An Asian Christian woman living in London blogging about the everyday issues of religion

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

The Call of A Bollywood Memory

I was yanked right back into my teenage years today with the arrival of a simple text which read: 'Rajesh Khanna dead'. Asians love their songs and movies and so it was with me during my growing years. Rajesh Khanna was THE star of the Bollywood scene from the late 1960s to about 1980 and churned out 14 consecutive No 1 hit movies. He died today at the age of 69. 
The phrase 'Bollywood' had not even been coined back then. The kingdom of Indian movies only strayed into the shores of other Asian countries. I grew up in Malaysia. Whenever a Rajesh Khanna film was released the whole family would put on our best clothes and wait by the side while my father queued up for tickets. A queue for a Rajesh Khanna film would stretch for ever but everyone waited patiently because he was worth it. Then you went into the cinema and watched a Rajesh Khanna film in colour, Malaysia did not acquire colour TV broadcasting till about 1980, but he was still the best part of the experience. 
His movies were very romantic with many tear jerking moments. It was all very hopelessly Indian sentimental tosh but great entertainment. I have posted a video which ranks among the most memorable of Bollywood songs ever. It comes from the film 'Aradhana'. Rajesh Khanna and his co-star are caught in a thunderstorm and have to shelter in a hut. The use of rain, thunder and fire are symbols of lust. In those days kissing and an overt mention of sex was frowned upon on morality grounds but do watch for the crackling and sizzling chemistry. 


  1. Nothing wrong with a bit of sentimental tosh.
    Quite enjoyed the crackling too. Or do I mean sizzling?
    Thanks for the insight into the innocence and naivety of former times.

  2. I am so glad you enjoyed it Ray. Sometimes cultural sentimentalities don't transfer well but crackling and sizzling transcends boundaries.