Rajesh Khanna was all natural. His biographer Gautam Chintamani recalls the director-writer-actor Rumi Jaffery saying how he can “never forget how Khanna prided himself on never using aids like glycerine to evoke tears while acting”.
Jaffery recalled in a conversation with Chintamani: “He would ask you, ‘How many tears do you need?’, and just turn around for a moment or two; and when he turned back, there would be tears in his eyes. You could wake him up in the middle of the night and he would just stand and deliver when it came to tears.”
Chintamani will be collaborating with director Farah Khan on the script, based on his book, ‘Dark Star: The Loneliness Of Being Rajesh Khanna’, for a biopic on India’s first superstar.
“Once, Jaffery and (cinematographer) Sameer Arya instructed Rajesh Khanna to randomly shed a few tears in a hotel’s lift lobby and Khanna readily dispelled a few before the lift emerged,” Chintamani writes in the book.
And, there was no end to his ire when aroused.
“There were times when rumours of his sudden death flooded the Internet and saw his fans paying rich tributes on social media sites. Once, an infuriated Khanna walked to the main gate of Aashirwad in his favourite silk lungi-kurta with a cigarette and drink in tow only to prove to a journalist that, contrary to rumours, he was still alive,” Chintamani writes.