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When Rajesh Khanna’s GF, Anju Mahendroo Revealed He Wanted Her To Fall At His Feet Like Other Ladies


Rajesh Khanna was known as the first superstar of India. The young man, with striking looks and a mischievous smile, had entered Bollywood after winning a national talent hunt show. Back in his heydays, Rajesh enjoyed superstardom. We all have read about how Rajesh Khanna would drive away, and ladies would put sand in their maang, and how some people even worshipped the actor like a God. 

Khanna was shot to fame after the release of the film, Aradhana in 1969, and it was right around the time when juicy reports of his affair with Anju Mahendroo started to make their way to the daily tabloids. But Rajesh wanted her to fall at his feet like his other female fans, and Anju was not ready to do this. In Yasser Usman’s book on the life of the actor, Rajesh Khanna: The Untold Story of India’s First Superstar, Anju Mahendroo had revealed:

“He wanted me to fuss over him like all those others who are perpetually falling at his feet. I loved him. I couldn’t fawn over him. To me, he was Jatin or Justin. A man I loved, not Rajesh Khanna, Superstar or The Phenomenon.”

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Anju was also a struggling actress in those days, and she was trying to make a mark in the film industry. Though she had a few movies to her name, Rajesh didn’t want her to form her own individuality. In the same book, Anju was quoted mentioning how she quit her career for Rajesh. She had said:

“As much as I could, I had submerged my individuality, my personality, my identity into his – to make him happy. He wanted me to give up modelling at a time when I was paid very highly. I did.”

Rajesh and Anju were seen together in a film called Bandhan, where he had shared more screen time with Mumtaz. In an interview with Bhawana Somaya in 1991, Rajesh Khanna had revealed that he had an ugly fight with Anju during the shoot of the film, and the two of them were behaving in an unprofessional manner. In his words:

“The two of us had a fight over something as a result of which both of us behaved extremely unprofessionally while shooting together. Every time I said my lines, she looked in the opposite direction, and every time she said her dialogues, I looked away.”

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In the same interview, Rajesh mentioned that they kept ignoring each other throughout the schedule and had no idea about their foolish behaviour. He also said that he would never forget this incident of his life just because it was childish. He had said:

“This continued throughout the schedule and the hassled producer was utterly confused as to what was happening and why. Nor did we, frankly. For, if we did, we wouldn’t have behaved in so juvenile a fashion. I know it all sounds foolish, but one cannot disassociate an incident from one’s life, just because it was foolish or childish…”

Eventually, Rajesh Khanna married actress, Dimple Kapadia in March 1973. Soon after their wedding, Dimple left her acting career for Rajesh, which was why they separated in 1982. 

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