Rajesh Khanna passes away

MUMBAI: Rajesh Khanna, who mouthed ‘Zindagi kaisi hai paheli hai, kabhi toh hasaye kabhi ye rulaye…‘ in Anand, left for his heavenly abode this afternoon at the age of 70. His last breath came at his residence Aashirwad.

He breathed his last in the presence of his wife Dimple Kapadia, daughters Rinkie and Twinkle, son-in-law Akshay Kumar, grand children and close relatives.

The veteran actor, who has been battling a prolonged illness for a long time, finally gave in to his ailment. Just yesterday, the actor was discharged from the Lilavati Hospital. But late at night, due to extreme weakness and low blood pressure, he was kept on ventilator.

The actor‘s condition had been deteriorating since April when he stopped eating and had complained of weakness. He was admitted to the Lilavati Hospital twice in the past month.

Incidentally, the actor who shot to stardom in the 1960s, was the first ‘superstar‘ of Indian cinema.

Meanwhile, the entire film industry is shocked at the passing away of Khanna. In fact, the film industry has come to a standstill with as many as three events marked for the day cancelled.

Not only the film industry but the entire country is in deep shock on the star‘s demise. People from all walks of life are talking about the departed soul, his dialogues, his songs, his leading ladies and friends etc.

In a condolence message to the stars eldest daughter Twinkle Khanna, Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh said, " I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing away of your father Shri Rajesh Khanna.

"Khanna was a celebrated artiste who entertained millions of Indians with his performance in a variety of films. His legacy will live on in the form of the numerous entertaining and acclaimed films that he leaves behind. The powerful roles he essayed in classics like Anand, Aradhana, Kati Patnag and Amar Prem, stand testimony to his artistic genius."

Rajesh Khanna was not new to politics as he was a Congress member of the Parlaiment (Lok Sabha) in the early nineties. "In the passing away of the Rajesh Khanna, the Indian film industry has lost one of its most successful and most charming heroes.On this sad occasion, I convey my heartfelt condolences to the members of the bereaved family and Khanna‘s countless fans and admirers. I pray for peace of the departed soul," the message added.

Minister for Information & Broadcasting, Ambika Soni has also condoled the death of Khanna. In her condolence message to the members of the bereaved family, Soni said, "Very few actors can match the charisma, stardom and popularity that Rajesh Khanna enjoyed. His era initiated the wave of Superstardom in the Indian film industry, a concept which was unknown till then. Rajesh Khanna gave Indian cinema a whiff of fresh air by projecting the essence of goodness and romance in the various characters that he portrayed. His films provided us melodious music and haunting melodies which became a part of the generational change of the 1970s. The Indian film industry has lost one of its iconic personalities who gave a new identity to the male protagonist in films. Shri Rajesh Khanna was a much admired colleague in our party. We will all miss him. I pray to god to give necessary strength to his family to overcome the crisis."

Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, "With his unique persona, Rajesh Khanna ji made a special and unforgettable place in the hearts of Indians! May his soul rest in peace."

Producer Ashim Samanta, son of the late Shakti Samanta said, "Lost a family member. It‘s a huge loss to the film industry. He was a fabulous actor and a great human being. He was very close to us since 1962. My father was very attached to him; it‘s a sad day for all of us."

"I knew that his condition was extremely critical, but I never knew that he would go off so soon," said Marathi actor Ramesh Deo, who acted with Khanna in Anand.

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