Pakistan on Wednesday joined India in mourning the death of Bollywood's first superstar Rajesh Khanna. As news broke of his passing away in Mumbai, television channels went into 'Stop Press' mode with some even setting aside their regular programming to feature vignettes from the actor's journey on celluloid.
Television news in the afternoon became a medley of some of his most popular songs and dialogues - particularly "Babu Moshay…" from the film Anand and "Pushpa, I hate tears" from Amer Prem. Geo News, in fact, set aside everything else for nearly an hour-and-a-half and no one was complaining as evergreen songs like 'Mere sapno ki raani kab aayegi tu', 'Zindagi ke safar mein guzar jaate hain jo muqaam', 'Yeh shaam masatani', 'O mere dil ke chaen'… ruled the airwaves.
The print media was not to be left behind. The Dawn Media Group opened a forum online where they invited people to "share your favourite Rajesh Khanna moments: films, songs as we pay tribute to the great actor".
Rajesh Khanna was also trending on social networking sites with people posting his songs and memorable dialogues as they celebrated his life and movies. Cricketer Ramiz Raja recalled this on Twitter: "Had the pleasure of chatting with Rajesh Khanna on a chartered flight in 88. Talked how he worked 14 hrs a day for 6 yrs. Was fan of Pak Soaps!"
In a condolence message, Prime Minister Raja Parvez Ashraf said the contribution of the great actor to the field of films and arts would be long remembered. "Rajesh Khanna had a large fan following across the borders and captivated audiences with his excellent acting skills."