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Rajesh Khanna: The untold story of India's first superstar

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  234 ratings  ·  34 reviews
Published 2014 by Penguin
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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Shivangi Yadav
Oct 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Actual rating: 2.5
After the death of India's first 'superstar' there was a race to release his unofficial biographies to cash in on the renewed interest in Khanna. The book aims to shed a light into both the personal and professional life of Khanna so that we can get to know the person behind the superstar.
And sadly that is where the book fails. My biggest grouse with the book is that it depends almost entirely on articles/gossip pieces to recreate the life of Rajesh Khanna. There are no
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was as much of a Rajesh Khanna fan as the boy next door in Rajouri Garden circa 1971. Too young to really adultate an actor, I was more of a fan of Anand Sehgal of Anand, or Anand Babu in Amar Prem, and cried with Kaka each time.
Then, like any other boy, I grew into a teenager who always wanted to see the next Amitabh Bachchan release.

I became an official fan when one evening in the canteen of IIT, I encountered an Amitabh Bachchan fanatic. Somewhere between normalizing Big B, to defending
Feb 10, 2015 rated it liked it
(Originally published on my blog -

A king dies a king! He might not have a following. He might be dying alone, lost in a desert, but he will still be a king, whether on a throne or in exile! Rajesh Khanna

As someone who grew up in the 90s, I never witnessed Rajesh Khannas stardom prevalent in the 70s or the subsequent downfall in the 80s. Nor did I grew up on his movies and havent seen all of them, which I am not too proud of. Despite being one of the
A Man Called Ove
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports-arts
3.5/5 What a horrible man ! Was reminded of Steve Jobs. Sorry dear Rajesh Khanna fans, but he is possibly the most self-obsessed man I have read about. He asked his baaraat to be diverted so that it passed by the house of his ex-girlfriend of 7 years. That is one example of many.
Didnt like him as an actor as he was too repetitive. Picked up this book to read about the Rajesh Khanna craze in the early 1970s. Was a fast breezy read and ideal for reading while on a trip.
Oct 16, 2016 rated it liked it
The book is better than Rekha : The Untold story and touches important incidents in Rajesh Khanna's life. But the psycho analysis and calling him 'lonely' was a bit too much. People have judged him negatively because he kept to himself. He was an introvert and many times people didn't understand that. Yasser could have stuck to the facts instead of trying to analyse what went on in his mind.
Roubeena Jeetah
Mar 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
Took my sweet time reading this one. Knew Rajesh Khanna from his evergreen songs and movies, but discovered his true, heartbreaking facet. You can have it all and still be so lonely...
May 16, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: india, nonfiction, cinema
Growing up on the regular dose of Hindi cinema golden era hits that DD National used to telecast on Friday nights and Sunday evenings, I was aware of Rajesh Khanna as one of the greatests of the bygone era. It was only after I read this book that I understood the extent of stardom he saw in those 3-5 years.

This guy effectively dethroned 'the legendary trio' and brought in a new wave and style in Hindi cinema. Its totally possible that the tune that you were humming a few moments ago was
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own
For Someone who never Met leave alone interacted with the Phenomenon Superstar RAJESH KHANNÀ before, during or even after the peak era was far behind Him Nobody would have really blamed TV journalist YASSER USMAN for churning out an unauthorised biography based purely on hearsay, yarns collected from film journalists of an era past or laced with spicy and salicious rumours ..After all by His own honest admission, He just
had a fleeting glimpse of the former Phenomenon in passing in public and
Jan 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
The four stars are purely for the research and information that went into this book, and not for the style or editing. Stylistically poor, the editing set my teeth on edge. But the author seems to have researched and gathered information, as well as tried to analyze why his subject behaved as he did. I always felt that behind the glamour, RK was a very lonely man. He seemed to have operated purely by his own instincts, without genuine advice or feedback. My suspicion that he was surrounded ...more
Anirudha Bhattacharjee
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a book written with lot of heart. And hard work. Best part about Yasser is that he has written without any claims of being either an expert on a fan. The story is told in a manner most neutral. Lots of facets which were unknown about the star, especially his childhood and adolescence, have been covered.

Incidentally, I had been offered to write on the star by a big publication house. I refused, simply because I was not convinced about my knowledge level about Rajesh Khanna as a human
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
It is always difficult to write a biography and more so in India when a natural feeling of obeisance towards the subject, inhibits people from opening up. Rajesh Khanna or Kaka as he was known to his countless fans was the first and perhaps the biggest movie superstar which India has seen. Now before one Mr Khan aka bhaijaan's fans lynch me, this was written by bhaijaan's father in the book. This book covers life of Kaka and puts up a vain attempt to try and portray him in a shade less obnoxious ...more
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have seen his charisma and popularity he gained is unique....liked to read about his golden days but saddened to read about his last few years....he was and is still superstar of one has achieved what he has achieved.....hats off to my hero , my super duper star...

