Zee Jaipur Lit Fest: The charm of superstar Rajesh Khanna

Love and affection that millions of fans bestowed on superstar Rajesh Khanna during his acting heydays turned into a source of sorrow for the yesteryear romantic hero when they left him during a career slump.

PTI| Updated: Jan 25, 2015, 16:50 PM IST

Jaipur: Love and affection that millions of fans bestowed on superstar Rajesh Khanna during his acting heydays turned into a source of sorrow for the yesteryear romantic hero when they left him during a career slump.

Writers got together at the Zee Jaipur Literature Festival to explore the dark side of stardom and loneliness of Rajesh Khanna who died in the year 2012.

"He was always in denial of his biological parents. It was something which he wanted to hide from people. He was adopted by his uncle at the age of 6 or 7 and it was a kind of shock for him as he felt he was deserted probably because he was not good enough for his parents and those confused feelings always remained inside him," Khanna's biographer Yasser Usman said here today.

Usman, who had penned "Rajesh Khanna: The Untold Story of India's First Superstar" was speaking at a session "The Phenomenon: Rajesh Khanna".

"Later, he got love when he became a phenomenal star. He got that unconditional love from his fans which he looking for and had expected from his biological parents. But when his downfall came and fans deserted him, which hurt him," Khanna said.

Gautam Chintamani who penned "Dark Star: The Loneliness of Rajesh Khanna," said it was fascinating to see that a lot of Khanna's admirers continued to be fans of the actor whose career went downhill after touching the height of stardom.

"Khanna always accepted that fact that his stardom has gone but he wanted it back He always wanted to make a comeback, and for that he did some pictures which should not have done," Chintamani said.

Yasser said almost every fan of Khanna that he encountered had a deep obsession with the author. The author said he always got the answer "you will not understand," when he asked fans to give more details about the actor.

One woman from Kolkata who admired Khanna said she went to watch his films imagining it to be a "date" with the actor.

"Such was the charm for actor and he ruled the heart of fans but at time came when he was alone," he said.

Yasser said despite public opinion that superstardom had destroyed Rajesh Khanna he felt that the actor's multiple factors such as arrogance and over possessiveness as well as unconditionally in relationships led to the actor's downfall.

Chintamani said,"Everyone who knew Khanna used to say that they knew him best even though Khanna himself did not know it himself." The session was moderated by author Shoba De.