His gift to India is Kurta - although every star had worn it before, but it was him who popularized it, especially the shorter version of Kurta. It was a rage in India. I wore Kurtas in college, had them in several colors too!
He was also the first one to bring a change in hair style, partial parting! No one had done that before.
This may come as a surprise to many, he was a good mixer, most movie stars don't have religious barriers. He was a great friend of Veteran comedian Mehmood, whose estate was near my home in Yelahanka, Bangalore... one Ramadan eid, him, Amitabh and others showed up at the Eid grounds, and he was in the front row praying along with Mehmood and others in the celebrations, I was in the third row.... it was sometimes around 1980.
I wrote a tribute on Dev Anand and Shammi Kapoor and I have to write one for Rajesh Khanna. I completely missed out on Raj Kapoor, Rafi and Rajendra Kumar, my other favorites. Thank God all my favorite girls are still around; Waheeda Rahman, Hema Malini, Asha Parekh, Madhuri Dixit and Tanuja.
When Raaz was released, my friends and I had a huge debate about his future. Is he going to be a super star like Dilip Kumar, Dev Anand, Rajendra Kumar or Dharmendra.... at that time Amitabh Bachchan was no where...
He was indeed recognized for his talent in Anand and I believe won the Filmfare Award, and then came Bawarchi. Dushman gave him a good lift and Aradhana put him on the top while Kati patang beefed up his career along with Haathi mere Saathi... and Aaya Sawan Jhoom ke.. Andaaz, Daag and others
The biggest hits were
- · Yahan wahan sare Jahan pay tera raaj hai
- · Achcha to hum chalte hain
- · chup gaye sare nazare oye kya baat hogayee
- · chal chal chal mere haathi
- · Zindagi kaisi hai paheli
- · baghom may bahaar hai
- · mere sapnon ki raani kab aayegi to
- · zindagi ka safar, hai a kaisa safar
- · A shaam mastani
- · A jo mohabbat hai
This was the song we debated on