Eminent senior film-maker Ashim (Shakti) Samanta whose banner is known for a galaxy of charismatic superstar Rajesh Khanna-starrer landmark retro-movies including ‘Aradhana’, Kati Patang’, ‘Amar Prem’ and ‘Ajnabee’ had dedicated his musical romantic movie ‘Yeh Jo Mohabbat Hai’ (2012) to the fond memory of ‘late’ Rajesh Khanna. Recalled Samanta whose home-production banner is called ‘Aradhana Films’, “We always had this huge emotional connect. The late ‘Kakaji’ (Rajesh Khanna) was not only a family member, but he was also a mentor/guide for me and my son Aditya during his debut movie ‘Yeh Jo Mohabbat Hai. When he was keeping good health, ‘Kakaji’ had come home and blessed my son and even given him a few vital tips on how to style his hair and on cultivating a star-charisma.
Kaka-ji’s ‘aashirwaad’ is always there for all of us,” insists Ashim with tears welling in his eyes on the occasion of the superstar’s death anniversary today. Speaking to eminent author Chaitanya Padukone, Ashim recalls, “We also had ambitious plans to make our next film with Rajesh Khanna playing a pivotal mentor-lead role, somewhat like that of Shah Rukh Khan in ‘Chak De’(2007). We had narrated to Khanna-saab, the story-script and he seemed enthusiastic to take up the assignment. But as they say, destiny disposes, what man proposes,” laments film-maker Samanta.