Meeting with Rajesh Khanna at Ashirwad

Meeting with Rajesh Khanna at Ashirwad

Posted in the Rajesh Khanna Forum

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Atul Maini

Karawang, Indonesia

#1 Feb 21, 2009
Dear Forum members,
I had a meeting with Kaka yesterday at his house.
Meeting was originally planned for about 15 minutes but it lasted for 2 hrs.
Thro'out the conversation, Kaka looked composed and great and if not more.
I forgot so many things to mention however did communicate about this forum.
He was so polite and generous; beyond my imagination.
Since I have returned from India just now and have to catch up with pending jobs at office; will let you all know about the discusions later.
He asked me to say good wishes to all the forum members.
Heyman

Mumbai, India

#2 Feb 21, 2009
Wow!!! So nice of you Atul Maini Sahab...Hope you will give the forum complete account of your visit when your time permits.......
Atul Maini

Karawang, Indonesia

#3 Feb 21, 2009
It will be impossible to cover the entire thing in one go.Would like to start by giving a bit background.I have a friend in Mumbai who is a fast friend of Rishi; the son of Late Laxmikant ji(noted musician).My friend used to ask me if I wanted to meet Kaka but I purposely avoided it since I was afraid that after meeting him, my ideals could break and let it continue like this only.Though I got an opportunity to see him and meet him at airport once but that was too short of a thing.This time around I requested him to arrange.Rishi talked to Kaka and everything was arranged.Since I had heard a lot of not so good things about Kaka's behaviour, I asked my friend to arrange only for 15 minutes.Rishi informed us to reach at Ashirwad at 2 PM sharp which we did.
We found Rishi waiting there and we went inside with him.
Just after entering the bungalow I saw four cars/vans ; one old white Maruti-800,Large Van with make up room inside, one blue mercedes(old model) and one more which I could notpin point.
3-4 workers were working on renovation of the house.Just after the entrance there is a space where the cars were parked and after crossing that we have main entrance.
Instead going towards main entrance, we saw one room on left side i.e adjacent to parking lot and near the main gate.
On entering Balkishan who is the care taker took us to that room and to my surprise I saw Kaka wearing white Kurta and dhoti smoking a cigarette.
He welcomed us all to that room and met very fondly with Rishi.rishi told him that I am one of his biggest fan ever and have a flight back home the same night.He shook hands and offered us to have a seat.In the room we have one table on which ash tray was there and kaka was sitting.On the other side we have one wooden chair(antique) and then have 2-3 similar chairs at some distance. Just infront of the table after a gap we have one big bed surrounded by big pillows.
Colour of the bed and pillows was Bhagva.The complete room is surrounded by so many tropheys and awards on the walls; most of them looked so old now and have lost their colours.
I was offered a seat near Kaka i.e another side of the table.
Atul Maini

Karawang, Indonesia

#4 Feb 21, 2009
Kaka contiued smoking and asked me about my home town and what i am doing in indonesia.I explained him everything and in between my friend told him that I am working as Technical director in one MNC and about 2000 persons are reporting to him; to which he smiled and nodded.
Then he said me that persons who live outside miss india more ant at the same time all the festivals be it any festival, is celebrtaed in real sense outside India only because there people usually carry out all rituals very religiously and shared some of his experiences of festivals he happened to celebrate outside India.
After a while he said that he had stuck up in renovation work and has to be at house to get work done.My friend told him about a punjabi saying that" Carpenters ko hath jod kar bulana padta he par dhakke mar kar bhagana padta he" nahi to kaam kabhi khatam nahi hote.Kaka smiled on this and said No, that situation has not come yet and I just tell carpenter ; Yaar ye kaam to kal ho janahhaiye tha aur fir kaam ho jata he.

About the colour of house which i observed as yellow he remarked " Jo bachho ko pasand ho".
I would like to mention one thing here that he looks much more fitter and graceful in real life as compared to reel life.His voice and english speaking is as smooth as silk and during the talks he just gives the pause at right place which makes his conversation very artistic and effective.Within first two minutes only he made atomsphere so informal that after a while I started feeling as if i was talking to some old person of my own family.And then when during the discussions, i countered him at few ocassions, he clarified his point in such a dignified manner as old persons normally do at their houses.
To be continued.......
indokarasan

London, UK

#5 Feb 21, 2009
Atul Maini wrote:
Kaka contiued smoking and asked me about my home town and what i am doing in indonesia.I explained him everything and in between my friend told him that I am working as Technical director in one MNC and about 2000 persons are reporting to him; to which he smiled and nodded.
Then he said me that persons who live outside miss india more ant at the same time all the festivals be it any festival, is celebrtaed in real sense outside India only because there people usually carry out all rituals very religiously and shared some of his experiences of festivals he happened to celebrate outside India.
After a while he said that he had stuck up in renovation work and has to be at house to get work done.My friend told him about a punjabi saying that" Carpenters ko hath jod kar bulana padta he par dhakke mar kar bhagana padta he" nahi to kaam kabhi khatam nahi hote.Kaka smiled on this and said No, that situation has not come yet and I just tell carpenter ; Yaar ye kaam to kal ho janahhaiye tha aur fir kaam ho jata he.
About the colour of house which i observed as yellow he remarked " Jo bachho ko pasand ho".
I would like to mention one thing here that he looks much more fitter and graceful in real life as compared to reel life.His voice and english speaking is as smooth as silk and during the talks he just gives the pause at right place which makes his conversation very artistic and effective.Within first two minutes only he made atomsphere so informal that after a while I started feeling as if i was talking to some old person of my own family.And then when during the discussions, i countered him at few ocassions, he clarified his point in such a dignified manner as old persons normally do at their houses.
To be continued.......
Nice to read about your visit
"aray koi beer begara mila ja nahi"
Has the house been renovated yet?
anaad22

Singapore, Singapore

#6 Feb 21, 2009
Congratulations . Well done,pak atul. pl give us detailed account. Also people like us would love to call on him as well.

Did you manage to have a straight from the heart chat re his current looks,choice of roles etc?

Is he at ease about writing a frank autobio?

congrats again.
Suhan

Damascus, MD

#7 Feb 21, 2009
Atul, you lucky lucky man!!! I have the same questions as Anaad above. Do share some more details about the visit. Glad to hear he's doing ok and looking good :-)
Mike

Australia

#8 Feb 21, 2009
Congrats Maini Saheb snd please give more details when you are free from work.
Mike

Australia

#9 Feb 21, 2009
Congrats Maini Saheb. Please give more details when free from work.
Atul Maini

Karawang, Indonesia

#10 Feb 21, 2009
After a while Kaka told me that Rishi was so small a kid and he used to come to Kaka's place quite frequently with his father.He maintained that Rishi is like a son to him and told that " isko kandhe pe bitha ke khub dance kiya tha Tinku movie me".He was having light digs on Rishi that " you were so small and now has become 7 footer" man.Then he asked rishi about his latest status and rishi told him that he has recently joined Boney Kapoor.Kaka approved it and said :
Achha kiya tumne, bada production house he.
I told him that I have grown up watching his movies like Hathi mere sathi , anand and named many of his other movies.He kept listening all this stuff.I told him that we Kaka's fans feel cheated in today'd atmosphere as people without any substance/quality are able to sell the movies and you are not doing any thing about this.You don't appear to be taking challenge head on.
We mis you a lot and expect you to be at top again.
Besides I told him that we have started forum where we have about 30-40 active members participating and discussing about you only;
He smiled and said "Oh, is it?".
After listening to me , he said :
I understand the feelings of my fans/audiences lekin samay samay ki baat he.jisko jis kaam me happiness milti ho, usko vo karna chhahiye.
Then he said, "Let me try to explain what I meant by this" and told me that " Me kucch sachhe kisse sunanuga jo kucch lambe bhi he.Hope you have sufficent time " and I was bowled over by his this statement.
Atul Maini

Karawang, Indonesia

#11 Feb 21, 2009
In his own words:

