By Hindustan Times
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 chautha held over the weekend.
In the message, he is heard as saying that he owes his success as an actor to the stage.
He talks about how he began his career as a theatre artist when there was no godfather whom he could turn to.
He came into the movies through the United Producers Filmfare Talent contest where he was seated on a long table in presence of celeberated filmmakers like Bimal Roy, Shakti Samanta and many others.
He had to deliver the dialogue which he had been asked to memorise.
Nervously, he asked, "Maine kaha ki dialogue toh yaad hai lekin yeh jo dialogue hai, yeh aapne nahi bataya ki iska characterisation kya hai ki yeh hero jo hai woh aapni maa ko batata hai ki main ek nachnewali se shaadi karna chahta hu aur usko teri ghar ki bahu banana chahta hu. Meine kaha, aapne na character bataya maa ka, na hero ka ki bhai amir hai, garib hai, maa sakt, kadak hai, naram hai, middle class hai, aadmi pada likha anpad hai?"
Mr Chopra said, "You are from the stage so make your own characterisation how will you convince the mother."
The dialogue that took him towards stardom was, "Haan mein kalakar hu, haan main kalakar hun, kya karoge meri kahani sunkar..." (Yes I am an artist , yes I am artist, why would you want to hear my story...), the dialogue which began his story in cinema.
Rajesh Khanna appeared in 163 feature films and gave various hits like Kati Patang, Safar, Ittefaq, Aradhana, Anand, Amar Prem, Aan Milo Sajna and many more.
He thanks his fans saying that, "Doston aap ka ek hissedar mein bhi hu aur jaise maine pehli bhi kaha ki aap apna kimti waqt nikalkar, aap ka yeh pyaar tha ki aap majood hue aur itni bhaari sankhya mein..main yehi kahunga ki bahut-bahut shukriya, thank you aur mera bahut-bahut salaam." (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 greatful for, thank you, thank you my salaam to you all.)