India's first superstar Rajesh Khanna, who passed away on July 18, 2012, left behind a special recorded message for his family, friends and fans, which was played at his memorial service.
In the message he says he owes his success as an actor to the stage and theatre.
He talks about how he began his career as a theatre artist when there was no godfather whom he could turn to.
The recorded message is an emotional outpour and his last and final address to his fans recounting his journey in Bollywood.
Here’s what the superstar had to say to his fans:
"My dear friends, I'm not the one to get nostalgic. I've always looked ahead towards the future. Whatever has passed let it stay in the past, thinking about bygones doesn't help. But, when one suddenly comes across familiar faces in unfamiliar settings, the memories comes rushing back."
"My journey began with theater; I owe my success to the stage. This theater where it all began when I joined the film industry, I had no God Father, no relatives or family that I could turn too. I came into the movies through the United Producers Filmfare Talent contest. We were called to the Times of India in the presence of celebrated filmmakers like Chopra saab, Bimal Roy , Shakti Samanta and many others. They asked me we had sent you a dialogue, did you memorise it? I was sitting in front of the table where they were seated and felt I was undergoing a court-martial. I thought they would take a gun and fire at me. I said, "I know the dialogue but you haven't told me what's the characterisation of the person who is to narrate this dialogue. Is he the hero who is announcing to his mother that he plans to marry a dancer and make her the daughter-in-law of the house? You haven't told me whether this hero is rich, poor, a villainous character or a pleasant fellow is he from the middle class?" So, Mr Chopra said, "You are from the stage so make your own characterisation how will you convince the mother." I said this is not a dialogue for a stage actor to mouth, so he said then you chose your own dialogue. I was nervously sweating and anxious wondering which dialogue I should impress them with. I had seen their movies several times and this is the dialogue I said which took me towards stardom. The dialogue was, “Yes I am an artist, yes I am artist, why would you want to hear my story, the dialogue which began my story in cinema."
"Friends, I'm a part of you, and as I said, you have all taken time out for me. This is the love, your presence in numbers that I'm grateful for, thank you; thank you my salaam to you all."
Transcript: Courtesy NDTV