" After achieving everything name, fame , money, superstar staus and remaining busy 24 hours a day, I realized that I m not getting that thrill anymore.It was around 1987-88.Me sochta tha ki kya achieve karna baaki he par koi answer nahi milta tha. Rajeev Gandhi ji se mulakat hui aur unhone kaha ki "Kood (jump) pado yaar".Kai baar pahle bhi vo bol chuke the par me hamesha kahta tha ki meri biradri alag he, hum film valo ko politics ke lafde se kya lena.Lekin us samay mujhe filmo se satisfaction nahi mil raha tha.Mene man me socha ki agar politics me jaunga to filme nahi karunga.Full time politics me rahunga so i decided to quit films.
Aa ab laut chalen ke time me bhi me filme start nahi karna chhahta tha.Ek din ghar par Krishna bhabhi( Raj Kapoor's wife), Daboo(Randhir) aur Rishi kapoor aaye aur jid karne lage ki ye role karna padega.Mene bahut mana kiya ki ab filme nahi is par Krishna bhabhi boli ki agar aaj Raj ji hote to kya mana kar paate? I had a very special relationship with Raj Kapoor inspite of the large age difference (I could see slight wetness in Kaka's eyes)so i agreed.The entire unit/cast went to US.
In US, we were looking for a big house suiting to the billionaire ; the role played by me in the movie.And when we found one, I was scared. I had not seen such a marvellous and gorgeous house in my entire life. The house was so beautiful , I told Rishi Kapoor that hamare ghusne se ye maila na ho jaye kyonki shooting ke liye to kahin lightings, kahin trolleys aur kahi cameren fit karne padenge.Finally that house was used in the movie and he asked me to see it more carefully next time I watch this movie as it is one of his favourites houses anywhere in the world.
I tried to find out who the owners of this house is.In the mean time we had to search one pistol for one shot and that was also arranged.
I saw 2-3 children aged about 12 years walking in and out of the house and told that these are the children of owners. I got curious.
Kaka lit another cigarette and continued:
Atul Maini

Karawang, Indonesia

#12 Feb 21, 2009
3 persons who must be in early fourties were introduced to me as owners of that house.I congratulated them for a wonderful house and asked about their nationality and they said Holland.They were indians; one sindhi, one punjabi and one perhaps Muslim.
I asked them what are they doing and to my utter surprise they told me that they are retired.
It gave me a shock of my life and I told them; how come at the age of 40-42 you are retired?
They explained to me that about 20-22 years back, three of them started from Delhi with 3 jeans/ 3 tshirts each, worked really hard and earned whatever they could.But now they had realized that it does not give them thrill and satisfaction any more. So they have retired completely from that life and now concentrating to understand the culture of different countries so that their children can become better human beings.Moreover they believed that person should do whatever gives happiness to him/her.
It was a moment of realization for me.Who in life after going great guns have guts to leave everything like this?They are of different mettle.
Rishi said in between that you are right sir; only some of them have those guts to which Kaka smiled, took a long puff and with his unique style looked at all of us and with his tounge in cheek said :" I would say , Not even some;they are few, very few".
Atul Maini

