The Big K and other stories: Learning from the First Superstar

“India can learn a lot from its first superstar” said Jigneshbhai while sipping his coffee. “It has been over a month since Rajesh Khanna died, but I am still not able to get over it.”

rajeshkhannaI was not a big Rajesh Khanna fan, more of a Bachchan fan so to speak. But my broker friend who was a bit older had lived in the times of Rajesh Khanna and his superstardom, so perhaps always had a soft corner for him. I have seen that happen to anyone who lived during the times when the king ruled.

“You guys don’t realise that before the Big B, there was a Bigger K” continued Jigneshbhai, still lost in his thoughts. “Perhaps the Big B happened because he was actually the Big K’s contemporary and could learn from his mistakes. May be he saw the fickleness of it all.”

“The Rajesh Khanna era ended as if it did not exist. Apparently, he used to say that he realised it one day when the flowers stopped” mused Jigneshbhai still lost in his thoughts, evidently quite a big fan.

Swami and I were just listening today. Jigneshbhai seemed a bit sentimental about this. We were all ears because whenever he is in such pensive moods, some pearls of wisdom pop up.

“It was all like a big Kahaani – like in that recent movie. You realize that all of it was untrue. Rajesh Khanna and his super stardom teaches all of us humility.”

Swami and I were a bit surprised. “Why humility?” we asked almost at the same time.

” Well – If someone that bright could come and light up the sky of Indian Cinema, and then disappear almost like it did not exist, and all you had were those 6-7 years of super brightness to remember, it is a lesson for anyone who thinks they rightfully deserve something.” Jigneshbhai explained.

He continued further. “That’s why I said India could learn. We were happy telling the world that we were shining and they agreed for a while. And then we got carried away, and thought we deserved that place as a matter of right. Like the Big K, we don’t want to wake up one fine day and realize that we are kings of a kingdom that does not exist.”

Swami and I listened carefully to these words of wisdom from our broker friend. Indeed, he has a different take on almost everything, we thought. But I thought – perhaps he was right. The Big K shone brightly because he had a real story, but fell, perhaps, because he was not humble enough to look inward and reinvent.

“Yeah – you are right” Swami and I almost agreed at the same time again.

As we were finishing our coffee and getting ready to leave, Jigneshbhai remarked, “The sad part – and I hope that does not happen to the ‘India Super Star Investment Story’ – was that Rajesh Khanna had to die to get back the euphoria.”

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