Friday, July 20, 2012


The first Indian actor to be called a superstar in Bollywood Rajesh Khanna passed away a few days ago at 70. Known for his romantic and chirpy character, he was the most desirable one of his times. Popular as Kaka , he did around 163 films in his career and co-starred with almost all the iconic actresses of those times- Hema Malini, Sharmila Tagore, Mumtaz, Tina Munim, Asha Parekh etc. Not only female actors, male actors like Amitabh Bachchan have acknowledged him above par to them.

I tried collecting some of his style staples. Believe it or not, the truth is – ‘The generation above us was definitely crazy about him as we are today for Ranbir Kapoor or Shah Rukh Khan as the cupid of Bollywood.’

One fact being that most of the roles he played were of a common man who belonged to a middle class family. So, his fashion statement had a fatheaded influence over the men in those times. Can you relate your dad wearing kurta trouser combo or a safari suit when he was young? Acknowledge kaka for the style inspiration!

Here are some of his classic style statements-


Inspired originally from the dressing of the gurus then- Kaka made the standing collar kurta an essential element of the common man. Not just this, you could see them in all the bright and lively colors. Remember the song from kati patang with Asha Parekh- jis gali mein tera ghar balma, he wore a shiny tan colored kurta with a staright fit trouser. Man, there was a revolution going on!

Rajesh Khanna wearing a guru kurta collar in the movie Safar.
"Arrey o babumushoy, hum to rangmanch ki kathputliyan hain jiski dor us upar wale ke haathon main hai kab, kaun kahan uthega ye koi nahin janta". Not that he was a Bengali, but his role surely created waves. Cladding a statement kurta with a dhoti in movies like Amar Prem, was yet another distinctive style of inspiration.

The Bengali babu in Amar Prem- Rajesh Khanna
Flaunting off a casual romantic look in a neck scarf over bell-bottomed trousers was fashionable then. Here’s one picture of Kaka from Raaz – decked up all romanticing!

Rajesh Khanna from the movie raaz wearing neck scarf.


I also sometimes relate them to a Patrakaar’s attire. Kurta-pajama-wasitcoat and a bag.

The style became famous from his movie kudrat with Hema Malini and today we see so many versions of the same waistcoat, even in ceremonial wear.

Rajesh Khanna in ethnic waistcoat- Then and Now!

Yeah, I can recollect my dad’s old pictures wherein he wore a safari suit with those wide-legged bell bottomed pants. Totally an outfit from the 60’s. Those beautiful suits and trousers.

The much appreciated style of safari suits and other- Rajesh Khanna

And today that we draw our inspiration from the retro and the vintage looks, Rajesh Khanna’s styles are one prominent thing to for inspiration. He may have gone away, but his style wouldn't go! Here's an extract from Anand.




  1. Superb Article... LOved it...

  2. very nicely put together.... i had never thought about this aspect of his stardom :)

  3. wow...just loved the article ! RIP kaka ! :(

    Bong's Belleza


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