The late superstar left a recorded message for his devoted coterie
Rajesh Khanna passed away on July 18, 2012. Four days later, his family revealed that he had recorded a message for his mourning fans. In the message, Rajesh talked about being a stage actor and how he entered Bollywood. He also thanked his fans and saluted them for standing by him. The recording was played during his chautha ceremony. Here’s a complete transcript of his last words:
Mere pyaare doston, bhaiyo aur beheno. Nostalgia mein rehne ki aadat nahin hai mujhe. Hamesha bhavishya ke baare mein hi sochna padta hai. Jodin guzar gaya hai, beet gaya hai , uska kya sochna? Lekin jab jaane pehchane chehre anjaan se ek mehfil mein milte hain toh yaadein wapas taazaa ho jaati hai.
(My dear friends, brothers and sisters. I don’t have the habit of getting nostalgic. I have always had to think about the future. Why think about the days that have passed? But when familiar faces meet me in an unfamiliar setting,then memories are refreshed once again.)
Mera janam theatre se hua, mein aaj jo kuch bhi hu yeh stage yeh theatre ki badaulat hoon. Mein jab filmo mein aya toh mera koi Godfather nahin tha, koi risthedar nahi the, koi sar par hath rakhnewala nahin tha. Main aaya through the United Producers Filmfare Talent contest. Humko bulaya gaya tha Times of India mein wahaan par bade-bade producers the, chahe woh Chopra saab the, Bimal Roy the, Shakti Samanta the, bahut saare the. Unhone kaha ke ‘humne aapko dialogue bheja hai, woh yaad kiya aapne’?
(My journey began from the theatre. Whatever I am today, I owe it all to my theatre days. When I entered films, I did not have a Godfather, or a relative, or anyone to bless me. I came through the United Producers Filmfare Talent contest. I had been called to the Times Of India where there were heavy duty producers, Mr Chopra was there, Bimal Roy was there, Shakti Samanta was there, several others were there too. They said, ‘the dialogue we had sent you, have you memorised it?’)
Main saamne baitha tha aur woh ek badi si table mein line mein baithe the. Mujhe aise lag raha tha ki court martial ho raha ha, jaise abhi yeh bandook nikalenge aur mujhe maar daalenge. Maine kaha ki, ‘dialogu etoh yaad hai lekin yeh jo dialogue hai, yeh aapne nahin bataya ki iska characterisation kya hai. Ki yeh hero jo hai woh apni maa ko batata hai ki, ‘main ek nachnewali se shaadi karna chahta hoon aur usko teri ghar ki bahu banana chahta hoon’. Maine kaha, aapne na character bataya maa ka, na hero ka ki bhai ameer hai, garib hai, maa sakt, kadak hai, naram hai, middle class hai, aadmi padha likha anpad hai.
(I was sitting right in front of a big table where they ere seated in one line. I was feeling as if I was being court martialled, as if now they will pull out a gun and kill me. I said that, ‘I have memorised the dialogue, but this dialogue that is there, you haven’t said that what is its characterisation. That this hero, who tells his mother, ‘I want to marry a dancer and want to make her the daughter-in-law of your house’. I said, you haven’t said anything about the character of the mother or of the hero, whether he is a rich man, poor, is the mother a strict lady, is she soft-hearted, are they from the middle class, whether the hero is educated or illiterate.)
Toh Chopra saab ne jhat se kaha ki, ‘Aap theatre se ho?’ Haan ji, maine kaha. Dialogue toh aapne bhej diya ki kis tarah maa ko convince karna hai, dialogue bolna hai aapne characterisation nahin bataya, yeh toh koi stage ka actor hi bol sakta hai. Toh bole, ‘theek hai achcha hai tum koi apna hi dialogue sunao’. Ab kato toh khoon nahin, paseena choot raha tha. Maine kaha kya dailogue boloon, mere saamne sab bade bade log, inki sab picture 10-10 baar dekhe hain, produce-direct ki hui. Jo dialogue, jiski wajah se main filmon mein aaya, mujhe GP Sippy ne chance diya 40 saal pehle, ‘Haan main Kalakar hoon, haan main Kalakar hoon, kya karoge meri kahani sunkar?’.
(So Mr Chopra immediately asked, ‘Are you from the theatre’? Yes, I replied. ‘You have sent the dialogue, but that you haven’t said in which way I have to convince the mother, have to recite the dialogue, that you haven’t given the characterization,this is something only a theatre actor can point out.’ So he said, ‘Allright, that’s fine, you recite any other dialogue that you know’. Now I was sweating nervously. I said, what dialogue should I recite, in front of me all eminent people are sitting, I have watched the movies they’ve written and produced 10 times each. The dialogue, because of which I entered films, because of which GP Sippy gave me a chance 40years ago, was, ‘Yes, I am an artiste, yes I am an artiste, what will you do after listening to my story?’)
Doston aap ka ek hissedar main bhi hoon aur jaise maine pehle bhi kaha ki aap apna keemti waqt nikalkar, aap ka yeh pyaar tha ki aap majood hue aur itni bhaari sankhya mein..main yehi kahoonga ki bahut-bahut shukhriya, thank you aur mera bahut-bahut salaam.
(Friends, I’m a part of you and as I have said earlier too, you have all taken time out for me. This was your love, your presence in numbers… all I will say is that I am thankful to all of you. Thank you and my many salutations to you.)