Pakistan's Burewala city mourns Rajesh Khanna's death

Rajesh Khanna

Residents of the Pakistani city of Burewala, where Bollywood legend Rajesh Khanna was born in 1942, are mourning the death of the romantic hero along with countless others in the country. Khanna was born in his family's home in Block H of Burewala, part of Vehari district of Punjab province, on December 29, 1942. His father, Lala Hiranand Khanna, was the first headmaster of the MC High School in the city.

Lala Hiranand worked at the school from 1931 till his retirement in March 1947, months before the subcontinent was partitioned into India and Pakistan. A board at the school still bears his name. Khanna studied till Class 1 in the local primary school.

In 1948, Lala Hiranand moved with his family to the Indian city of Amritsar, The News daily and Geo News channel reported today.

Khanna's ancestral home still stands in Block H of Burewala, next to an old mandir (temple) that is today a police station. The house has the name "Jatin Niwas" inscribed on its in Hindi. Significantly, Rajesh Khanna was born as Jatin Khanna and changed his name when he began acting in films.

Footage of the house beamed on television showed a two-storey structure with arched windows. The spire of a temple could be seen in the background.

Residents of Burewala expressed sorrow at the death of the Bollywood star and paid glowing tributes to the legendary actor who rose to prominence in the 1960s and 70s. They said it was an honour that Khanna was born in the city.

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