Mumbai, Nov 17: Among a string of 'rest in peace' messages from Bollywood celebrities, following Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's death here Saturday, were emotional condolences from veterans like Amitabh Bachchan and Lata Mangeshkar. They described him as a man of grit and purity.
Several other names from the Hindi film industry, including Mahesh Bhatt, Ram Gopal Varma, Madhur Bhandarkar, Kabir Bedi and Riteish Deshmukh took to Twitter to share their sentiments on the death of the politico, who breathed his last Saturday afternoon at his residence Matoshri.
Many called him the 'tiger'.
Here's what the celebrities wrote:
Amitabh Bachchan: I sat by his bedside for hours these past few days, a prayer in my heart, watching him struggling to breathe, but fighting. Each day he continued his struggle with a grit that was baffling even for the doctors on hand. And just a couple of hours back, as I stand next to his still, peaceful, saffron draped body, it is difficult to imagine that he has left us!
Lata Mangeshkar: Today at 3:30 pm, respected Bal Thackeray left us all to tread the path to salvation. Maharashtra is orphaned today. He had been doing some great work, served the country for years and kept the name of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj alive in Maharashtra. The Mangeshkar family pays tribute to a soul extremely pure as Bal Thackeray. May his soul rest in peace.
Ram Gopal Varma: Can't ever forget the hug the real Sarkar gave me when he saw reel "Sarkar". Balasaheb was a true epitome of power in every sense of the word.
Hema Malini: The battle is over and eternal life begins. I'm so sorry (for) the loss Shri Balasaheb's family is enduring. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Mahesh Bhatt: Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them. The memory of Bal Thackeray will live in the memory of we Mumbaikars forever.
Kabir Bedi: My condolences to the entire family of Balasaheb Thackeray. He was certainly a major influence in the politics of Maharashtra.
Karan Johar: Thoughts and prayers with the Thackeray family. RIP Balasaheb.
Madhur Bhandarkar: RIP Balasaheb. He lived with great conviction in his beliefs, which led him to be a great leader. Wish strength to his family! Balasaheb was outspoken and a sharp observer. He will deeply be missed.
Arjun Rampal: RIP Balasaheb, condolences to his family. Peace be with you and all your loved ones.
Neha Dhupia: RIP Balasaheb. Prayers and strength for the family.
Aftab Shivdasani: Another legend passes away... let's pray for the soul of Shri Balasaheb Thackeray. May the divine grant him peace. Om Sai Ram.
Siddharth: Bal Thackeray is dead. If you're not a born Maharashtrian, I don't think he would like you stealing condolences for his death from his people.
Vivek Oberoi: RIP Balasaheb − the roaring tiger of Maharashtra! Our prayers are with the Thackeray family and the millions of followers!
Smriti Irani: Maharashtracha Sher la antim pranam. RIP Saheb.
Dia Mirza: RIP Bala Saheb. Let there be peace. 45 years as leader, a phenomenon no one can ever ignore.
Riteish Deshmukh: Balasaheb was a hero. People loved him, copied him, followed him.
Ranvir Shorey: Tiger to the end. RIP, Balasaheb.
Kunal Kohli: Balasaheb will always live on. A great orator. An astute cartoonist.A voice of the people. A lion amongst men.
Ritesh Sidhwani: Maharashtra has lost its tiger. RIP Balasaheb. My condolences to the family.