In one of the interview, Amitabh said “When you gotta go, you gotta go.”.
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I was a novice when I joined him (Shakti Samanta) in the 80s. Yet, when I made a suggestion on a certain scene or shot, Shaktida would hear me out. He’s a filmmaker who never let his legendary status come in the way of his filmmaking. He was always ready to listen.
Filmmaker Shakti Samanta is renowned for his long association with Rajesh Khanna. It was Shakti Samanta who gave a new lease of life to the struggling Rajesh Khanna and made him a Superstar overnight with his hit film Aradhana. When Shakti Samanta wrote the script of Anuraag, his family and distributors rejected the script and advised him to drop the idea of making the film. The movie told the story of a young boy who donates his eyes to a blind girl before dying. One day Shaktida narrated the script to Rajesh Khanna. Rajesh Khanna had an ear for brilliant scripts and immediately told Shaktida to start the movie.
In a media interview, Amitabh Bachchan mentioned that when he was working in Calcutta and was keen to join films, his inspiration was Mr Khanna. He recalled how happy he had been when Hrishikesh Mukherjee asked him to work with Rajesh Khanna in Anand. It was a dream comes true for him.
Women came out in droves to see Kaka (Khanna). They would stand in queues outside the studios to catch a glimpse, they would marry his photographs,they would pull at his clothes. Delhi girls were crazier for him than Mumbai girls. He needed police protection when he was in public. I have never seen anything like this before and since.