As a long time resident of Chennai, I would say Hindi film songs became popular in the south only because of Rajesh Khanna. ‘Roop tera mastana,’ and ‘mere sapno ki rani’ became an all-time hit in Tamil Nadu after the release of Aradhana even among those who were averse to Hindi. I remember that juke boxes (in which you could drop a 25-paise coin and select a song of your choice) in hotels like Sangam, Cafe Zumzum, Cafe Amin and Hotel Coronet remained engaged till the time they closed for the day.
Once, we bunked college and went for the Rajesh Khanna-Mumtaz starrer Aap Ki Kasam. Students from another city college were also there. When the song “Jai Jai Shiv Shankar” was played, we started dancing on the stage and the theatre management stopped the screening. We requested that they resume and promised to behave. Rajesh Khanna was indeed a great crowd puller.
Besides Anand, Arardhana and Safar, Rajesh Khanna’s films like Ittefaq (which had no songs), Sachha Jhoota, Daag, Khamoshi, Bawarchi and Avtaar speak volumes about his excellent acting. He radiated the much needed positive energy through his famous dialogues. I have seen almost all his films. I wish he and Amitabh Bachchan had done more films together.