Dilip-Saira’s timeless love saga

By: News Desk      Published: 01:10 PM, 7 Jul, 2021
Dilip-Saira’s timeless love saga
File photo.

Here is a look at Dilip Kumar and Saira Banu’s love story as the legendary actor departed for his heavenly abode and is survived by his better half.

Bollywood legend Dilip Kumar passed away in Mumbai on Wednesday due to age-related illness. He is survived by his wife and veteran actress Saira Banu who was by the actor's side throughout his age-related illnesses and personal and professional ups and downs. 

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It wouldn't be wrong to say that Dilip Kumar and Saira Banu were inseparable. In fact, last year, on October 11, the couple completed 54 years of marital bliss. While they did not celebrate the day, considering Dilip Kumar's had lost his brothers due to COVID in 2020, Saira Banu had tweeted, "Oct. 11, is always the most beautiful day in my life. Dilip Saheb married me on this day and made my cherished dreams come true. This year, we are not celebrating. You all know we lost two of our brothers, Ahsan Bhai and Aslam Bhai... The unprecedented turmoil due to the Covid-19 pandemic has taken many lives and caused sorrow in many many families. In the current circumstances, we request all of you, our dear friends, to pray for each other's safety and well-being. May God be with us all. Stay Safe."

Dilip Kumar and Saira Banu's timeless love story that overcame an age difference of 22 years, is a tale for the generations to come. The evergreen couple, who has been a living example of love, care, sacrifice and all things heart, has lived one of the most vibrant and beautiful relations which has sadly come to an end now. However, it goes without saying that their's is a timeless saga. 

Today, as the legendary actor departed for his heavenly abode and is survived by his better half, here is a look at the couple's beautiful relationship and their timeless love story. 

Born in Peshawar, British India, to Ayesha Begum and Lala Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Mohammed Yusuf Khan, stage name Dilip Kumar, he made his debut in the Hindi film industry with 'Jwar Bhata' in 1944 and 1949, he created his niche in Bollywood with his breakthrough movie, 'Andaz', becoming the 'Tragedy King' over the years.

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Saira Banu on the other hand, born in 1944, became everyone's 'chaand ka tukda', when she made her acting debut in 1961 opposite Shammi Kapoor in Junglee. However, she went on to marry the man of her dreams, Dilip Kumar, despite all odds. 

Saira Banu had confessed in an interview that she fell in love with Dilip Kumar at the age of 12. In an interview, she had said, "I was not just another girl smitten by Dilip Kumar. For me, it was no castle in the air because I had given my dream the strong foundation of faith- faith in myself and faith in God." Later, when the first premiere of Dilip Kumar's 'Mughal-e-Azam' had taken place at Mumbai's famous Maratha Mandir in 1960, 16-year-old Saira Banu had gone for the show, only to get a glimpse of her favourite hero in person. However, she had to leave disappointed as Dilip Kumar was unable to come to the premiere.

In an interview, Saira Banu had confessed about falling for Dilip Kumar. Remembering her first encounter with Dilip Kumar, Saira had said in an interview, "When he smiled at me and remarked that I was a pretty girl, I could feel my whole being taking wing and flying rapturously. I knew somewhere deep within me that I was going to be his wife."

Later, in his memoir titled 'Dilip Kumar: The Substance and the Shadow', Yusuf Khan described how his eyes fell on Saira, with whom he had once refused to work. He penned, "When I alighted from my car and entered the beautiful garden that leads to the house, I can still recall my eyes falling on Saira standing in the foyer of her new house looking breathtakingly beautiful in a brocade sari. I was taken aback because she was no longer the young girl I consciously avoided working with because I thought she would look too young to be my heroine. She had indeed grown to full womanhood and was, in reality, more beautiful than I thought she was. I simply stepped forward and shook her hand and for us, time stood still."

It was Naseem Banu who played cupid for Dilip and Saira. She brought the two closer and finally love blossomed between them.

Dilip Kumar and Saira Banu tied the knot in the year 1966. Saira was 22 and Dilip was 44. The two did not let age difference ever become an obstacle in their marriage. Saira continued acting after marriage, however, post 1976, she completely disappeared from the movies and adapted herself to the role of a homemaker and wife. 

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In 2014, Saira Banu had said about Dilip Kumar, "I am still head over heels in love with my Kohinoor, Yousuf Sahab, the way I was when I first felt attracted to him as a 12 year-old. Ours has been as good and enduring a marriage as so many marriages that have survived the ups and downs for four decades. No marriage is perfect. How can it be, when as human beings we are not perfect? It is mutual love, respect and adoration that keep a marriage ticking."