Yesteryear’s Talks: Amitabh Bachchan’s rapid success turned Rajesh Khanna jealous

Sipping the Gossips with Goher Iqbal Punn

Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan, both are the true legendary names of the Hindi film industry. Both have been the biggest superstars of the film fraternity but Amitabh is who is still enjoying the mammoth fame, money and stardom in today’s Bollywood scene. Comparatively the fame, stardom and the money which he is drawing out of his career, he did not get in his heydays (though he was superstar then as well). His gigantic success is due to his giant struggle, hard work and honesty to his job. The mega star is still super enthusiastic as he was in his young days. The old age does not stop him to move on the waves.

The rivalry among the stars is not the talk of today’s Bollywood scenario rather it has been leaving its foot marks since the day one. Decades back, the rivalry between the two superstars – Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan was the hot talk of the town. But this rivalry was from Rajesh Khanna and not from (then) passionate for work actor Bachchan. Rajesh Khanna was actually much jealous of the rapidly growing success and stardom of the new entrant into the field. Initially the jealously was hidden, it was inside the actor. But soon it started appearing publicly and then it turned the worse turn.

When Amitabh Bachchan had entered into the industry, Rajesh Khanna was already an established star. He was enjoying the superstardom being the biggest superstar of that time. He was everywhere ruling the Hindi film scene, having the biggest crazy fan following and landing on the headlines every day. Khanna was the talk of town. Every filmmaker was after him to sign him in the films. His demands were high and producers were ready to pay since his name was considered to be the success formula.

Where behind his success his acting was involved, there was also one man behind making him a real super star. He was none other than the legendary genius music maestro Kishore Kumar whose voice made Rajesh a big mega star. Kishore was at his peak and like Rajesh Khanna, he too was roped in every movie on his demands. The ordinary stars would turn superstar with the magic of Kumar’s voice. In short, the music industry even the entire film industry would rely heavily on the singer. He knew his importance. Before lending his vocals to the stars, he used to call them to his bungalow or at some place and have talks with them to understand the style and the voice of the star. This way, he used to deliver the vocals aptly which would fit on the stars.

In Amitabh’s initial days in the industry, he worked with Rajesh Khanna in movies. The films were liked by the masses and still are popular like Anand and Namak Haram. But the jealously factor oozed out when Bachchan started getting noticed inside the filmdom and among the masses.

The producers, directors and the entire crew were much upset with Rajesh’s daily routine of coming very late on the sets. The shootings started getting disturbed a lot. Often on morning shoots, he used to come in the afternoon and on the noon shoots, he would arrive at night. There were also times when he even did not turn on the sets and eventually the director had to call ‘pack up’. The scenario was perturbed a lot with one man – the superstar Rajesh Khanna, on whose name the films were sold out.

The industry was looking for the option and Amitabh appeared to be the right one. His punctuality, passion and determination to excel in the field were being talked about everywhere. The praises reached at Khanna’s ears as well and he simply was not the one who could easily approve of the praises of the newcomer. The jealously was living somewhere inside the actor but soon, when Amitabh was getting much noticed, it started coming out in open. Once a film reporter compared the punctuality of Rajesh Khanna with Amitabh while Khanna was being interviewed, he showed his jealously with Bachchan saying ‘Clerks are punctual. I am not a clerk. I am an artiste. I am not a slave of my moods. My moods are my slaves.’

Well, with this statement of Khanna, all was clear how jealous he was of Bachchan. His crazy routines of arriving at the sets and his overconfidence soon started dropping his career graph and gradually the humbled Amitabh was beginning to fetch Khanna’s place. And soon, Amitabh Bachchan was the superstar and Rajesh was nowhere. His status dropped and the new superstar was born ‘Amitabh Bachchan’. The brilliant actor and the icon of the entertainment industry, who has been ruling Bollywood for last many decades, he deserves applauds and respect and he always gets from around the world.


  1. Shankarlal February 10, 2012
    • Deepak February 10, 2012
  2. RajeevS February 19, 2012
  3. kannan June 26, 2013
  4. kannan June 26, 2013
  5. kannan June 26, 2013
  6. shankarlal July 31, 2016

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