The hysteria he created swept across ages, gender and genres. His movies ran to full houses and his following swelled each passing day. Be it his distinct sartorial sense, his dialogue delivery or his mannerisms, Rajesh Khanna was a pioneer in many sense. It wouldn’t be wrong to call him the complete superstar.
Khanna’s gentle looks, disarming smile and that famous tilt of the head did wonders for his female following. And with Kishore Kumar’s dreamy voice for playback, this was just what the doctor ordered. With the sensuous Roop Tera Mastana, enthralling Pyaar Deewana Hota Hai and the timeless O Mere Dil Ke Chain Rajesh Khanna, became — and remains — the King of Romance.
Making a gradual progression from cabarets, kothaas, discos and now almost everywhere — even a train top — item numbers have become an essential part of Bollywood.
An item number, in its earliest avatar, wasn’t endorsed by leading ladies. Only vamps or dancers making special appearances graced these tracks until a decade or two ago. The first major dancing star was Cuckoo who ruled the cabaret scene in the Forties and Fifties.