Bollywood actresses hail the veteran actor Rajesh Khanna and talk about films where they were paired together. He died on Wednesday after a prolonged illness.
Mala Sinha: I was in the shower when my maid knocked to tell me that Rajesh Khanna was gone. I refused to believe her until my husband confirmed the news and I saw it on TV. I’d known he was ill, but I had always believed that he’d overcome whatever it was that was ailing him. We’d worked together in just one film, Maryada (1971). I remember him as a lively co-star with no superstar airs and always cracking jokes.
Mumtaz: I'm in London right now and I'm glad before heading home from Mumbai last month, I met Rajesh at his house. I knew he was unwell and alone, cut off from the whole world. I had called Dimple and Anju to ask if I could visit. I went over because he also wanted to see me. We chatted for half an hour at his house. This what has happened to Rajesh will happen to all of us one day but it's something we all wish never happens. There won't be another Rajesh Khanna, and I will miss him.
Hema Malini: It's one of the saddest days in history for me. We almost started our careers together. I remember watching his earliest films and wondering what a lovely personality he was blessed with. He had a charm that no other actor had. When he sang mere sapnon ki rani on the screen, women would think he was singing it for them. But he was an introvert man all his life. And eventually, he achieved stardom at the cost of a lonely life, which is now no more.
Saira Banu: I don't think I'll visit him today because I want to remember Rajesh Khanna as the young dashing superstar. We could never work together. Once I worked with him for 14 days on Choti Bahu but opted out because of my illness. Later, he was replaced by Dharmendra in Resham Ki Dori where we were paired together. I got to know him socially and personally over the years. From last what I'd heard, I thought he was recovering. But we've lost our dear friend forever.