The demise of legendary filmmaker Yash Chopra on Sunday evening, a pall of gloom descended upon the entire film industry.
The iconic director, who had just turned 80 on September 27, and was eagerly awaiting the release of his last directorial Jab Tak Hai Jaan, died, literally speaking, with his boots on; something he had always wanted during his lifetime.
At around 9pm on Sunday, the late movie mogul was ferried in an ambulance from Lilavati Hospital to Studio 3 of Yash Raj Studios. Incidentally, this was the same place where he had announced his retirement last month while revisiting his film journey with Shah Rukh Khan.
Immediate family and friends of the late Yash Chopra, which included Karan Johar, Rani Mukerji, Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan stayed by his side throughout the night of Sunday. In fact, Shah Rukh, who had been one of the first ones to reach Lilavati Hospital after hearing news of his passing away, did not leave the late Chopra’s side till around 5’o’clock on Monday morning. Amitabh Bachchan too was there for the longest time.
Between 9am and 12pm yesterday, the filmmaker’s friends and almost the whole film fraternity dropped by at the studio to pay their last respects.
Among those who came were Rekha, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Vidya Balan, Mukesh Bhatt, Pankaj Kapoor with his wife and son Shahid, Sohail Khan and wife, Sunil Shetty, Arjun Rampal and wife, Katrina Kaif, Deepika Padukone, Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra, Imran Khan with wife Avantika, Tabu, David Dhawan with his son Varun, Kajol, Prakash Jha and Subhash Ghai.
Thereafter, at around 2.10pm, the body was carried from the studio to the Pawan Hans crematorium in Juhu, with Uday Chopra sitting next to the driver. Shah Rukh, Karan Johar and Aditya Chopra were in the same ambulance along with Uday while Rani’s car followed closely behind them.
A separate bus was also hired to take the entire YRF staff and others from the studio to the cremation ground. There was tight security to ensure no untoward incident happened. The ambulance reached Pawan Hans with the traffic police and security keeping a strict vigil.
Outside the studio and the cremation ground, a huge crowd had gathered for a final glimpse of one of the industry’s most celebrated directors. One who taught the masses how to love and portrayed romance like no other in the business.