Entertainment | Film & Cinema

India bids goodbye to superstar Rajesh Khanna

Bollywood icon gets a teary farewell

  • Staff Report
  • Published: 14:50 July 19, 2012

  • Image Credit: Reuters
  • Akshay Kumar (2nd R), Bollywood star and son-in-law of actor Rajesh Khanna, removes the cover of the casket containing Khanna's body outside the venue of his funeral in Mumbai July 19, 2012. Thousands of mourners, including Bollywood stars, gathered on Thursday for the funeral of Khanna, braving heavy rains and traffic jams in Mumbai. Known for his shy smile and flamboyant looks, Khanna was often referred to as Bollywood's first real superstar, someone who had a fanatical fan base among women, thanks to the many romantic hits in which he starred during the 1970s. The 69-year-old actor died of an undisclosed illness on Wednesday, plunging his fans into grief and prompting glowing tributes from the Indian film industry.
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In his prime, Bollywood actor Rajesh Khanna unleashed mass hysteria. His funeral on Thursday morning was no different as family, friends and fans paid their last respects to India’s “certified superstar”.

According to reports, the Mumbai police had a tough time controlling thousands of fans who thronged the streets of Mumbai to bid farewell to India’s first superstar. Police resorted to force to get the crowd under control.

The funeral procession began around 10.15am from Khanna’s mansion Aashirwad and reached the crematorium in Vile Parle by 11am. His family, including estranged wife Dimple Kapadia, son-in-law Akshay Kumar, younger daughter Rinkie Khanna, her husband Sameer Saran and grandson Aarav accompanied the procession. Khanna’s pregnant daughter Twinkle, wife of Kumar, did not accompany the procession.
At the crematorium, stars including Karan Johar,Rani Mukherjee, Karisma Kapoor, Abhishek Bachchan and Amitabh Bachchan were reportedly present. The last rites were performed by Khanna’s grandson Aarav.

“Aarav lit the pyre and Akshay Kumar assisted him,” said Vijay Zaveri, Khanna’s close friend, to reporters.

Khanna, aged 69 and billed as Bollywood’s king of romance, died on Wednesday morning in Mumbai aged 69.