Ashes will be immersed in Godavari river

There was a poignant finality to the moment as Dev Anand — the man who famously pleaded with his on-screen beloved, abhi na jao chhod kar, ke dil abhi bhara nahin — was on Saturday cremated in a west London crematorium, not far from the hotel where he passed away a week ago following a massive heart attack. He was 88.

As his casket arrived at the Putney Vale Crematorium, there was a scramble among his fans to lend a hand while television crews jostled for that final shot of Hindi cinema's arguably the most charismatic actor of his generation.

Pallbearers, led by his son, Suneil Anand, were surrounded by friends and journalists as they carried the coffin into the crematorium where his last rites were performed.

Later, tributes were paid to the late film-maker at a memorial meeting at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan in Kensington.

Dev Anand's ashes would be taken to India for immersion in the Godavari river.

His son said that “a fitting memorial service will be held for him at the Mehboob Studio” in Mumbai.

Recalling his father's last days, Mr. Anand, who was by his side when he died, said that “dad” was extremely happy to be back in London and excited about the prospect of travelling around Britain.

“His next film was to be shot in Britain and other European countries and he was looking forward to go on a location hunting expedition,” he said.

The best tribute to Dev Sahib, he said, would be to complete that film, a sequel to Hare Rama, Hare Krishna, and other unfinished projects he had left behind.

“It is a lonely world without him. But I know he is up there somewhere and smiling.”