Karawang, Indonesia

#13 Feb 21, 2009
It was something I had experienced myself but that was there right infront of me; people actually living that thought.
Then he said:
Me bhagvam ka aur audience ka shukra gujar hun ki mujhe itna sab kucch diya. me janta hun ki har cinema premi ke dil me rajesh khanna ki liye ek chhoti si jagah maujud he.
Lekin jisko jis kaam me maja aaye , khushi mile use vo karna chhahiye.
Kucch galat sahi nahi he, jisme aapko ander se achha feel ho vo kaam karo.
When I pressed about SRK/AB tactics, he listened but did not give his opinion whether he is for or against these.Thro'out converstaion at no point he made any statement against anyone; just listened to me and kept smiling in between.
To my various queries about his chosing directors/roles/media/marketin g startegy etc he replied like this:
Samay samay ki baat he, samay ke hisab se hi sab theek lagta he.Me industry me 40 saalo se hun aur i share good relations with all of them.I keep on receiving offers but anyhow i always ask the same question; why ?Where is the motivation?Already gone thro' that phase to which I said no body will be able to touch that height again and even SRK knows that; he kept silent.
Then he continued now i feel its the time to work with some new children and let me tell you that these new children are very smart and in no way lesser than big established directors.Mujhe inke sath kaam karke , bachho ke sath rah kar apne experiences share karna achha lagta he.Unko sikhana , unse nai nai cheeje seekhna khushi deta he mujhe to mene socha ki chalo karte hen kucch movies.Ek serial he DD par and I intevened with the name then he asked me with surprise if I follow that too also?
11-12 din to mere uski shooting me chale jaten he, baki din filmo ki shooting me.TRP bhi badh rahi he serial ki aut that is getting good ads also.
I pressed about our expectations of becoming more media savy to which he said : me media me tabhi aaunga jab 1-2 filme click hongi is tarah se filme promote karna ke liye to...
he contiued that:I agree with you fully that i have responsibilty towards my fans/audiences and they should not be deprived of it and then he said, ok will try.But when he said this, he smiled which gave me a feeling that he made this statement to make me/us happy only.
To be continued...
radzi

Malaysia

#14 Feb 21, 2009
Atul Maini...

Congratulation!

You are now officially the number 1 chamcha in this forum!

...keep reporting.
Suhan

Damascus, MD

#15 Feb 21, 2009
Atul Maini wrote:
After a while Kaka told me that Rishi was so small a kid and he used to come to Kaka's place quite frequently with his father.He maintained that Rishi is like a son to him and told that " isko kandhe pe bitha ke khub dance kiya tha Tinku movie me".He was having light digs on Rishi that " you were so small and now has become 7 footer" man.
Atul--Very interesting. However, with reference to the above, Kaka was only 10 years older than Rishi, so what's this about Chintu being like a son? And wasn't 'Tinku' made in the mid 1970s (released 1977) when Rishi was already in his 20s and a well-established hero?
Atul Maini

Karawang, Indonesia

#16 Feb 21, 2009
Suhan wrote:
<quoted text>
Atul--Very interesting. However, with reference to the above, Kaka was only 10 years older than Rishi, so what's this about Chintu being like a son? And wasn't 'Tinku' made in the mid 1970s (released 1977) when Rishi was already in his 20s and a well-established hero?
Rishi not the Rishi Kapoor but Laxmikant's son who was present with us and arranged the meeting .He was referring as his son to him and not to Rishi Kapoor.
Suhan

Damascus, MD

#17 Feb 21, 2009
Oh thanks. So what happened next?:-) By the way how envious am I of you? Try very very very.....!
Atul Maini

Karawang, Indonesia

#18 Feb 21, 2009
Kaka then asked what will we prefer to have as a drink?
He said: Kya lenge, garam ki thanda.
I answered anything will do and everyother person shared the same thing to which Kaka said;
I doubt whether "anything" will be available and you might have to tell clearly to which everyone of us laughed lightly.Since Rishi was in a hurry(he had to go to Boney Kapoor), he took a lead and told o.k we will have some cold drinks.
Kaka told Balkishan, are dekhna ghar me kya thanda he aur le aao sabke liye.
After a while Balkishan appeared with one coke, one pepsi bottle and two cans.
Kaka said , take whatever you wish; choice is yours however none of us made any choice and Balkishan served the drinks.
Immediately a ring came on Kaka's mobile and person asked him what was he doing at the moment.
Kaka replied like this:
Are nahi nahi, abhi to I have some friends from India, indonesia aur usme ek to apna beta hi he.
We are having chit chat, discussing about indian festivals, culture,movies;past/present etc etc and having a good time.
Yes, we are having soft drinks.
When he finished phone,he said bachhe bhi bus and smiled..
Rishi asked Akshay tha kya ?
Kaka replied to him but with his eyes which I could not see as at that time I was staring at Rishi.
I told Kaka about my college days that how I used to copy him in my college days at Chandigarh and told him that even to date my close friends refer me as Kaka in personal letters/mails/talks.He listened everything with full concentration.
Now it was my turn to receive phone call.As my family members were also excited, my wife called me and i told her that right now I m sitting infront of Khanna sahab and cut the phone.
Immediately again a phone call from one of my friends in india came.I told the same thing and cut the phone.
Kaka told me very politely, if you wish me to talk to your wife/children, no problem you can give your phone to me.
I was overwhelmed.
We started talking about Ananad that its the movie we can not imagine anyone else in that role.
He remembered fondly and said that dialouge "Hum sab ki dor upar vale ke hath me bandhi he" and then I made him remember that dialouge which he tells his sister that " ye bhi to nahi kah sakta ki meri umar tujhe lag jaye".His expressions were telling that he is liking the discussion. Rishi asked about the dialouge writer and before Kaka could reply, I answered Guljar to which Kaka said;
Guljar and Hrishikesh Mukharjee.
Rishi asked whom should be given more credit to which Kaka seriously said ; no both of them used to work very hard and also responsible for Bawarchi as well.
He went to memory lane and then after a brief pause informed us that the entire movie was completed in 22 working days.
Atul Maini

