When Gulzar revealed that Rajesh Khanna did `Anand` for a nominal fee

Back in 2016, veteran writer-lyricist Gulzar had revealed that the late superstar Rajesh Khanna acted in superhit film `Anand` at a nominal fee. Gulzar said Rajesh Khanna did so because he liked the story. “He threw a big party after the success of `Anand`,” Gulzar was quoted as saying in a media release. `Anand` directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee starred Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan in lead roles.

Gulzar had written the screenplay and dialogues for this 1971 drama film. He also revealed that Mukherjee had a very good sense of humour and it perhaps reflected in movies like `Khoobsurat`, `Chupke Chupke` and others. Gulzar was speaking at the master-class session held by Indian Film and Television Directors` Association (IFTDA) and moderated by acclaimed filmmaker Sudhir Mishra back in 2016.

The session was part of IFTDA`s monthly initiative `IFTDA Meet The Director` session that provides a platform for filmmakers to interact with established directors and in process, learn and hone their craft of filmmaking and storytelling. The `Aandhi` helmer spoke about his journey into films, the evolution of the industry, his frequent collaborators and friends like RD Burman, Sanjeev Kumar, Vishal Bhardwaj, AR Rahman and others, his love for languages.

“Hari Bhai (Sanjeev Kumar) and Pancham (Burman) were two anchors in my life and I loved both of them immensely. We shared a relationship where we could disagree with each other without feeling bad at all,” Gulzar said.

When he was asked about filmmakers being influenced a lot by films in West, Gulzar said, “We have such vast history and so many stories from our historic culture that we don`t have to look anywhere else for inspiration. Yes, the technology in west is very advanced for sure.” Actor Jeetendra who worked with Gulzar on films like `Parichay`, `Khushboo` and `Kinaara`, had felicitated him on behalf of IFTDA.

Rajesh Khanna had 15 consecutive solo hit films between 1969 and 1971. Between Aradhana in 1969 and Prem Kahani in 1975, Rajesh enjoyed god-like status. Describing the charm of Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh once said: `I got famous purely because I was working with Rajesh Khanna in `Anand`. People asked me questions like, `How is he to look at? What does he do?“