It was 10.30 in the morning, outside Bandra station, near the popular Lucky Restaurant which was the haunt of several struggling actors and directors, the last being Shah Rukh Khan.
I was accompanying the superstar in a class of his own, Raaj Kumar in his huge Plymouth car to Dimple theatre, which was one of the most popular preview theatres of its time built by the "Silver Jubilee Star" Rajendra Kumar.
Dimple, named after Kumar’s daughter, also had a dubbing and recording studio and Raaj Kumar was on his way to the theatre to dub for a film called God And Gun. His car broke down, right opposite Lucky Restaurant. A crowd had already gathered and people from Lucky Restaurant left their tables to have a look at one of the most popular and eccentric stars of the sixties, seventies and eighties.
Seeing that the car won’t get repaired in time, he asked his chauffeur, "Panditji" to take care of his car and told me, "Jaani, aao aaj hum autorickshaw mein chalein" and got into a rickety auto to the consternation of the driver and the delight of the crowd.
Rajendra Kumar was Raaj Kumar’s son, (Sunil Dutt was the other) in the 1957 all-time classic Mother India. Like many Bollywood actors, Rajendra Kumar too was a narcissist, completely in love with himself and had a framed picture of himself at the entrance of Dimple. On seeing his photo on the wall, Raaj Kumar spontaneously stepped back, took of his shoes and looked at his make-up man who had worked with him since the beginning of his career and in his own style said, "Jaani, yeh gaye, aur tumne humko bataayaa kaise nahi?" The make-up man was shocked and only later realized that it was one of the many eccentricities of "Raaj Sahab". It was only one more example of the ways and wild ways of Raaj Kumar.
God And Gun, which released in 1995, was Raaj Kumar’s last film. He was soon diagnosed with throat cancer and when Subhash Ghai hesitantly asked him if the news was true, Raaj Kumar still very flamboyant said, "Raaj Kumar ko bimaari hogi toh badi hogi na, koi zukaam se thodi na marega Raaj Kumar". He died at the age of 69 on 3rd July, 1996. The news of his death was kept a complete secret from the industry and was broken only after he was cremated at the Shivaji Park crematorium in the presence of his family members. It was his last wish.