‘Your hero looks like a monkey’.

Mumbai: Hindi cinema’s superstar Rajesh Khanna’s talisman was weakening, times were changing, the audience was looking for change. A new generation fond of films had come. ‘My time is running out’ – it takes some time for anyone to accept this, the same was happening with Rajesh. Rajesh and Amitabh Bachchan starrer film ‘Namak Haram’ is considered to be the film when the planets of the stars were changing. When the shooting of this film started, Rajesh Khanna was a superstar and Amitabh Bachchan was a flop actor. In such a situation, Amitabh did not get the price and Rajesh Khanna used to have a line of films.

When Hrishikesh Mukherjee was making ‘Namak Haram’, Rajesh Khanna did not have dates for shooting and Amitabh Bachchan had only time. In such a situation, Rishi Da shot a lot of scenes with Amitabh. When some clips of the film were shown to a group of distributors, Amitabh was more visible than Rajesh.

Amitabh Bachchan ridiculed
In such a situation, the distributors felt that the hero of this film is Amitabh Bachchan and Rajesh Khanna is in guest appearance. In such a situation, he was reluctant to buy Amitabh’s film, but Hrishikesh Mukherjee was a big filmmaker, he had his own image and respect in the industry, so instead of directly rejecting the film, he started finding out the shortcomings of the film. Some distributors made fun of Amitabh’s big and ear-covering hairstyle, saying that your hero looks like a monkey, tell him to at least get a proper haircut so that we can know he has ears. Or not’. All the distributors laughed at this.

Amitabh Bachchan received the Best Supporting Actor Award for ‘Namak Haraam’.(Photo Credits: Amitabh Bachchan/Twitter)

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Time turned Amitabh’s hair style
Shortly after this incident ‘Zanjeer’ was released and Amitabh Bachchan became famous as ‘Angry Young Man’. Then the same distributors who made fun of him called Rishi da and told him that Amitabh’s role should be increased in the film and Rajesh Khanna should be given equal place in the poster-publicity. The same ear-covering hairstyle of Amitabh had become a fashion statement.

(Note- This information has been taken from journalist Yasir Usman’s book ‘Rajesh Khanna-Kuch to log kahenge’.)

Tags: amitabh bachchan, Entertainment Special, Rajesh Khanna

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