Karawang, Indonesia

#19 Feb 21, 2009
we then have discussion about Aradhna, Dushman, Aan milo sajna etc.
Kaka told Rishi that we together had wonderful music in so many movies including Do raaste amd Aan milo sajna .
Then discussion shifted to recent media activities.
I was feeling comfortable and I started forgeting that I was with once biggest icon of the nation and I had statred taking liberty in my langugae.
I asked him staright : sir why is it that SRK , AB and gang are able to create hype without any quality and you even don't respond to negativity written about you? Don't you feel that media today has become so powerful that they can create new stars/superstars?

He answered like this:
No need to feel frustrated by this all though I understand your agony.
First of all, everyone is free to act/react in whatever way they feel happy about.Time time ki baat he, vo time different tha, ye time different he.
But he said clearly that its public/audience and not the media who makes or breaks the star/superstars. He said media follows public mostly and media can aid or facilitate the process but unless one is well accepted by the audience, media can not do anything.
He said that there are examples when even with full support of media, things did not turn up upto the expectations.
When asked about the negativity in media sometime he said, kisi ki roji roti aise chalti he to kya harj he.
I asked him that we expect more powerful response to which he said ; keeping silence even after knowing that whatever is written is no less powerful.
And in absence of any recation ,after some time people realize and tender their apology also.
We all live in same biradari, we work together; we perceive things little differently.

In between my friend said that they wrote something about Waffa,to the person;
Jiske subah uthne ke baad, industry ki subah hoti thi.Jiske samne girls used to remove all clothes and bare during his hey days, uske baare me likh rahen he aisa.
Though I felt scary as this remark was not in good taste but Kaka like as seasoned person ignored this completely and moved ahead to next part of discussion and changed the topic towards my family.

To be continued...
Atul Maini

Karawang, Indonesia

#20 Feb 21, 2009
As it was getting late for Rishi as he had to go, we decided to take leave.
Rishi asked me to handover my visiting card to Kaka which I did.
I was unable to realize anything and felt as if my brain was not functioning as it should have been.Looking to my visiting card, kaka told that he was in Bangok for about 20 days in connection of a shooting and Jakarta is also near by.
I invited him to be our guest someday and he nodded.
I asked Rishi about Kaka's phone no and Rishi told that if any communication is required,he has that number.He said that you need not to give that number as otherwise Kaka will start receiving unwanted calls at wrong times as well.
I told him not to give that number to me also then because it will be difficult for me not to share it with other friends.
Kaka was listening everything but did not give his opinion except that he asked; whether you are going to share about this meet with your friends in forum?
Rishi said ofcourse, he will do that to which Kaka told to convey best wishes to all the forum members on his behalf.
He said sabko meri best wishes aur life me aap sab log khoob tarakki karen aur apne apne field me uchaiyon ko chhute hue khush rahen.

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