First anniversary: Life and legacy of Dilip Kumar
July 7, 2022 11:51 PM
Dilip Kumar, a legendary actor and a seasoned Indian superstar is being honored on his first anniversary on Thursday.
At the age of 98, the renowned actor passed away in Mumbai on July 7, 2021.
While many of Dilip's admirers and contemporaries are paying tribute to the legendary performer on this first anniversary, his wife Saira Banu wrote a touching letter about the wonderful times she shared with her husband.
In her note, published in ETimes, Saira, 77, wrote, “I wonder how many of you who are reading this have experienced the supreme bliss of spending unforgettable moments, days and years with the only man (or woman) you have dreamed of as your life partner.”
She continued, “I turn my face away and bury my face in the pillow and try to go back to sleep... as if by doing so I will open my eyes again and see him sleeping by my side, his pink cheeks glowing in the morning rays of the sun streaming into the room. Having said that, I must admit that I consider myself very fortunate that I had my Yousuf with me for 56 years and more.”
She further added, “The whole world now knows I fell in love with him at the age of 12 and I grew up with the dream tucked away in my mind that he alone is the perfect man for me. When the dream came true, I knew I was not his only admirer and that I had jumped the long queue of women who were hoping to be Mrs Dilip Kumar. There were countless fans and actors and technicians and students of cinema who looked up to him as their guru."
Director Shubhash Ghai shared a throwback photo with Dilip Kumar on Instagram. He wrote while sharing the post: “"My words fail me to pay my tribute to Greatest legend of indian cinema DILIP KUMAR on his death anniversary today. ‘He listened to his director in every scene as a student n perform like a master on the screen my most beloved actor and person both U are with us Saab ever ever Subhash Ghai (sic).
Dilip Kumar belonged to the Awan Muslim family, being one of the twelve children of Late Ghulam Sarwar Khan and his spouse Ayesha Begum. For some, it may sound strange that Dilip’s father was a fruit merchant.
Born in Peshawar’s Qissa Khawani Bazaar area on 11 December 1922, Dilip Kumar was schooled at Barnes School, Deolali. In 1940, Dilip’s moved to Pune, where his father set up a canteen and fruit shop. As of the partition of the subcontinent in 1947, Dilip’s family decided to remain in Bombay.
The charismatic Kumar, born Yusuf Khan, was one of the first stars the Hindi film industry ever saw. The other two were Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, and Dilip Kumar.
It revealed that he had the bones of an actor and the charisma of a star, so it was much more than just the vogue of the time.
He created a model for what a Hindi film star could be with Devdas, Madhumati, New Era, and many other movies, and decades later, many people continue to try to replicate the same formula and style.
Dilip Kumar has always been a well-respected actor, but in the 1970s, he was having trouble reproducing the same magic on screen.
He repeatedly saw himself in unimportant movies, but everything changed when he appeared in Manoj Kumar's 1981 film Kranti as a libertarian. Last year, the actor passed away.
Dilip Kumar stated in his autobiography Dilip Kumar: The Substance and the Shadow that he was considering quitting acting but was unable to refuse Manoj Kumar due to Saira Banu's condition at the time of the filming of "Purab." He was supported by the actor-director throughout the breakdown.
Dilip Kumar revealed that when he agreed to be in the movie, he had not even read the script—a very unusual occurrence for an actor of his quality. But ‘Kranti opened the door for his second innings’.
This veteran actor has been awarded the 'Padma Bhushan', 'Padma Vibhushan', 'Nishane Imityaz' and 'Dada Saheb Phalke Awards'. Not only this, there is even more, yes, Dilip Kumar has managed to keep his name in the 'Guinness World Records'. He was the first to receive the Filmfare Awards for Best Actor. Dilip Kumar has earned all of this with just 56 films since he gave his first hit in 1949.
Meanwhile, it was in 1988 that when Dilip headed to Pakistan and passionately went to Peshawar, his native city. As he arrived at his ancestral house, he kissed the ground. It was about ten years later that Dilip was honoured by the Pakistani government with its highest civilian honour, the “Nishan-e-Imtiaz.”
Suffering from various ailments including testicular cancer and pleural effusion, the legendary Dilip Kumar passed away on July 7, 2021, at the age of 98 years in Mumbai, India. Meanwhile, two of his younger siblings died from Covid-19 in 2020.