Are you an expensive surgeon, Rajesh Khanna asked

  • IANS, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: Jul 26, 2012 16:03 IST
  • From veteran actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Shashi Kapoor, Vinod Khanna, Anju Mehendru to the younger lot like Deepika Padukone and Vivek Oberoi, celebs came in ...

  • Bollywood actor Shashi Kapoor arrives to pay respects to Rajesh Khanna at his Chautha ceremony in Mumbai on Saturday.

  • Vivek Oberoi (R) with father Suresh Oberoi. (AFP)

  • Vinod Khanna with wife attend Rajesh Khanna's chautha. (AFP)

  • Deepika Padukone was also present. (AFP)

  • Bollywood actress Dimple Kapadia (R), with daughter Twinkle Khanna. (AFP)

  • Rajesh Khanna's wife Dimple Kapadia in a sombre mood.

  • Well-wishers light candles in front of a portrait of late Indian Bollywood actor Rajesh Khanna during a prayer meet in Mumbai. (AFP)

  • Son-in-law Akshay Kumar had announced Rajesh Khanna's death to media. (AFP)

  • Bollywood actress Anju Mahendru was reportedly holding Rajesh Khanna's hand when the actor took his last breath. (AFP)

This was Rajesh Khanna's prayer to cardiac surgeon Mukesh Hariawala when the superstar called on legendary composer R.D. Burman after the latter had been operated upon in a London hospital.

It was the fifth day after the now US-based Hariawala's bypass surgery of Burman at London's Princess Grace Hospital. Rajesh Khanna trooped in with Aradhana director Shakti Samanta.

The year was 1989, Hariawala recalled to IANS in an interview from Boston.

On seeing Pancham, as R.D. Burman was known, in hospital, Rajesh Khanna remarked: "I was looking for you in the recording studio, but they told me you are in a London hospital."

"Toh pehli flight lee, aur seedha yahan chala aya. (So I took the first flight and came here straight)."

Burman died in 1994, and Rajesh Khanna, aka Kaka, breathed his last July 18.

"I firmly believe that Rajesh Khanna and R.D. Burman were destined to be soul mates. The affectionate bonding between Pancham and Kaka was visibly touching," said Hariawala.

The two have together given evergreen hits. While Pancham composed melodies like Zindagi ke safar mein guzar jaate, O mere dil ke chain and Yeh shaam mastani, the actor added his spark on the silver screen.

Hariawala recalled how Rajesh Khanna wanted to take Burman out of the hospital to a nearby pub for a beer, but the doctor declined to give the permission.

"Rajesh Khanna was disappointed but in a gentlemanly manner apologised for suggesting to break hospital rules," the doctor said.

"As an alternative, he then spoke of plans to celebrate the success of the surgery," said Hariawala.

In the hospital, Burman boasted to Rajesh Khanna that Hariawala had observed that his (Burman's) heart was physically larger than most people's.

The superstar immediately responded with a smile: "Puri duniya jaanti hai ki Pancham bade dilwale hain. (The world knows that Pancham is a large-hearted man)."


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