He redefined romance and transported us to the magical realm of lush green fields and snow capped mountains. He carved the careers of Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan and shaped them into the superstars that they are today. He made us swoon to those ha
It was all going well. The major portion of Jab Tak Hai Jaan had been shot and Yashji was just about done adding the final touches. In fact, the movie unit had designed a spectacular song sequence in Switzerland as a special farewell gift to their mentor. But before that dream could be realised, Yashji contracted dengue and was admitted to Liliavati Hospital, Mumbai. A week later, he passed away due to multiple organ failure at the age of 80.
Yash Chopra was one of those self-made successes that writers love to wax about. Born in Lahore to a Punjabi family on September 27, 1932, Yashji initially planned on becoming an engineer. But his passion for film making overrode all else, and armed with 200 rupees he made his way to Mumbai, determined to make it big.
Yashji made his Bollywood debut with Dhool Ka Phool (1959), which was about illegitimacy, and he continued to direct several socially relevant films, including Dharmaputra. He rose to prominence in 1965 with Waqt, which garnered audience as well as critical approval. In 1973, he founded his own production company, Yash Raj Films, and launched it with Daag: A Poem of Love which is best remembered for bringing together the hit on-screen duo of Sharmila Tagore and Rajesh Khanna. And even though the 80s saw a rough patch, what with the debacle of Mashaal and Vijay, Yash Chopra rose to fame once again, with the success of Chandni.
Apart from directing cult classics like Lamhe, Yashji is also credited with launching the careers of several artistes who then went on to become superstars, namely Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan. In 1975, he directed the iconic Deewar which launched Amitabh Bachchan and gave birth to the angry young man. Starting in 1993, he directed SRK in Darr, and then went to carve a niche for himself in the world of romantic sagas with Dil To Pagal Hai, Veer Zaara and Jab Tak Hai Jaan which is scheduled to release next month.
And even though it’s been a while since news spread, it’s yet to sink in. Sridevi wrote, “Deeply saddened by the shocking news of Yashji passing away, he was full of warmth & affection whenever we met, he will be missed forever,” while Madhuri Dixit reminisced, “Just got the news that Yashji passed away. He was one of the giants of cinema. My deepest condolences to his family. We will all miss him.”
We, at MTV, raise a toast to the 80 grand years of his life and celebrate the spirit with which he created some truly eternal romances. It is indeed sad that he won’t be around to receive the accolades that Jab Tak Hai Jaan is bound to bring in. And clichéd as it sounds; with Yashji’s death, an era has ended in Bollywood. Sorry, but romances will just never be the same again.
Rest in peace, Yash Chopra.