MUMBAI: While the entire state of Maharashtra went into a standstill grieving the loss of their ‘Tiger’ – Sena supremo Bal Thackeray, Bollywood too was not far behind.
Many members of the Indian film fraternity regularly visited the hospital when the 86 year old politician was ailing, including Amitabh Bachchan, Hema Malini, Salman Khan with father Salim and brother Arbaaz, filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar, Rakesh Roshan, Manoj Kumar, and Jitendra.
For many, including Sanjay Dutt, Salman Khan and even Reena Roy, Bal Thackeray had reportedly gone out of his way to lend a helping hand.
Superstar Shah Rukh Khan who also visited the family when the leader was ill says that Mumbai and Maharashtra are now left with a void that can never be filled.
“I’ve known him personally. I did go and spend some time with the family when he was still ailing. I personally think that when a leader of that level, of that quality who’s done so much for Maharashtra and Mumbai passes away, that void can never be filled. I offer my condolences, love and support to the family,” said SRK at the launch of his ‘KidZania’ center.
This is despite the fact that there had been a few under-currents between the late politician and SRK:
For instance, in 2010, through Shiv Sena, Thackeray had threatened to stop the release of Shah Rukh’s “My Name is Khan” when the actor said he was pro inclusion of Pakistani cricketers in the Indian Premier League [IPL].
Earlier in 2012, Thackeray had openly criticised SRK for his “misdemeanour” with security officials at the Wankhede Stadium fiasco.
Shah Rukh though, says he harbors no ill-will. Saturday, on the announcement of Bal Thackeray’s death, SRK had said, “Out of huge amount of regard, plus not only for his age and status, I have spent some good time with him. My mother once told me that you can fight in good times, but when bad time comes, you must pray and spread love.”
He reiterates at the KidZania event, “We’ve been very close, I’ve had some really wonderful evenings with Balasaheb, I’ll miss that.”