Rajesh Khanna's statue unveiled in family's presence

Mumbai, Aug 10 (IANS) A statue of Bollywood's original superstar Rajesh Khanna was unveiled here Saturday in the presence of his family members - estranged wife Dimple Kapadia, daughter Twinkle Khanna, son-in-law Akshay Kumar, and other industry members.

Dimple and Twinkle had moist eyes as they stood next to the reverred actor's statue, which will be placed at the Walk of the Stars at the Bandra Bandstand Promenade here.

The statue is made of brass and signifies an iconic pose from Rajesh Khanna's "Anand". It features him holding a bunch of balloons. It will be installed along with statues of icons like Yash Chopra, Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand and Shammi Kapoor.

Praising the statue, Akshay said: "It is a nice statue. It means freedom and happiness...the balloons signify that one should always be free in life."

Dimple thanked everyone for "gracing" the event in honour of "Kakaji", as Rajesh Khanna was lovingly called.

"I feel honoured to have known him and for being the mother of his two children," Dimple said while addressing a press conference here.

"Kakaji was an enigma. He lived and died on his own terms. His contribition to cinema was unparalleled. He was a superstar. His courage, bravery and fearlessness even in the time of death can't be forgotten. He was Anand and he lived like Anand. Life with him was like a rollercoaster," she added.

Akshay read out a note penned by his son Aarav for the event.

"My son has written something and I want to read it out. He was very close to him (his grandfather)," he said.

The note read: "I remember 10 days before my nana passed away, he was in bed. He had forgotten everyone, but remembered me. I don't know what happened to him and I still don't know. I know that he was great and still stays next to me."

Akshay said the unveiling of the statue was not just an important event for the family, but for everyone who knew the superstar, who breathed his last on July 18, 2012 following prolonged illness. He was 69.

"It is not only a great moment for the family but for everyone. It is a big thing that the statue will be placed with lot of actors like Shammi Kapoor and Raj Kapoor," he said.

Twinkle said it was a "sentimental" moment, and that her father "is there in my heart".

At the event, an audio-visual based on Rajesh Khanna's work in films over five decades of his association was shown too.

Other guests present at the unveiling included Asha Parekh, Mithun Chakraborty, Rakesh Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, Jeetendra, Anju Mahendru, Zoya Akhtar, Randhir Kapoor, Rishi Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, Poonam Sinha, Hema Malini and Zeenat Aman.

Veteran actress Hema Malini said: "It is nice that they are honouring actors for their contribution. He was my colleague and we had a good time working together. I worked with him in good films, he was a good friend."

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

As two of the most glamorous sides in the Indian T20 league, the focus of the match between Mumbai and Bangalore will invariably be on the middle-order… More »

BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srinivasan, says Manohar

BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srinivasan, says Manohar

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Pietersen ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Pietersen ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Stressed Trott stands down again

Stressed Trott stands down again

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistani cricket authorities have launched an investigation after a number of current international stars played in exhibition matches in the United States… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Chennai have an emphatic 8-3 lead in the head-to-head with Punjab, with one game tied More »

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

A quality that defines Rajasthan and Hyderabad is consistency. Rajasthan was one among two teams to enjoy complete dominance at home last season. Hyderabad… More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

New-look RCB will play their first game of IPL-7 on Thursday. More »

IPL: News Line

IPL: News Line

A round-up of all the news from this season of the IPL. More »

Shane Watson issues moral warning

Shane Watson issues moral warning

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

Nepal players call off boycott

Nepal players call off boycott

Thaw in relations after formation of an advisory committee that would work in tandem with the Cricket Association of Nepal. More »