The nation was yet to come to terms with Dara Singh’s death when the passing away of Rajesh Khanna added to the anguish. In a span of just a week, Hindi cinema lost two of its celebrated faces, who were institutions in themselves.
Dara Singh or Rustam-e-Hind as he was called had lived a spotless life and had enthralled audiences worldwide as a wrestler and an actor.
While Rajesh Khanna stole millions of hearts with his million dollar smile and unique mannerisms at his peak.
Both the thespians were born in Amritsar, Punjab and were truly self-made personalities.
In a career spread over six decades, Dara Singh achieved all that a star could earn, despite being part of B-grade cinema. Nonetheless, his popularity knew no boundaries and he had people from all sections of society following him passionately. While people were awed by Dara’s muscle power, Rajesh Khanna swept people off their feet by his matchless charm and style.
Dara was India’s first on screen shirtless hero and Rajesh, India’s first superstar. The real HE-MAN of India took part in 500 fights and remained undefeated until he quit the ring. And Kaka aka ‘King of Romance’ has a record of 15 consecutive solo hits to his credit, a feat that has not been broken till date. And surprisingly, actress Mumtaz best suited both of them as their on screen lady love.
As Hanuman, Dara Singh reached the Indian drawing rooms in 1986. He put face to the monkey god and made people believe God looked like him. Such was his aura. And Kaka aka Rajesh, wooed audiences in ‘Soutan’, ‘Avtar’ and many more films that left an indelible impact on the audiences’ minds in the 1980s.
While Dara made appearances on screen until recently, Kaka chose to keep himself away from the showbiz world, until he acted in a B-grade film titled ‘Wafaa’ in 2008. Khanna did scandalise many of his fans by opting to work in a film that was not of his league yet nothing could ever lessen his aura and charisma.
And what’s astonishing is that the two veterans were out of the limelight for a long time and were hardly in the news in the last decade or so. Yet when news of their illness made headlines, fans from across the globe started pouring in “get well soon” messages. And they prayed for their souls to rest in peace when they transcended to heaven and were laid to rest.
The sons of the state of Punjab may have bid goodbye to the world but they have left behind a permanent impact on people’s mind. With their passing away, a part of every one of us has died, for they were an integral part of our growing up years and influenced many of us in some way or the other.
Here’s praying for their departed souls to rest in peace.