In the late sixties and early seventies a star burst on the Hindi screeen in the shape of rajesh Khanna. The well known columnist Raju Bharatan in an interview commented that the word 'superstar' was coined for rajesh khanna, though there had been stars earlier like Dilip Kumar and Raj Kapoor.
The title'Superstar' stuck to Rajesh Khanna and he generated mass hysteria, the like of which had never been seen in India. Girls went mad over Khanna and many married his photo. This was also the period he gave 15 solo hits ina row.
But the wheels of fortune and fame turn very fast and Rajesh khanna in the mid seventies lost his 'superstar' status faster than he got it. True, he continued as a hero for some more years but he was now more a liability than an asset to a producer. What happened ?
Rajesh Khanna was adept at playing the soft romantic roles. These roles fell out of fasion and were replaced by the image of the angry young man. This was a product of the times as with the economy creaking a new breed of young men appeared on the political scene who wanted justice and quick results. This was articulated by Amitabh Bacchan who represented such characters with gusto. Added to this was his deep voice and intense acting that captivated the Indian masses. In no time Rajesh Khanna was swept away by the tide unleashed by Amitabh.
Rajesh did not help his cause by not taking care of hsi body and in many films he acted with a paunch. This showed poor professionalism and it was a matter of time before from super star he became no star. One particularly feels sad for the eclipse of Khanna who by his own hand contributed to his down fall. The need of the hour was a fit and slim star, which Khanna allowed to go to seed.
Amitabh was not only slim and fit, but he was able to portray on screen a variety of emotions from comedy to the mafia don. He also played the role of the lover to perfection, helped in no small measure by the unstinted love affair with Rekha.
Rajesh was thus swept aside and lost his superstar sratus. Perhaps in case he had adjusted he could have survived longer. But the factor of Amitabh and his histroic ability wasa nail in the coffin of Rajesh Khanna's super star image. He failed do adjust and became bitter and faded away as an actor. Amitabh Bacchan proved to big for him