I have seen his charisma and popularity he gained is unique...liked to read about his golden days but saddened to read about after years of his golden era...he was and will always be remembered as truely super star of
Sujan Azad Parikh
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is written in a very nice way. The way of depicting the story is very natural. Many aspects of life of Rajesh Khanna has been shown since his childhood to becoming a star. Its very difficult for a star to keep the pace and momentum. From having the distinction of being a super star to the way he spend his last years was really painful. Overall a very nice book for those who like to read the biographies.
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Good book to read.This book throws light on Rajesh Khanna's life.This book tells how he got the superstar status and then after getting superstar status, he could not handle so much success and then his downfall begun.This book tells all of this.
Mar 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Just loved it ! Very well written.
D Kamboj
Feb 13, 2018 rated it liked it
balanced and dispassionate account of the life of India's first movies' superstar
Animesh Mitra
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Entertaining and fun. Must read if you are a Rajesh Khanna or Bollywood fan.
Jaikaran Johal
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Book have many secrets and facts about rajesh khanna that were never known to us before and tells how the epic stardom came to the ground , and many life twists.
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am a Rajesh Khanna fan and reading about him is sheer pleasure.
Shubham Tiwari
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cineverse
Wonderful book. Makes me want to revisit every Rajesh Khanna blockbuster all over again. Can't wait to get my hands on Yasser Usman's other books.
May 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Being a big fan of THE SUPERSTAR, I might be partial, but it's among the best books I've ever read, feeling a personal bond with the contents.
Kumar Dev
Jul 27, 2020 is currently reading it
Shelves: rashmi
Very good
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Worthwhile chronicle of India's first superstar - a peek into his mind and insecurities.
His insecurity - stemming from been passed by his biological parents to foster parents - not only fuelled his drive and ambition but also sowed the seeds of his loneliness and self-destruction.
Another example of the damage wrecked by North Indian obsession with a male-successor to the line.
Ishwarya Arasu
Jan 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a book! Before reading this book, I only knew Rajesh as an handsome actor through his beautiful songs. This book also shows the complexity personified Rajesh - his character, the king size life he led, his relationships, attitude, and how much obsessed he was with himself and his stardom, how much he craved for his fans to stand outside his house, and so on. They say he was an introvert and always kept things to himself. The second half of this book often repeated the word, lonely - He was ...more
Feb 11, 2015 added it
The book very beautifully captures the life's and times of Rajesh Khanna..Yes,very honestly written about the humane side of the actor who had a major inferiority complex and insecurity which destructed his career and him as a person to a large extent..But i guess by and large all the superstars go through this "phase" only some stories come out and some remain buried..

It covers the good the bad the ugly facets of a human personality..Makes us believe that superstars are also Human and they too
Anuradha Mohankumar
Oct 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Superbly written, Yasser Usman recounts the life of the first superstar of Hindi cinema in an impressive manner. Taking us through his days of struggle, the period of stardom that was short lived, his eccentric behaviour and the loneliness he endured throughout his life, the reader experiences a lot of emotions while reading the book. However towards the end you can't help feeling sorry for the star who called himself a "king in exile" during his later years. A must read for all who have loved ...more
Feb 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
They called him India's first superstar for a reason.
I, being one generation too late to have a decent crush on him, was in AWE when I saw his old films. There was this charm about him which allured women (which I totally understand because I still totally crush on him when I see him in old movies & Oh Mere Dil Ke Chain <3). Women would faint after one glance, would write letters from their blood.
They certainly called him India's first superstar for a reason.
Nitasha Sharma
May 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Born in 80s, you're unlikely to follow a Super Star who touched glorious heights of Super Stardom in 70s. Yasser Usman's 'The untold story of India's first superstar' has given birth to a new fan eons after his demise. Once the star had it all and before he realised it he was left with nothing at all. Each page will force you to look deeper into his life. A must read for all.
Jan 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An amazing book which described his life in a great way. Quite interesting and also an eye opener to the way Everything and everyone works behind camera.

The writer captures Rajesh Khanna's life perfectly and that too after the star's death when he wasn't there to comment on it or share his own version of story.

Great work Yasser Usman
Avishek Bhattacharjee
This book is must for all Rajesh Khanna fans.Yaseer Usman has done an immaculate research.
People who have already know about the first superstar of India,his whereabouts and starry will be stunned to know the other side of the coin.The loneliness behind thelimelight and all glamour.
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