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 evening in the late hours.
I last saw him, as do you from the pictures above, on my 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. 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. Apart from his praise on my work, what he cherished most, was that I had been a good son and above all a good human being. Not many have made such observation. It was a moving tribute.
It was his last public speech and appearance. The pictures you see above are his last visuals. His whispered words, the last he made to me, at the 10th October celebrations for my birthday. The visuals that one shall see tomorrow will be his last before the cremation, those that he shall never know of.
His breathe has gone and all that shall remain will be that which he gave life to – his creativity, his emotion, his poetry on film and above all his humanity.
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 labor, 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 accomodate him in the state that we see him today.
I have just one regret with regard to him. 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.
As I sit back in his remembrance I wonder if this was another premonition that he may have had of his departure. Of his limited time …
My mind is filled with hundreds of private and personal moments that we all spent together during this large association with him. They shall ever remain stored within us and like all other memories shall give value and belief to what we shared together ….
The greatness of those that dwell in the world of film is that they shall ever leave behind a legacy of their work, talent and creativity, but very few shall be privy to the pain and joy of personal accomplishment … or … who knows … perhaps the legacy may have already been documented ….
Yash ji, your contribution to the millions that had the privilege to witness your creativity shall be immortal … may we all savour it till our end …