Kakaji’s wish for Aashirwad to Bombay Times in April 2009
Meena Iyer (BOMBAY TIMES; July 21, 2012)
Every newspaper may be writing about India’s first superstar Rajesh Khanna’s plans to convert his residence Aashirwad into a museum in the wake of his death, but the fact remains that he told this publication (and this reporter, specifically) about it way back in 2009. The story was published in Bombay Times, in that year’s April 17 issue. Way before he had even told his own family about it!
He revealed to this reporter, his plans of converting his iconic bungalow into a museum as early as that. From the late-60s to the mid-70s, Kaka (as Rajesh Khanna was popularly referred to) ruled and Aashirwad was the nerve centre of the Hindi film industry. Showman Subhash Ghai even spoke of that era’s legendary filmmakers Shakti Samanta and Manmohan Desai being a part of of the superstar’s coterie.
In the summer of 2009, the bungalow was undergoing renovations with Khanna having reclaimed the property from tax authorities and he was moving back into his house after a gap of a few years. Speculation was rife that his son-in-law would inherit it someday. However, the former actor, who has a battery of cars, shelves adorned with silver and golden jubilee trophies, artefacts and several other film memorabilia maintained meticulously by a retinue of servants, told us then, “My daughters Twinkle and Rinke are married, settled and have huge houses themselves. They don’t need my property.”
Showing hints of the flamboyance that once defined him, he had added, “Aashirwad is the home of the first superstar of Bollywood. I would like it to remain that way. Of course, my daughters will take the final decision because it will be their inheritance in the future.”
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