Late actor Rajesh Khanna’s ladylove Anita Advani is dressed in black when she receives us at her Bandra residence. The room is spartan, except for a portrait of the veteran actor taking a place of pride on one of the adjacent walls. Ask Advani to talk about her memories of the yesteryears’ superstar and she quickly slips into nostalgia…
How are you adjusting with your new life without Rajesh Khanna?
It is still to sink in and there is a huge vacuum in my life right now. I’m very lonely, alone… it is very terrible. I wouldn’t wish this pain to even my worst enemies.
Why didn’t you ever get married to him in the last 10 years?
I had figured early in our relationship that marriage was just not possible, as he had only separated from Dimpleji and not divorced her. I was very happy with our relationship; I was as good as a wife to him. I left everything behind for him. He was very demanding he would be on the phone with me throughout even if I went to a grocery shop or visited a mall.
There was buzz that Akshay Kumar wanted Aashirwad for himself. Is it true?
This is something very private and I wouldn’t like to share it. Also in so many years, Akshay came home only once to have lunch, that too when he was shooting close by.
But it is said that Akshay bailed him out in his time of trouble?
Kakaji was such an arrogant man. Do you think he would have taken help from his daughter’s husband? He hasn’t taken a single penny from Akshay.
Would you talk to Dimple, Twinkle and Rinkie when they came home?
Yes, whenever they would come, we would talk. I would get food for them or we would order from outside. If they wanted something from the kitchen, I would go and get it for them, as they didn’t know where things were kept.
The name of the bungalow has become Vardan Aashirwad...
If Kakaji wanted to name it Vardan he would have already added it.
Do you remember him through his films?
I don’t see his films. I don’t have the guts to see them. In fact, ever since he passed away I haven’t passed through Carter Road. I just can’t go there.
How are you managing your living?
I have my family business and investments. I want Aashirwad to be converted into a museum.