Wife Dimple Kapadia, daughter Rinke and sons-in-law Akshay Kumar and Samir Saran on the truck carrying Rajesh Khanna’s body during the funeral procession. (AP)
Mumbai, July 19: In the pouring rain, Rekha felt only her tears.
But they were not for a long-legged man who had just got off a car. Her tears were for the superstar who had stolen her young heart long after his screen appeal had waned.
The 30-year-old was among hundreds who walked beside the flower-decked truck carrying Rajesh Khanna’s body, braving driving rain and chanting his name as the funeral procession moved towards the crematorium this morning.
Khanna died yesterday at Lilavati Hospital, but the “King of Romance” had forever charmed this woman 39 years younger.
“I have been waiting since 8. I had come yesterday as well but was not allowed to go inside (Aashirwad, Khanna’s sea-facing bungalow in Bandra). Since my childhood, he has been my favourite,” said Rekha Jain, who had tried to meet the actor at the hospital when he had been admitted there last month.
The procession started at 10 this morning, when the truck carrying Khanna’s body in a glass casket left the bungalow for the 10km drive to the crematorium.
On the truck were Khanna’s actress wife Dimple Kapadia, elder son-in-law Akshay Kumar, grandson Aarav, daughter Rinke and her husband Sameer Saran. Elder daughter Twinkle, who is expecting her second child, didn’t join the procession.
As the truck inched towards a left turn away from the sea, a big portrait of the actor placed over the driver’s seat fell near the casket close to where Aarav was standing. Dimple let out a shout as the others shielded the 9-year-old.
At the crematorium, Aarav lit the pyre with help from father Akshay as some of the biggest names from filmdom bid farewell to Bollywood’s original superstar.
Amitabh Bachchan and son Abhishek had to get off their car close to the crematorium and walk inside. The crowd went into a frenzy, but a battery of security guards whisked them inside.