Rajesh Khanna is named as the first superstar in Hindi cinema. Rajesh Khanna, who gave romantic films one after the other in his era, was very popular at one time and all the girls were crazy about him. He was at the peak of popularity and it is said that no such fan will be seen again for any actor. Although Rajesh Khanna had his own style of working. Sharmila Tagore, who did hit films like Amar Prem, Aradhana with Rajesh Khanna, says there were many contradictions in her personality. In the preface to the book ‘Dark Star: The Loneliness of Being Rajesh Khanna’, Sharmila Tagore says that Rajesh Khanna often had a habit of shooting late.
Even when the time was fixed at 9 o’clock, he used to reach till 12 in the afternoon. Sharmila Tagore writes, ‘His late arrival habit impressed me a lot. I used to reach the studio at 8 in the morning and I wished to return home by 8 in the evening. But this was never possible because Kaka often came late and reached by 12 noon. Therefore, the shooting was never completed on time. In this case, the entire unit used to force me to work overtime and complete the schedule. It had become a kind of rule. I did many films with Kaka and the problem continued.
Sharmila Tagore says that she was so upset due to this habit that she preferred to work more with other actors, while her pairing with Rajesh Khanna was quite a hit. She says that Rajesh Khanna also did not like to do more films with any one actress. The reason for this was that he felt that if the same pair were shown on screen, the enthusiasm of the people would be reduced. Sharmila Tagore says that Rajesh Khanna’s thinking was like a big relief.
Often, Rajesh Khanna’s relationship with people worsens, Sharmila Tagore says that the reason for this was her personality as well. Actually Rajesh Khanna was very liberal about his friends and cousins. Many times he used to give very expensive gifts. He even used to buy homes for people, but then he had high expectations for it. When these expectations were not met, then relations deteriorated.
According to Sharmila Tagore, one of the reasons for the rapid decline in the career of Rajesh Khanna, who once lived to stardom, was that he never tried to change himself. Sharmila Tagore says, “The films through which he was living stardom continued to work in the same way. He did not see that the round had changed and the demand of the audience had changed. The roles he is playing are losing their relevance. Even he continued to be the caricature of his successful phase.