Book:- Dark Star: The Loneliness of Being Rajesh Khanna

Author:- Gautam Chintamani

If there were ever a life meant to be a book, few could stake a claim as strong as Rajesh Khanna. Born in a time when film stars were truly larger than life, Khanna was destined to become not just any film star but the one for whom the term ‘superstar’ was coined. Born Jatin Khanna to middle – class parents, the actor was adopted by rich relatives who bought him up like a prince. By the time he won the Filmfare – United Producers Combine Talent Contest, he was already famous for being that struggler who drove an imported sports car. With seventeen blockbuster hits in succession and mass adulation rarely seen ever before or since, the world was at Khanna’s feet. And then in matter of months it all changed. Mirroring the meteoric rise, Khanna’s career hit a downward spiral just three years after Aradhana (1969) and never really recovered.

Chronicling the films and the times of Rajesh Khanna, Dark Star looks at the phenomenon of an actor who redefined the ‘film star’. Much like a celestial object doomed to darkness, after a glorious run, Rajesh Khanna might have spent a better half of his career in the shadow of his own stardom, but even after forty years of his last monstrous hit, he continues to be the yardstick by which every single Bollywood star is measured.


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