Tearful farewell to Yash Chopra
With moist eyes and prayers on their lips, family and friends bid farewell to Indian cinemas King of romance Yash Chopra at a crematorium on Monday afternoon. Bedecked with flowers, Chopra's body was brought to the Pawan Hans crematorium in Juhu in an ambulance, with only family members and close friends inside, including his sons Aditya and Uday, and actors Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan.
The mortal remains of the 80-year-old filmmaker were consigned to flames amid the presence of his family members, relatives and a number of Bollywood celebrities. The body was kept at the Yash Raj Films studio since last night for people to pay their respects.
Several Bollywood celebrities including Rani Mukerji, Preity Zinta, Prasoon Joshi, Mukesh Bhatt, Raj Kundra, Suresh Oberoi, Siddharth Roy Kapoor, Kiran Rao, Rohit Shetty, Bharat Shah, Adnan Sami, Rajpal Yadav and Homi Adjania were present at the crematorium.
There was chaos outside the Yash Raj Films studio as hundreds of people turned up to catch a glimpse of the filmmaker. Chopra passed away at the Lilavati hospital at 5.30 PM on Sunday due to dengue and multiple organ failure.
Salman Khan, Karan Johar, Dilip Kumar with wife Sairo Banu, Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Jaya, Madhur Bhandarkar, Anil Kapoor, Sridevi, Boney Kapoor, Kajol, Dimple Kapadia, Rinkie Khanna and others started coming since yesterday at Lilavati hospital, his residence in Juhu and YRF studio in Andheri to pay their last respects.
Chopra, who celebrated his 80th birthday on September 27, had announced his retirement from direction after a career spanning five deacades. Jab Tak Hai Jaan, his 22nd and last film, starring SRK, Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma, is slated to release on November 13. A song from the film was to be shot in Switzerland on a grand level but the trip had to be cancelled after Chopra was admitted to Lilavati hospital on October 13.
Born on September 27, 1932 in Lahore, now in Pakistan, Chopra was the youngest of eight children, one of whom was elder brother BR Chopra, who was already an established name in the film industry. Chopra came to Mumbai with Rs 200 in his pocket and dreams of becoming a filmmaker though his family wanted him to take up the profession of engineering.
He started his journey in the film industry as an assistant to I S Johar and later worked under his elder brother, making his directorial debut in 1959 with Dhool Ka Phool. A trendsetter, Chopra directed Dharamputra, Ittefaq and Indian cinemas first multi-starrer Waqt. He set up his own production company Yash Raj Films in 1970 and made his first movie Daag under the new banner.
Chopra then helmed Deewar, which gave Amitabh Bachchan the image of Angry young man. He directed other intense films like Trishul, Kaala Patthar, Mashaal, Vijay before shifting to romance genre with Silsila and Kabhie Kabhie, again with Bachchan.
Romance became the main element in Chopras later films like Chandni, Lamhe, Dil Toh Pagal Hai and Veer-Zaara. Chopra is also remembered for making the careers of many Bollywood actors, including Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan.