When Rajesh Khanna was stumped by Shah Rukh Khan’s question at award show: ‘Maan gaye ustaad’
At an award show in 2001, Shah Rukh Khan had revealed that he took inspiration from Rajesh Khanna when shooting romantic songs.
Rajesh Khanna was one of the foremost romantic actors in the Hindi film industry at his peak. Generations of actors, who came after him, have admitted to his influence upon their own screen mannerisms and presence. One such fan is Shah Rukh Khan himself. At an award show two decades ago, Shah Rukh had revealed that he took inspiration from Rajesh Khanna whenever he got ‘stuck’ in a romantic scene.
In a video from the 2001 Zee Cine Awards, Shah Rukh is seen giving a tribute to Rajesh Khanna. He begins by delivering a few of Rajesh Khanna’s iconic lines and why he was considered the epitome of romance in Hindi cinema. Shah Rukh then goes on to invite the legend himself on stage to loud applause.
Speaking to Rajesh Khanna in Hindi, Shah Rukh says, “I want to tell this one thing that whenever I do songs, romantic songs and I get stuck on what expression to do, which happens often, I remember just one person’s face and that is you, sir!” As Rajesh Khanna smiles, Shah Rukh adds, “To me, he is the God of love. He is second only to God. So how does it feel to be second only to God?”
Rajesh Khanna then takes the mic and quips, “I thought you would ask a very simple question but maan gaye ustaad!” Shah Rukh then called him the ‘first superstar’ and asked him, “How does it feel to be a superstar?” Addressing the film fraternity in the audience, Rajesh Khanna responded, “All I know is that whatever I am today is because of all of you. It’s all of you who made me an actor, then a star, and then a superstar.”
Born on December 29, 1942, Rajesh Khanna died in 2012 at the age of 69. Wednesday marks his 79th birth anniversary. Over a five-decade long career in films, he delivered several superhits such as Aradhana, Amar Prem, Anand, and Kati Patang among others. His run of 15 consecutive solo hits between 1969 and 1971 led many to call him the first superstar of Hindi cinema.