I Was Glad When He Said That His Car Book Review Dark Star (Rajesh Khanna): Massive Success, Bloated Ego and Dramatic Downfall

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Book Review Dark Star (Rajesh Khanna): Massive Success, Bloated Ego and Dramatic Downfall

When I came to know that author Gautam Chintamani has now come out with his first book, Dark Star – The Loneliness of Being Rajesh Khanna This fact is why not many books have been written on Rajesh Khanna, India’s first superstar. The reasons may be numerous but I am glad that the author Gautam Chintamani took the effort to come out with his first book on Rajesh Khanna with his thorough research and prolific writing. Gautham is a born cinephile and a popular columnist in several leading national publications. After reading this book, I take the opportunity to write a brief summary of his book after an impressive reading.

Rajesh Khanna (huge success, inflated ego and dramatic fall)

The name Rajesh Khanna conjures up three things in my mind: his massive success, his inflated ego and his dramatic downfall. Sequence success, ego and then fall mind. Were they all connected? I thought “yes” but not until author Gautham and his book gave me deep insight and a convincing response..

Early days and huge success

The term ‘superstar’ was used by the media for actor Rajesh Khanna. With seventeen massive hits in a short span of just four years, Khanna thought this phase would last forever. He was originally born as Jatin Khanna to middle-class parents and was later adopted by wealthy relatives who raised him like a prince. His adoptive mother would not let anyone near his room until his uncle woke up on his own in the morning. Even when it came to going to school, it was Rajesh Khanna himself who decided more than anyone else whether he should go to class or not. He used to tell his friends that if he asked for five rupees, he would get ten from his parents. By the time Rajesh Khanna won the Filmfare United Producers Combine talent hunt, he was already known as a struggler who drove an imported sports car. Such was the impact of his success that, according to a small anecdote in the book, when Khanna was shooting for “Prem Kahani” at Mithibai College, a local fakir was begging the crowd for alms, not in the name of the Almighty. Superstar name later Rajesh Khanna. Such frenzy was created by the then superstar among the common people.

inflated ego

First it was his great success then came his inflated ego and the lesson we should learn from Rajesh Khanna’s life and times is how one’s high ego can bring one from success to mediocrity. rightly said, “Where love enters ego exits and where ego enters love exits”.

However, a close reading of this book along with the good research done by the author makes it clear that the man’s ego was not a byproduct of his success. On the contrary the ego was always there and as big as ever.

In this book, Shyam Keswani, a lawyer introduced to Khanna by Shakti Samantha, is certain that Rajesh Khanna would have had the same arrogance even if he had entered the business, whether he had been a railway contractor or a clerk. . Rajesh Khanna was always energetic and people got his pulse, especially after his string of hits after the film Aaradhana. “Success changed his outlook and as long as the hits kept coming, no one minded his bravado.”

A dramatic fall

Not all days in one’s life are the same and that was the case with superstar Rajesh Khanna. There was a period when everything he touched turned into gold and then came the stage when everything he touched turned to dust. Its imported cars were replaced by the Maruti 800 and its 555 cars were replaced by the Gold Flake. He hoped that politics would give a new direction to his life but to no avail as he found a new and more reliable person in Sunil Dutt. Khanna’s father’s role in “Aa Ab Laut Chalen” released in 1999 was not well appreciated at the box office as Mr. Amitabh Bachchan’s Mohabbatein was released in the year 2000 which earned Big B the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor.

Appreciate the good writing, patience and thorough research done by author Gautham to come up with the first book on this superstar Rajesh Khanna. The book is truly a wonderful tribute to the author that covers the four-decade-spanning odyssey of Rajesh Khanna who once criss-crossed the country. Rajesh Khanna reached heights that no one before him had done.

Lessons learned

Many interesting lessons can be learned after reading the book and studying the life and times of Rajesh Khanna. However, one’s success may be big or small, living on earth will always be ideal. Success and ego never go hand in hand. One may win over their ego but eventually you are more defeated and lose further in the battle of life and eventually one’s happy home is disturbed. Be it the loneliness of being a superstar or the ego of a common man gets you nowhere. Kabira rightly puts it, “Speak without ego, it will calm you down and comfort others.”

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