Mumbai, Oct.22 (ANI): Filmmaker Yash Chopra, who was widely regarded as Bollywood's 'King of Romance', has embarked upon his final journey, a day after succumbing to Dengue and multiple organ failure at Mumbai's Lilavati Hospital.
Before his final journey to the Chandanwadi Crematorium began, a large crowd of people, from all walks of life, gathered outside the Yash Raj Studios to catch a final glimpse of the Bollywood trendsetter.
His body was placed for public viewing between 9 a.m. and 12 noon on Monday, before being taken to his residence from where his final journey was to start.
He will be cremated later today.
Mega star Amitabh Bachchan expressed his sadness over a 44-year-long association coming to an end.
"An association of 44 years abruptly comes to an end. He went away too soon and too suddenly. He deserved to be with us longer. Yash Chopra, a friend first, a creative legend later, has passed away this (Sunday) evening in the late hours," Amitabh wrote on his blog srbachchan.com.
"As I sit beside his still and flower-decked body in his studio within the portals of the large common patio, there does not pass a moment when all that we shared flashes by. This colossal studio that he built after years of hard work and labour, shall for the next day, house his last physical remain.
"I doubt if he had ever dreamt that this unique and most distinguished facility would find space to accommodate him in the state that we see him today," he added.
"I last saw him on my (70th) birthday celebrations. He was indisposed and the doctors advised him rest, but he was insistent on coming over. He had made a commitment he said," wrote Amitabh.
"He had been asked to speak, one among four others that did that evening, over the sit-down dinner. His words still ring in my ear and what remains are the resonance of his goodness and feeling that he exuded towards me," he added.
However, Amitabh has one regret.
"For some months lately, he had been calling and telling me to drop by in the early hours of the morning as I returned from the gym for 'just a chat - no work, no issues, just a chat'. I had promised him that I would, and I never was able to," wrote Big B.
Chopra passed away Sunday evening at the Lilavati Hospital following multiple organ failure. He was 80, and was admitted to hospital on October 13 after he was diagnosed as having dengue.
The filmmaker acquired fame for making larger than life multi-starrer films such as 'Waqt', 'Daag', 'Kabhi Kabhie', 'Trishul', 'Silsila', 'Chandni', 'Lamhe', 'Darr', and 'Veer Zaara'.
Earlier, on Sunday night and on Monday, tributes poured from a cross section of people.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described Chopra as an "icon of Indian cinema" who entertained generations with his rare creativity.
"He had an aesthetic talent to make his films look larger than life. His flourish to essay romance and social drama was unmatched. He established the popularity of Indian cinema internationally and was honoured by many governments.
He will be remembered by millions of his fans around the world and his work as a director and producer will be treasured by the nation for many more generations," Singh said.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said: "Today Indian cinema has lost one of its iconic personalities and a creative genius. Through films, Yashji connected generations together. His idea of portraying love as the essence of life and relationships will fondly be remembered by all movie lovers. His death is a void which will be difficult to fill."
Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla: "I am saddened by the passing away of Yash Chopra. Today we all pay tribute to him and I feel not only the Indian film industry has lost a shining star but also the world film industry.
A railway station in Switzerland is named after him. He took the Indian film industry to the world. His contribution, the Indian government and neither the Indian people will ever forget."
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yashwant Sinha said: "I am shocked to hear about the passing away of Yash Chopra ji. I had got to know him personally and he was a great friend. One enjoyed his company immensely. When I was growing up in my younger days I remember the best films that I saw were films made by him. He was a legend; his passing away is a great loss not only to the film industry but also to the country as a whole."
Film director Ramesh Sippy said: "We have stayed together with each other. I was shocked by the news."
Another film director Madhur Bhandarkar said: "A few days ago news had come in that he was recovering and he would be back to work. Everyone was waiting for his film to release. It has been quite shocking for all of us."
Actor Jackie Shroff said: "It is sad that Yashji has passed away. He was one of the biggest directors of our industry. After coming here I got to hear the news. I express my condolences to his family, and I shall go there straight from here."
Fashion designer Nita Lulla said: "It is a great loss to the industry and to all of us whose lives Yashji has touched. I think we are going to miss him a lot because he was one of the biggest mentors of the film industry. And he has been a father to lot of us technicians and to a lot of fabulous films, and it is definitely a great loss. And I pray for him and his family."
Model Lisa Haydon said: "I think it is always sad when you lose a creative genius and someone who has done so much for our country and our films and changing the ways that people perceive Indian cinema. So it is a very sorry thing that he passed away. I actually haven't had a chance to put on the TV, but my friends here told me about it. So my best wishes to him and his family."
Actor Vidyut Jamwal said: "I think in the recent times this is the biggest loss for Bollywood. Apart from him being a legend and a genius, he was one of the nicest people that I have been told about. The kind of loss that Hindi cinema has sustained from this, I think it is difficult for such a man to be born in India again." (ANI)