He made white a rage much before anyone else and by now, the colour is almost wholly associated with Bollywood legend Jeetendra. Fondly referred to as Jumping Jack for his trademark dance moves, Jeetendra turns 70 years young today. To mark the occasion, RJ Anuraag Pandey of Fever 104 FM caught up with Jeetuji at his sprawling Juhu bungalow, to go on a trip down memory lane. Here’s a snapshot.
Acting wasn’t an option! It was the only thing possible! “I was zero in studies (laughs). Our family’s financial condition was also quite bad those days. I used to assist my chachaji in his artificial jewellery business. One day, I got the opportunity to visit V. Shantaram’s film set to supply some jewellery. Curiosity got the better of me and before I knew it, I was playing an extra. Soon, roles with dialogues followed and the rest as they say, is history.”
Kaka & I – the naamkaran “Jatin Khanna and I both changed our names for the silver screen. He became known the world over as Rajesh Khanna and from Ravi Kapoor, I transformed into Jeetendra! A little known fact is that we were also school friends.” Fit and fine! “I give credit for my fitness to my good genes. As actors, we have to constantly look after our appearances. As for maintaining oneself, I believe every human being is his/her own best doctor. One needs to lead a disciplined life and eat in moderation. Dieting doesn’t necessarily mean starving.”
Tusshar and Ekta – Balaji beginnings “Tusshar has qualities that even I don’t possess. He is very calm and composed whereas I have always been a bit excited and hyper. I often feel that had I possessed these qualities, I would have been a better person.
“As for Ekta, since she is my first born, I have always had a soft corner for her. When she was a kid, I used to wonder what this girl would grow up and do, but look at what she has achieved already! It’s amazing. She works at 100 per cent and expects the same from everybody else! “I see Balaji not just as the leading production house in the country, but spread across different verticals like television channels, mega events and so on!”