UTV Stars on 10th August, unveiled the statue of late legendary superstar Rajesh Khanna (who passed away last year on 18th July) for the iconic landmark 'Walk of the Stars' in Bandra, Mumbai.
The beautiful statue of Kakaji in his memorable Anand character, with balloons in hands, was launched by his celebrity family including wife Dimple Kapadia, daughter Twinkle Khanna and son-in-law Akshay Kumar. Turning out to be a starry affair, the launch was also graced by the presence of other B-town personalities including contemporaries and junior colleagues of the superstar namely Jeetendra, Rishi Kapoor, Randhir Kapoor, Rakesh Roshan, Zeenat Aman, Hema Malini, Asha Parekh, Farhan Akhtar, Zoya Akhtar and Amar Singh among others.
Talking about the launch, MK Anand, MD-Media networks, Disney UTV said, "The world knows that we worship actors like Gods and Goddesses. Rajesh Khanna is one of the Gods. We at UTV Stars - Walk of the Stars' are trying to capture a legacy, to enable our viewers to witness the stars live...making it a touch, feel, believe experience."
While wife Dimple Kapadia stated, "He lived like Anand. My life with him has been a roller coaster ride; I am honoured to be his wife. He was a great man and deserves to be celebrated. The likes of Kakaji, Dilipji, and Yashji"have had a great impact on us. We thank UTV Stars for bestowing us with this honor. I would like to end the speech with one of his dialogues, "Babumushai, mere fans mujhse koi nahi cheen sakta."
She added to say, "It is an emotional day. Kakaji was always accessible for the press and the fans. I think it is wonderful for his fans; he used to stand in his balcony and wave out to his fans, he was very fond of them. I think it is a great day not only for the family but also for his fans. Fans can have access to him, sit with him, hug him, and take pictures with him."
Son-in-law and Khiladi star Akshay said, "He was the first super star; he began the concept of a superstar. UTV Stars has given this honour and a hall of fame to these people is a great thing. We are grateful when people notice the work of stalwarts like these. The statue has a look of freedom and happiness. The balloon signifies that you have to be free in life". The actor even went on to share an interesting incident, "There's something I would like to share with all of you all, my 10 year old son has written something for Kakaji, "Ten days before my nanaji passed away he didn't remember anything or anyone but he remembered me! He kissed me, he was a great man. I don't know what happened to him and I still don't know but I love him." Twinkle shared, "He is in my heart. I'm very sentimental and we are very happy that something like this has been taken up".
Here are few celebrities who also spoke at the unveiling of the Statue:
Farhan Akhtar: "There's tremendous amount of sincerity in his work, simplicity in his presence and an affirmation in the smile he had and the twinkle in his eye. Enjoy his legacy and take inspiration from him. We will be extremely happy by the look of the statue when we walk out for work in the morning. It'll be like an amazing shot of espresso coffee".
Hema Malini, on the launch of Rajesh Khanna statue by UTV Stars 'Walk Of The Stars', "The balloon and the whole posture represents freedom. He was a fearless man, whether negative or positive results. The most important thing I noticed was that he was very accessible to people".
Zeenat Aman: "He was a very successful and capable star of his time. He was phenomenal star".
Jeetendra: "We have studied together, lived in the same locality and I became an actor before him but he was instrumental in my life". My association with him goes very long back. His name was Jatin Khanna and I was Ravi Kapoor, as there was another Ravindra Kapoor, the comedian and therefore I became Jitendra Kapoor and as I became JK he became RK".
Mithun: "There is only one superstar, we are not even anywhere in the league".