Stunned Bollywood mourns death of Rajesh Khanna
Legendary Hindi film star Rajesh Khanna passed away on Wednesday morning at his residence in Mumbai. He was 69.
He breathed his last in the presence of his ex-wife Dimple Kapadia, daughters Rinkie and Twinkle, son-in-law Akshay Kumar, grand children and close relatives.
A stunned Bollywood mourned the death of Rajesh Khanna, hailing him as the "King of Romance", "powerhouse" and a "giant" of the Hindi film industry. As condolences poured after the demise of Bollywood's first superstar, film directors and actors, several of whom were associated with Khanna, came together to play glowing tributes to the 69-year-old actor and said his name will be written in "golden words."
Shahrukh Khan, a present day superstar, said Khanna's smile will be missed forever. "To live with intention and walk to the edge. Play with abandon, choose with no regret. Smile and made us do the same. Sir, you defined our era. Whenever life felt tough u made us feel how love could change it all. RIP," SRK tweeted.
Mumtaz, who acted in 10 super hit films with Khanna, including memorable ones such as 'Aap Ki Kasam', 'Roti', 'Apna Desh' and 'Sachcha Jhootha' said she had lots of memories of working with Rajesh Khanna. 'Zindagi ke safar mein guzar jaate hain' and the peppy 'Jai Jai Shiv Shankar' were two perennial hits from 'Aap ki Kasam.'
"RIP to the 1st King of Romance... Rajesh Khanna," Shahid Kapoor posted on the micro-blogging site. Filmmaker Subash Ghai said, "He was the powerhouse of Hindi film industry. I met him on the sets of Aaradhna, he had some kind of energy and you will be charged when he is around you. His name will be written in golden words."
Veteran actress Vyjayanthimala said, "His death is a big loss to the industry. It's my bad luck that I didn't have the chance to work with him because he came much later."
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi joined the political class in mourning Rajesh Khanna.
Rajesh Khnna epitomised a range of emotions on the big screen--from melancholy to romance -- with a rich bouquet of lilting songs like 'Zindagi ek safar hai suhana' in Andaaz and 'Mere sapno ki raani' from Aaradhana which propelled him to greta heights. Rajesh Khanna’s mannerism, his unique style of dancing, dialogue delivery, disarming smile and the signature nod of his head added to his onscreen persona that made many a young woman's heart skip a beat. To him goes the credit of making kurta fashionable when many actors wore suits.
Despite his heartthrob status as a romantic hero, Khanna essayed a variety of roles -- the terminally ill Anand in the Hrishikesh Mukherjee film, a romantic air force officer in "Aaradhana", a chef in "Bawarchi", a lonely husband emotionally attached to a mistress in "Amar Prem" and a poor medical student in "Safar".
Khanna also had a brush with politics after he stopped acting from early nineties. He won the Lok Sabha seat from New Delhi constituency in the 1991 elections.
It was a lonely life for Rajesh. He disappeared from the headlines and appeared to be a pale shadow of his former self, frail and sunken cheeks, in his rare public appearances.
But the family came together in his last days. His estranged wife was the one who took care of him during his illness. Son-in-law Akshay Kumar was also a great comfort. Rajesh reappeared in an ad a few months before his death, and once again became the talk of town - he was clearly unwell but the zest in his voice was intact as he intoned "Babumoshai" from his touching film "Anand".
People across Pakistan on Wednesday mourned the death of Rajesh Khanna, with Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf describing him as a "great actor" and others taking to social networking websites to pay tribute to the romantic hero.
May be his fans should not weep for him as Rajesh Khanna’s memorable dialogue in Amar Prem –“ Pushpa, I hate tears” – is worth recalling.
- Asian Tribune -