Asha Parekh On Working With Rajesh Khanna

In  her  30-year career as a leading lady, the legendary Asha Parekh says she has never seen  stardom  like Rajesh Khanna’s. 

“When we were shooting for Aan  Milo Sajna(which completed  50 years since release in December) and Kati Patang there  were hundreds  of  girls  mobbing him. We had to cancel the shooting. I first  worked with Rajesh Khanna in his  second  film Baharon Ke Sapne. He  was then an unknown shy actor. Everything changed  in two years. By the  time we worked  together he was  a superstar,like none before  him and  none after.The only stardom  I’ve seen  seem  that’d  comparable with  Rajesh Khanna’s is Dev Anand’s . Deewane  tthe fans Dev Saab ke. When we shot Mahal  together  we had to  cancel  many times, the crowds were  uncontrollable. They wanted  to  touch him,kiss him hug hum…just like they wanted with Rajesh Khanna, ”  recalls Ashaji.

 Did Ashaji  see any changes  in Rajesh Khanna?

Changes toh hona hi hai. But he  was  always sweet  and polite with me. There  was no change  in  his behavior towards me. In fact I remember  we had  a lot of fun shooting for the song Achcha  toh hum chalte hain in Aan  Milo Sajna. We  had to hurry the  shooting as we had to catch  the sunset. In haste Rajesh and  I  got confused  about the lyrics and began to mime  each other’s lines. We  had a good laugh over that.”

Achcha  toh hum chalte hain  was one  of  the  biggest  hit songs of  both  Rajesh  Khanna and  Asha Parekh’s career.

“We  knew  it was a big hit. Both Rajesh  Khanna  and J Om Prakash, the producer of  Aan Milo Sajna(whose brother-in-law Jagdish Kumar  fronted as  the  film’s producer) had a terrific music sense. Rajesh Khanna  sang such big hits on screen in Aan Milo Sajna, Kati Patangand many other  films.  With J Om Prakash I  did three  films Aaye Din Bahaar Ke, Aaya Saawan Jhoom Ke and  Aan Milo Sajna. All  three had chartbusting music composed  by   Laxmikant-Pyarelal,” recalls  Asha fondly.

Throughout  her super-successful career producers  kept repeating Asha Parekh in their projects.  3  films with J Om Prakash,    7 films  with Nasir Hussain….

“That’s because I gave  the  hits.  Also  because I   was professional and I worked hard. I didn’t bring any baggage to the sets. When I  look back I see how hard I worked and how  careless I was about keeping good health.  Twice I suffered back  injuries  when the same hero(Joy Mukherjee) dropped  me while  carrying me in his hands, once during the shooting of Ziddi    and once during Love In  Tokyo.  Do I  regret anything? Nothing at  all. It  was  all  very fulfilling.”

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