They Bade Us Goodbye
The year 2012 had many highs and lows.
It was also the year when several Bollywood celebrities left for their heavenly abode, marking an end of illustrious careers, indomitable spirits and closely followed lives.
Here's looking at the most loved Indian icons who passed away into the ages this year.
Bollywood's first superstar Rajesh Khanna breathed his last in July following a kidney ailment. He was 69.
A mere shadow of his glorious onscreen persona that had an entire nation swoon to his romantic songs and histrionics in the 1970s, Khanna's death left millions of his fans grief-stricken and reliving his superstardom with great nostalgia.
Also Read: Rajesh Khanna's last journey
Image: Rajesh Khanna
The king of romance Yash Chopra passed away in October, even as eager fans waited for his latest directorial project Jab Tak Hai Jaan (JTHJ) to hit the marquee.
The filmmaker, who had turned 80 in September, had prophetically announced in a candid interview with Shah Rukh Khan that JTHJ would be his last film.
The filmmaker's demise fuelled many a 'end of an era' cries across social networking sites and passionate discussions.
Image: Yash Chopra
Pandit Ravi Shankar
The Grammy-winning sitar maestro passed away at the age of 92 in a San Diego hospital earlier this month.
Often hailed as India's musical ambassador, Pandit Ravi Shankar won three Grammy Awards, performed at the famous Woodstock Festival in 1969, published a best-selling autobiography, opened educational institutes and taught Indian classical music in America, was honoured by the prestigious UNESCO International Music Council in 1975, was an honourary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and received the 1997 Praemium Imperiale for music from the Japan Art Association.
Also Read: World media reacts to Pandit Ravi Shankar's demise
Image: Pandit Ravi Shankar
Photographs: Pawel Kopczynski/Files/Reuters
One of Indian television's most iconic figures, 57-year-old Jaspal Bhatti's life was cut short when he died in a road accident near Jalandhar in October.
He was on the road promoting his new film Power Cut when tragedy struck.
Also Read: Jaspal Bhatti dies in a road accident
Image: Jaspal Bhatti
A K Hangal
Bollywood's resident old man A K Hangal breathed his last in August at the age of 98.
While his final years were spent in anonymity, he was widely eulogised by his former star colleagues and associates after his passing.
Also Read: Friends bid A K Hangal goodbye
Image: A K Hangal
Much before John Abraham made muscles sexy, Dara Singh, veteran actor and professional wrestler, had taken the Hindi film industry by storm in the 1950s-60s.
The veteran actor passed away in July at age 84 following heart problems.
Image: Dara Singh
Veteran character actress Achala Sachdev, who passed away at the age of 92 following a paralytic attack in April, had made her film debut with 1938 film Fashionable Wife.
She worked in 130 films in her lifetime, notably Waqt and Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge.
Also Read: Achala Sachdev passes away
Image: Achla Sachdev
Filmmaker Raj Kanwar passed away in February at the age of 50.
The filmmaker, who'd made films like Deewana, Laadla, Jeet among others, was also credited with launching Shah Rukh Khan and Priyanka Chopra in the film industry.
Also Read: Bollywood says goodbye to Raj Kanwar
Image: Raj Kanwar
Yesteryear actor Joy Mukherjee passed away at the age of 73 in March.
Mukherjee was a very popular hero in the 1960s, and acted in hits like Love In Shimla, Ek Musafir Ek Hasina and Shagird.
His last film was Haiwan in 1977.
Image: Joy Mukherjee
Ashok Mehta, BR Ishara, Bobby Singh
Three other Bollywood personalities who bid us goodbye this year were Ashok Mehta, BR Ishara and Bobby Singh.
While cinematographer Ashok Mehta, who had worked in films like No Entry, Chalte Chalte, Aankhen and Khalnayak among others, passed away following a battle with lung cancer, filmmaker BR Ishara passed away in July.
Cinematographer Bobby Singh died after an asthmatic attack reportedly triggered by an allergic reaction to a meal of crab while he was holidaying in Goa a few days ago.
Image: Ashok Mehta