Prabhudeva recalls his recent meeting with Rajesh Khanna, the first superstar of Bollywood who ruled the roost throughout the sixties and seventies as the ‘No.1’ romantic hero. Rajesh Khanna’s immortal songs (sung by the late and legendary Kishore Kumar) in ever-green hit films like Aradhana, Kati Pathang and Anand are still fresh in the minds of Hindi film viewers and music-lovers.
Prabhueva had been nursing the ambition to meet the 70-plus Rajesh Khanna for a long time now. Deva, who is gearing up for the release of his upcoming directorial venture titled Rowdy Rathore, is making another film now and is also training hard to perform on the inaugural day’s event of IPL-4 in the first week of April.
A common friend arranged Deva’s much-awaited meeting with Rajesh Khanna. Recalling the meeting, Prabhu says “My dream came true by meeting the ever-green Rajesh Khanna. I have watched all his films at least once. My father too likes him a lot. Rajesh Khanna Ji welcomed me and offered tea. He also spoke at length about his tryst with Chennai and the South Indian film industry.
“Rajesh Ji told me that he had been to Chennai innumerable number of times to shoot for many of his famous Hindi films. He also revealed that he had a ‘permanent’ room booked in his name at the Chola Sheraton. He would stay there and would have for his breakfast hot idlis and coffee prepared at the New Woodlands hotel. Rajesh Ji also recalled that he had starred in the Hindi versions of MGR’s super-hit films such as Nam Naadu (Apna Desh) and Nalla Neram (Haathi Mera Saathi).
“He also spoke at length about his friendship with superstar Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan and his experience of starring in the Hindi remake of Kamal’s Sigappu Rojakkal. Rajeshi Ji appreciated the discipline and orderliness with which Tamil films were made in those days,” concludes Prabhudeva, still reeling under the ‘positive impact’ of his meeting with the erstwhile romantic hero of Bollywood.