Known for their powerful chemistry on screen, actress Sharmila Tagore and superstar Rajesh Khanna have worked in over 10 films together. Having done some of the most defining films of her career with the superstar, the iconic actress shares her personal experiences and insights about the legend in the audiobook Rajesh Khanna: Ek Tanha Sitara, available only on Audible.
Sharmila Tagore, superstar Rajesh Khanna’s favourite co-star, mentions that women came out in droves to see him. She said “There was a long queue of women from nine to ninety outside the studio where we worked. The hysteria was unprecedented.” Sharmila also mentions, “He (Rajesh Khanna) probably didn’t have the attributes that are normally associated with a hero, what he had was a disarming smile, youthful energy and an innate sense of drama and a well-modulated voice which he used to his fullest advantage.”
Sharmila Ji then added, “Mujh par kaka (Rajesh Khanna) ki jo baat asar karti thi, vo thi unke kaam par der pahuchne ki aadat. Kyunki 9 baje ki shift ke liye kaka kabhi bhi 12 baje se pehle nahi pahuchte the. She further adds “Iss liye maine anya abhinetaon ke saath kaam karne ka faisla kiya, bawajood iske ki humari jodi bohot safal hui thi.” (One thing that affected me the most about Kaka (Rajesh Khanna) was him coming late for the shoots. For a 9 am shift, Kaka never reached before 12 pm. She further adds, that's why I decided to work with other actors even after knowing that our on-screen pairing was quite successful and loved by audiences.)
The veteran actress also shared, “Rajesh khanna antarvirodho aur jatiltaon se bhare vyakti the, maine unhe apne mitron aur seh-karmiyon ke sath behat udhaar hote dekha hai…un par keemti uphar barsaate hue bhi dekha hai. Kabhi kabhi to wo unke liye ek ghar bhi kharid dete the, lekin badle mai vo kuch zyada hi umeed rakhte the jisse sambandhon mai tanav aa jata tha.” (Rajesh Khanna was a man full of contradictions and complexities, I have seen him be very generous with his co actors, colleagues and friends...showering them with expensive gifts. Sometimes he even bought them a house but in return, it seems Kaka had great expectations of them, which eventually strained his relations.)