Several Bollywood bigwigs, including superstars such as Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan and Shahrukh Khan turned up to pay their last respects to veteran filmmaker Yash Chopra, known as the country’s king of celluloid romance.
Chopra died at Mumbai’s Lilavati Hospital. He was 80 years old.
According to a Yash Raj Films spokeperson, the director died in the evening after a week long hospitalisation in which he received treatment for suspected dengue fever.
Later his body was taken from the hospital to the premises of the Yash Raj Studios, which was set up by Yash Chopra. This venue became one of the biggest film production houses in Bollywood.
“We have stayed together with each other. I was shocked by the news,” said veteran Hindi movies director Ramesh Sippy.
Movie director Madhur Bhandarkar said that his death has come as a shock.
He was also astonished at the outbreak of dengue that had caused the demise of Yash Chopra.
"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," said Madhur Bhandarkar.
Meanwhile in the satellite city of Thane, veteran Bollywood actor Jackie Shroff said that the industry had lost one of the best possible film producer-directors.
"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," lamented Jackie Shroff.
Born in 1932 at Lahore, now in Pakistan, Yash Chopra was favoured by leading Indian actors with his movies seen as a sure-fire way to become a hit with audiences.
The filmmaker proved his mettle with intensely emotional and tragic movies, many of which went on to become box-office blockbusters.
His career spanned five decades, and at an event marking his 80th birthday last month, Chopra narrated how he came to Mumbai with 200 rupees in his pocket, hoping to make it as a film director.
Working in the shadows of his brother, Baldev Raj Chopra, another legendary figure in the Indian movie industry, better known as B R Chopra, Yash ascended the ladder and in the process was involved in classical movies such as Sadhana, Dhool Ka Phool, Dharmaputra,Waqt, Ittefaq, Aadmi Aur Insaan among others.
Since then, Chopra made some of Indian cinema's most memorable films - such as Deewar, Kabhi Kabhi, Silsila and Chandni.
His flamboyant style of making films shot in exotic locales and mellifluous music became a hallmark, endearing him to moviegoers.
Chiffon sarees and the Swiss Alps are so synonymous with Chopra's style of filmmaking that Switzerland Tourism even offered visitors a guided tour of the places where the director filmed some of his most famous songs and scenes.
Riding on his success, Chopra established Yash Raj Films, one of Bollywood's biggest production houses, indeed an apt tribute to his elder brother Baldev Raj's BR Films, well recognised by the italicised letters.
Chopra also produced Indian cinema's longest-running blockbuster, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995) that also marked the debut of his son Aditya as director.
Jab Tak Hai Jaan with Chopra at the helm for the last time, opens in cinemas in November, eight years after his last project Veer-Zaara, a passionate tale of love across borders.
The film features Shah Rukh Khan, one of Bollywood's biggest stars, along with Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma. (ANI)