamed, she hoped!

The intensity of the heroes before Kaka — the romance, the angst and the passion directed towards the heroine was suddenly a thing of the past. Raj Kapoor’s romance tinged with sadness and Dilip Kumar’s melancholic cloak of romance wrapped securely around himself served their purpose in an era when romance was a luxury beyond the call of daily living and demanded sacrifices. Dev Anand’s bad boy image and mannerisms attracted a fan following and Shammi Kapoor’s junglee romance and Shashi Kapoor’s edge of naughtiness were cute. But Rajesh Khanna was romance personified! And his good boy-next-door image helped. His brand of romance was a palpable entity that moved and changed and grew with him.

The collective passion fans had for him signified a rejection of the melancholic self-obsessed love of not just the heroes who came before him, but also of an era of self-absorption where love meant separation and tragedy, rather than a coming together. With Kaka, love became a celebration of life, aided by his romantic mannerisms and boy-next-door looks.

 His brand of romance gave wings of fancy to an entire generation of women. Men aped his style and mannerisms and wooed their women Kaka-style. Who would you compare to Rajesh Khanna today? Nobody! Kaka may never have changed till the end of his life but the women did! They wanted their men more aggressive and macho – enter Amitabh Bachchan. Then they decided their men should be both soft and hard  and wanted metrosexual, understanding men who treated them as equals – enter Shahrukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan. They wanted sexy go-getters who also had their sensitive side. Enter Ranbeer Kapoor.

There cannot be another Rajesh Khanna, no never! Because there cannot be another generation that innocent, that untouched, that gullible and that willing to be romanced through the camera!

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