Rajesh Khanna might not have visited his ancestral house after becoming a superstar, but the narrow street and his relatives and friends are in pain after he died on Wednesday afternoon in Mumbai.
As you move into the street named 'Gali Tiwarian' in the walled city, one can see a lot of buzz with people gathered and media camped outside the house where Rajesh Khanna lived and frequently visited during childhood with parents.
Old songs of the superstar played on television as news broke of his demise.
“It is a sad moment. Even though he did not come back to this area after becoming superstar but still he took the name of the family to heights, says Duni Chand Khanna, cousin of the actor.
Duni Chand, who lives in the house right opposite to the ancestral house of Rajesh Khanna, said, “The family had migrated from Lahore and after a brief stay here they went to Mumbai. Rajesh Khanna, who se original name was Jatin Khanna regularly visited here to spend vacations as a child. He even came when he was going to college in Mumbai. But after becoming a superstar in films, he never came.”
"As a kid he was sharp and played with the kids in the street. The kind of blockbuster films he did really made him one the best actors in film industry. We are proud of him and we will miss him. It is a shock that he has left the world,” said the cousin.
The ancestral house where Khanna and his other family members lived was later given to a committee running a temple. This temple is still adjoining the house and the pujari of the temple and his family live there.
After the news of Rajesh Khanna’s demise broke out, his cousin along with others in the neighbourhood performed prayers in this temple.
“I still remember the that in child hood we played together in the street. He was smart then also and it was always said that he might become a hero one day. But he never returned after attaining stardom. Still I miss those days. I remember the movie Aradhana and its songs. Rajesh was at his best. I feel the pain,” says 72-year-old Fakir Chand Sharma, who lives next to the ancestral house.
Living in the same ancestral house, pujari of the temple, Pandit Gyan Chand Sharma says, “I am here since year 1976 and have heard plenty of stories about the family and superstar Rajesh Khanna. I am hurt with the death of actor has left me heartbroken.”
Another resident Vijay Handa said that even though Rajesh Khanna did not visit after acclaiming fame but still as people of the area we miss him and feel sad over his death.
The actor had recently visited Amritsar
Actor Rajesh Khanna had visited the holy city on January 27 this year to seek votes for the Congress party in the recent Punjab assembly polls.
After a brief halt at Amritsar, he had gone to Tarn Taran and sought votes in favour of Congress nominee Dharamvir Agnihotri.
His fans had rushed the hotel to have a glimpse of the actor.