For some he defined romance on screen, for some his heart-warming performances brought tears, and for a whole lot of Bollywood celebrities Rajesh Khanna, Hindi cinema's "first superstar", was the "phenomenon" whose "magic" will live on forever through his memorable films, dialogues and songs.
Young and veteran - celebrities of all age groups remembered Rajesh Khanna, fondly called 'Kaka', who passed away here Wednesday following prolonged illness.
Here's what celebrities had to say:
Anupam Kher: Rajesh Khanna gave us a crash course in romance. He introduced us to a special twinkle in the eyeS that made us feel good about ourselves. Rajesh Khanna taught us how to smile. He added dignity to our concept of Romance. His songs made us forget our daily struggles of life. Rajesh Khanna was larger than life. He was a King who gave Indian Cinema glamour, style, and substance. We will Miss you Sir. RIP.
Madhuri Dixit-Nene: Another of Hindi cinema's giants passes, Rajesh Khanna. Our sincere condolences to his family. We will miss him dearly.
Karan Johar: The magic, the mannerism, the mania of RAJESH KHANNA is inscribed in every archive of Indian cinema...forever...RIP SIR!!!
Rituparno Ghosh: You were the first to combine heroism and humanity in Hindi films. You were the Cupid who taught us romance. In a dhoti and kurta, you showed the rest of India how truly elegant Bengal was. Without you the screen will be robbed of much of its silver.
Prateik: Zindagi ka safar, hai yeh kaisa safar, koi samjha nahi.. - aap shayad samajh gaye. RIP Rajesh Khanna Sahab... upar Smita se zaroor milna (Do meet Smita Patil up there).
Madhur Bhandarkar: The epitome of superstardom is no more amongst us. There was none, there is none and there won't be any like you Kakaji. You will be missed.
Mahesh Bhatt: When we lose a loved one, something within us dies. Our generation loved Rajesh Khanna. Today, a bit of us dies with this enigmatic star.
Vishal Dadlani: Hoping that the news of Rajesh Khanna's passing is another hoax. If it's true, we've lost India's first PHENOMENON, a true megastar! Rajesh Khanna inaugurated a park in Khar, in the 1970s. It's still called RAJESH KHANNA GARDEN! Always will be! Official name became irrelevant!
Ken Ghosh: RIP Rajesh Khanna - my first memory of a film theatre was weeping while watching "Haathi Mere Saathi".
Manoj Bajpayee: Nafrat ki duniya ko chod ke pyar ki duniya me khush rahena mere yaar!Still remember "Haathi Mere Saathi". Saw it as a child. We will miss you sir.