Last day under the arc lights, shooting for ad

Filmmaker R Balki, who shot the Havells fan ad with Rajesh Khanna earlier this year, shares his memories of the last day spent with the superstar:

What I remember of the last day of the shooting with him is him laughing and cracking jokes on the sets. He wanted to end the ad with a little jog and he did four steps from his famous song ‘Achcha toh hum chalte hain’. I didn’t use it in the ad, but now maybe I will release it as a tribute to him.

It was a farewell on camera. I told him, ‘Sir, this ad isn’t a tribute to you. It tells the truth as you had the maximum number of fans earlier, but today you don’t. I hope you are clear.’ He said, ‘Arre yaar, a real star must have a real sense of humour.’

I had never met him before the ad. And when I spoke to him about it, he said ‘This is what I want to do’.

In the short span that I personally knew him, I became very fond of him. The ad was shot over 2-3 days as he was always sharp and gave valuable suggestions. He knew all his films and songs by heart and kept asking us to choose this or that song from his hits.

He was in his elements throughout. Days before the shoot he sprained his neck, but waited for it to go, as he wanted to shoot the ad standing tall. He was particular about his clothes and style, too. He said ‘I have to look good.’


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