“My fans will always remain with me.” This dialogue rendered by Rajesh Khanna in the only commercial he appeared for seemed very appropriate when the actor began his last journey from his residence here.
A crowd-puller during his lifetime, Khanna remained so even after death. When thousands turned up for a last glimpse of the Hindi film industry’s first superstar, it also gave an insight on his fan-following, which had failed to fade despite all these years.
The body of Khanna was laid in a open truck with loads of flowers all around. A huge black and white photograph of the actor was mounted on its front. His family members, including wife Dimple, younger daughter Rinkie and son-in-law and actor Askhay Kumar, accompanied.
Akshay’s wife Twinkle, who is pregnant with their second child, had been advised by doctors to rest and hence was not seen during the funeral procession.
At the crematorium, Akshay requested the media to allow the last rites to be a private affair. Family sources who witnessed the last rites said Aarav, son of Akshay and Twinkle, lit the pyre.
Earlier, the police had to resort to a mild lathicharge as the crowd became unmanageable when the funeral procession approached the Pawan Hans crematorium at Vile Parle.
His longtime co-actor and friend Amitabh Bachchan and his son Abhishek had turned up at the crematorium, which saw frenzied mob trying to get close to them.