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June 20, 2006   

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The best of Rakesh Roshan

As the Rakesh Roshan-directed Krrish gets ready to hit theatres, we look back at 10 popular entertainers -- five as an actor and five as a director -- that turned Roshan, the hazel-eyed actor-director, into the blue-eyed boy of Hindi films.

Top 5 as an actor:
1. Khel Khel Mein (1975)

When Rakesh Roshan began his acting career in the early 1970s, a famous surname (his father Roshan had been a noted music composer) and a famous father-in-law (filmmaker J Om Prakash) were his only calling cards. The young actor was paired opposite such popular leading ladies as Hema Malini (in Paraya Dhan) and Raakhee (Aankhon Aankhon Mein) but repeatedly failed to make an impact at the box office.

The tide started turning with Khel Khel Mein. Unlike the vanilla-toned, goody-two-shoes heroes he had played so far, Rakesh’s role in this college caper-cum-thriller was that of a flamboyant daredevil, and he performed it with elan. As the flashily dressed college bully who first rags hero Rishi Kapoor, then befriends him, and then gets him into serious trouble with his penchant for playing practical jokes, Rakesh's character lingered in memory despite being bumped off mid-way through the film.

In the chartbusting song from the film, Sapna mera toot gaya, Rakesh's anguished girlfriend, Aruna Irani, described her late lover's attraction thus: 'Uski aankhon mein nasha, baazuu mein taaqat aur dil mein himmat thi. Bijli ki tarah naachta hua woh mere paas aataa tha (He had dreamy eyes, strong arms and a brave heart. He was a livewire).'

And there was a lump in many throats when Rakesh came to her in her dream, crooning in R D Burman's voice: 'Aajaa meri baahon mein aa....'

Text: Dinesh Raheja | Design: Reuben

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