'You could tell he'd become a hero' | india | Hindustan Times
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'You could tell he'd become a hero'

Rajesh Khanna never visited his ancestral home after becoming a superstar, but on Wednesday afternoon as the news of his death spread, local people and media thronged outside the two-storeyed house in Gali Tiwarian in the walled city.

india Updated: Jul 19, 2012 00:10 IST
Aseem Bassi

Rajesh Khanna never visited his ancestral home after becoming a superstar, but on Wednesday afternoon as the news of his death spread, local people and media thronged outside the two-storeyed house in Gali Tiwarian in the walled city.

When the Khannas left for Mumbai, they donated the land adjoining the house to a committee to run a temple. Eventually, the house was also handed over to the temple committee. Today, the priest of the temple and his family live there.

After the news of Khanna’s demise, his cousin, along with other members of the family, performed prayers at this temple.

Khanna’s cousin, Duni Chand, said, “The family had migrated from Lahore and after a brief stay here they went to Mumbai. Rajesh Khanna, whose original name was Jatin, would spend almost every vacation here during his school days. He paid us a visit during his college days as well. But after becoming a superstar, he never came.” Duni Chand is the son of Khanna’s father’s brother.

But when asked to shed light on Khanna’s ancestry — he was believed to have been adopted by a wealthier branch of the family — Chand refused to comment.

One of Khanna’s friends, Fakir Chand Sharma, 72, said, “We would play together. He was smart back then as well. The elders would say he will become a hero one day.”'You could tell he'd become a hero'

Aseem Bassi
aseem.bassi@hindustantimes.com

Amritsar: Rajesh Khanna never visited his ancestral home after becoming a superstar, but on Wednesday afternoon as the news of his death spread, local people and media thronged outside the two-storeyed house in Gali Tiwarian in the walled city.

When the Khannas left for Mumbai, they donated the land adjoining the house to a committee to run a temple. Eventually, the house was also handed over to the temple committee. Today, the priest of the temple and his family live there.

After the news of Khanna’s demise, his cousin, along with other members of the family, performed prayers at this temple.

Khanna’s cousin, Duni Chand, said, “The family had migrated from Lahore and after a brief stay here they went to Mumbai. Rajesh Khanna, whose original name was Jatin, would spend almost every vacation here during his school days. He paid us a visit during his college days as well. But after becoming a superstar, he never came.” Duni Chand is the son of Khanna’s father’s brother.

But when asked to shed light on Khanna’s ancestry — he was believed to have been adopted by a wealthier branch of the family — Chand refused to comment.

One of Khanna’s friends, Fakir Chand Sharma, 72, said, “We would play together. He was smart back then as well. The elders would say he will become a hero one day.”