Rajesh Khanna, the actor who romanced death on screen as often as he did heroines, left behind a special recorded message for his family, friends and fans. 40 years ago, in Anand, his character taped a message for Babu Moshai or Amitabh Bachchan. In real life, the superstar’s message was played at his chautha held over the weekend.
English Translation of the message:
My dear friends, brothers and sisters,
I’m not the one to get nostalgic. I’ve always looked ahead towards the future. Whatever has passed let it stay in the past, thinking about bygones doesn’t help. But, when one suddenly comes across familiar faces in unfamiliar settings, the memories comes rushing back.
My journey began with theater, I owe my success to the stage. This theater where it all began when I joined the film industry, I had no God Father, no relatives or family that I could turn too. I came into the movies through the United Producers Filmfare Talent contest. We were called to the Times of India in the presencen of celeberated filmmakers like Chopra saab, Bimal Roy , Shakti Samanta and many others. They asked me we had sent you a dialogue, did you memorise it? I was sitting in front of the table where they were seated and felt I was undergoing a courtmartial. I thought they would take a gun and fire at me. I said, “I know the dialogue but you haven’t told me what’s the characterisation of the person who is to narrate this dialogue. Is he the hero who is announcing to his mother that he plans to marry a dancer and maker her the daughter-in-law of the house? You haven’t told me whether this hero is rich , poor, a villianou character or a pleasant fellow, is he from the middle class?” So, Mr Chopra said, “You are from the stage so make your own characterisation how will you convince the mother.” I said this is not a dialogue for a stage actor to mouth, so he said then you chose your own dialogue. I was nervously sweating and anxious wondering which dialogue should I impress them with. I had seen their movies several times and this is the dialogue I said which took me towards stardom. The dialogue was Yes I am an artist , yes I am artist, why would you want to hear my story, the dialogue which began my story in cinema.
Friends, I’m a part of you, and as I said, you have all taken time out for me. This is the love, your presence in numbers that I’m greatful for, thank you, thank you my salaam to you all.