Coming to Bollywood and making it big is not an easy task. It requires years of hard work and decent projects and with a perfect amount of luck, you might reach the destination. With the introduction of social media, slowly or gradually stars develop a fan base for themselves but the same was not the case back in the days.

In the early 60s and 70s, it took more than one or two movies for many actors to become a star. We have witnessed many superstars emerging from that era and one of them was Rajesh Khanna. From giving out hits to a charismatic personality, Rajesh Khanna aka Kaka was known to steal the heart of every fan who comes to the theatre.

rajesh khanna

He has delivered many amazing performances over the span of his acting career such as Araadhna, Kati Patang, Haathi Mere Saathi, Roti, Safar etc. One such movie that not only became a big hit, a musical ballad but also managed to stir a lot of emotions in the audience was Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Anand.

The movie is a sheer piece of art because of the brilliant dialogues and storyline. While the chemistry between Rajesh and young Big B created havoc on the silver screen, did you know that Amitabh was not the first choice for the role of what we know was 'Babumoshai'.

rajesh khanna

'Sanjeev Kapoor was the first choice opposite Rajesh Khanna in Anand'

Back in the days when Hrishikesh Mukherjee was planning to make Anand, the first choice for the Jodi of Anand and Bhaskar was Rajesh Khanna and Sanjeev Kumar. Rajesh Khanna was all excited to work with Hrishikesh and found the script to be really promising but he strictly denied to be cast opposite the superstar Sanjeev Kumar. Rajesh Khanna was a big star who had already given 15 consecutive hits before Anand came and similarly Sanjeev Kumar was also a big name in the industry.

rajesh khanna

In an old interview, the original comedy king of Bollywood, Mehmood, disclosed that Hrishi da's first choice for the movie was Rajesh and Sanjeev but Rajesh Khanna was adamant not to work opposite the Sholay fame, Sanjeev Kumar.

Was Rajesh Khanna afraid of Sanjeev Kumar's stardom?

rajesh khanna

Mehmood disclosed that though Rajesh was ready to do Anand, he was reluctant to work with Sanjeev Kumar. Reasoning the same, he said "Rajesh knew that the day he'll act alongside Sanjeev Kumar, he will realise the charm of real acting and his success won't be able to stand for a longer period in front of him. Rajesh knew the result of working alongside Sanjeev Kumar and how his stardom would come crashing down, hence he said, No!"

How Amitabh Bachchan was selected for the role of Bhaskar?

rajesh khanna

Since Bhaskar's character was one of the important roles of the movie, Hrishi da was in a pickle after Rajesh completely denied working with Sanjeev Kumar. He was clueless about whom to cast when he went to Mehmood for help. Recalling the incident Mehmood disclosed, "Hrishi da was worried when he came to me. He said, 'Mehmood Kya Kare Yaar, Ek Ladka Chahye Rajesh ke saath.' I said I'll give you a brilliant artist but don't tell Rajesh about it."

Rajesh Khanna
Amitabh Bachchan and Rajesh Khanna during the last scene of movie Anand (Facebook)

"The guy might be new, but he's the 'baap' of Sanjeev Kumar when it comes to acting. Give him the role of 'Babu Moshai'. Rajesh Kumar ko aise uthakar phekega, ki use nani yaad aa jaegi," said Mehmood. And this how, Amitabh Bachchan got the pathbreaking role of his career.