Rajesh Khanna leaves behind a farewell message


India’s first superstar Rajesh Khanna, who passed away on July 18, 2012, left behind a special recorded message for his family, friends and fans, which was played at his chautha held over the weekend. In the message he is heard saying that he owes his success as an actor to the stage. He has talked about how he began his career as a theatre artist when there was no godfather whom he could turn to. He came into the movies through the United Producers Filmfare Talent contest where he was seated on a long table in presence of celeberated filmmakers like Bimal Roy, Shakti Samanta and many others. Rajesh Khanna recounts that Mr Chopra retorted saying: “You are from the stage so make your own characterisation.” During that audition the chapter of his stardom opened. The dialogue he mouthed in front of the stalwarts was: “Haan main kalakar hun, haan main kalakar hun, kya karoge meri kahani sunkar…” (Yes I am an artist , yes I am artist, why would you want to hear my story…). And rest, to use a cliche, is history. Rajesh Khanna appeared in 163 feature films and delivered various hit films such as Kati Patang, Safar, Ittefaq, Aradhana, Anand, Amar Prem and Aan Milo Sajna. In the tape Rajesh Khanna also thanked his fans saying, “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 grateful for, thank you, thank you my salaam to you all.” The eight-minute long audio sounds more like an extract from the superstar’s some old interview and very little like his last words.