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Mere jaanam jaan, Yash, Uss din main aap ka haath pakadti rahi, aapka sahara chaahyie tha mujhe, aap ko kahin aur nikal jana tha aur aap mujhe bhi saari duniya ke jaise chhodkar nikal gaye aur mujhe aur mohabbat mei mannewale karodo logon ko dukhi aur veeraan duniya mei chhod gaye – Ali Peter John

Lekin khushi ki baat ye thi ki aap ne hum mohabbat karnewalon ke liye ek saahara mohabbat ka samundar chhod diya jo khabi khatm nahin ho sakta, khudah ka laak laak shukriya…..

I thank God for making you a part of my life which was growing into some kind of a dessert without any great lovers.

And then God sent you into my life and you turned my life into a garden of Eden with your love which was nothing but a long journey of divine madness which I thoroughly enjoyed as long as you were here and now I enjoy just remembering and thinking of those days of experiencing the glory of love with you who were like a high priest of love offering worship at the altar of love in a church of love built on the highest peak of God’s world.

I always felt you could have been a better poet than a filmmaker, but destiny which was also in love with you made you a director of films but even as a director, you gave love and romance the highest pedestals which made you a filmmaker who was way away from the crowd of filmmakers who made films only to make money and to make compromises of every kind.

You too could have been in that crowd but enlightenment dawned on you one afternoon when you saw the rut of films that were being made and you swore to make films that would be different and you made a love story with a difference with an action hero like Vinod Khanna, a romantic hero like Rishi Kapoor and Sridevi and with nine romantic songs and the result was “Chandini” which turned your fortunes and you continued making bold, beautiful and brave subjects with the basic subject being love, one beautiful and significant film after another, films like “Silsila”, Kabhie Kabhie, Lamhe, Darr, Dil Toh Pagal Hai, Veer Zaara and Jab Tak Hai Jaan, which unfortunately turned out to be your last film because you who had faced the greatest challenges had surrendered to the single sting of a mosquito.

The crowd at your funeral seemed to believe that you, Yash Chopra had gone away forever, but little did those innocent people know about the power of love which had made sure of eternity for itself and now years after your body has gone away, your love and its fragrance is blowing sweetly everywhere in the air.

Jaanam Yash, you had a weakness for beautiful young women and what a way you succeeded in finding them from different corners of the world.

From Sadhana to Mumtaz, from Sharmila Tagore to Rakhee, from Waheeda Rehaman to Madhuri Dixit and Karishma Kapoor and Juhi Chawla, Kajol to Anushka Sharma to Katrina Kaif and many others if I have missed some names, you have presented them in their glorious best and actresses like Madhuri have openly said that they have looked like angels in the film made by you.

Your films made locations like Kashmir, Switzerland, Scotland, Holland and Belgium look like heavens on earth.

In fact most of these countries have stopped allowing film shootings after you left and there is an entire garden in Switzerland named after you.

You made your actresses look like the dreams of poets and your heroes like the handsome poets who sang about the beauty of your heroines.

You made nature and the moon, the sky and the stars blush and you made the sun hid behind the tall fern trees.

You made your song great song writers like your all time favorite Sahir Ludhianvi, Javed Akhtar and Anand Bakshi write poetry like even the poets in Akbar’s Darbar could never have written in these times and you made your music directors like Khayyam, Shiv-Hari and even the late Madan Mohan score music like they would have if God himself had asked them to.

You considered Lata Mangeshkar to be your sister and your muse and you couldn’t make a film without her singing at least a few songs in them even when she was 80 years old.

You were perhaps the only director who could make Sahir write songs the way you wanted him to write and you once told me that life without Sahir was an incomplete life.

You showed your love for love even in the way ate and made others eat. I remember the dish you told me the late Dilip Kumar had taught you how to prepare, it was called “Baida kheema ” and was cooked on a “tava” with the kheema fried on the tava and a large omelette of eighteen eggs placed on it.

Your favorite quote about food is what I can never forget, you had said, “A man can be a very good actor or a very good director.

But he can be nothing if he doesn’t love good food”. Where will we have such crazy genuines like you, Jaanam and your Guru the great Dilip Kumar again? ”

And how can I forget how you loved good Urdu and how you envied men and women who spoke good English.

And how you made slang words like “behn ke takke “, words which could be taken as mild abuse, but when used by you sounded like someone using words to express love for someone.

And the way you dealt with your entire staff was an experience to watch. Not one of your staffers had a word to say against you in all the forty years that I kept visiting and spending long hours in your office and at your bungalow “Adityudoya” , named after your son’s Aditya and Uday.

And by the way, Jaanam, that little boy Shah Rukh who you saw so much of talent in and even cast him as an angry lover boy in your film Darr and later in films like Dil Toh Pagal Hai, Veer Zaraa “and your farewell film (Oh my Khudah, why do they have these farewells in life “) is the biggest ever star today and I wonder what you would have to say when you knew that his son Aryan is involved in a major controversy today?) and your last heroine Katrina kaif is getting married to Vicky Kaushal next month.

There is a lot of excitement at your Yash Raj Studio. Your son’s new film, Bunty aur Bubli two is to be realised. Won’t you bless Adityaa, the director, and the stars Saif Ali Khan and your dear daughter in law Rani Mukherjee.

They desperately need a hit after the way the pandemic has hit the whole world and spared no one. Is there any scare of any such pandemic in the world where you are in now, Jaanan ?

On my way back from Yash Raj Studio, I saw a bronze statue of you at the entrance and I wondered how many however great or illustratious can one day be reduced to ashes, dust, stone and sometimes bronze.

As for you and me, we have been lovers, we still are lovers and we will be lovers even after the meaning of the world, heaven and hell and even LOVE changes.

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