Amitabh Bachchan's punctuality was mocked by Rajesh Khanna

 
Amitabh Bachchan's punctuality was mocked by Rajesh Khanna

According to a new book, Rajesh Khanna, who was already a celebrity when Amitabh Bachchan was breaking into Bollywood, sneered at the angry young man's punctuality, calling it a clerical characteristic.

Though Khanna was notorious for his tantrums and for being late for shoots, Bachchan was praised by the film industry for his professionalism and punctuality.

Rajesh Khanna, according to Virender Kapoor's book "Excellence - The Amitabh Bachchan Way," did not take this well.

According to the book, "he apparently said in an interview that he believed clerks were punctual and that he was not a clerk, but an artist."

Bachchan was still establishing himself as a celebrity at the time, and he had just recently started to receive mainstream acclaim.

It continues, "Bragging about his status, he added that he was not a slave to his moods, but that his moods were his slaves."

Bachchan, on the other hand, not only maintained his admiration for Khanna, but also acknowledged that the latter would still be his only superstar.

Bachchan was awestruck by the fact that by 1991, the late actor had starred in 153 films over a 25-year period, including 101 solo films and 21 multi-star cast films.

He admired Khanna's dedication and admired how, despite releasing three films per year, he had managed to produce 95 jubilee hits.

But, in a way, he eventually replaced Khanna as the 'Angry Young Man of Bollywood.'

"Bachchan, on the other hand, admitted in an interview that he had never intended to play a leading role. He'd always thought he wasn't particularly attractive and that he'd never look as good as Rajesh Khanna "According to the novel.

According to the novel, Bachchan was frequently perplexed by Khanna's photographs in Filmfare "'Yaar, kya khaata hai, ye aadmi? 'Iske gaal itne lal kaise kaise kaise kaise kaise kaise kaise kaise kaise (Can you tell me what this guy eats? How did his cheeks get so bright red?)"

Despite being two of Bollywood's biggest stars, Amitabh Bachchan revealed in a rare interview that the two never "bickered, clashed, or tried to upstage one another in any way" on the sets of "Anand" or "Namak Haraam."

Khanna, on the other hand, was Bachchan's inspiration when he was employed in Calcutta (now Kolkata) and wanted to get into movies.

He remembered how excited he was when Hrishikesh Mukherjee asked him to work on "Anand" with Rajesh Khanna. For him, it was "a dream come true."

Throughout his career, Bachchan remained a humble admirer of Khanna, admitting that his popularity was solely due to his collaboration with him.

And it wasn't just one-sided respect.

Khanna knew his time was up after seeing Bachchan in "Namak Haraam" at a trial at Liberty cinema.

"'Here is tomorrow's superstar,' he told Hrishikesh Mukherjee."

On his 75th birthday, Rupa publications releases "Excellence - The Amitabh Bachchan Way," a biographical work on Bachchan.

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