Veteran Bollywood actor Dilip Kumar no more

Mumbai, July 7 (IANS): Dilip Kumar’s close family friend and aide Faisal Farooqui on Wednesday shared that the legendary actor passed away in the presence of his wife Saira Banu, other family members and doctors.

When IANS contacted him, Farooqui, who is still at the hospital with Saira Banu and other family members, said: “I am here in the hospital. Sahab passed just after 7 o’clock. He was admitted to the hospital for the past few days for old-age related complications and he passed away peacefully this morning in the presence of Saira ji and other family members and doctors. We are still at the hospital.”

Talking about how Saira Banu is coping, Farooqui shared: “Saira baji and Sahab have been married for more than I would say almost 55 years. … So, 55 years of marriage and she has stood by him in all the ups and downs of life that comes with 55 years of marriage. Rock solid, always there. I think they are the most loving couple and couple goals that you can imagine. One can learn from them.”

Earlier on Wednesday morning, Farooqui had tweeted from Dilip Kumar’s official Twitter account: “With a heavy heart and profound grief, I announce the passing away of our beloved Dilip Saab a few minutes ago. We are from God and to Him we return.”

Farooqui said that the grief-struck family is discussing the funeral modalities and the last rites are likely to be held at the Juhu Muslim Cemetery in Santacruz west, around 5 p.m. this evening.

WHENEVER Dilip Kumar arrived on the sets, the atmosphere on it would change at once. Such was his personality.

Once, he reached on a grim note to shoot a tragedy narrative, and everybody present on the sets also became serious. It was like attending a funeral.

Just then, someone cracked a joke and a few others laughed, and Dilip Kumar saw it. That was it. The actor declared he couldn’t do justice to the tragic scene in such a jovial environment, cancelled the shoot, and returned home.

This is an incident recorded in veteran Bollywood mediaperson Jivraj Burman’s private notes. Here are some more gleanings from the journalist’s diary:

1. Once, during a single shot of hurling a glass of liquor in anger, Dilip Kumar insisted on 27 retakes before he was satisfied that it was ‘perfect’.

2. A very social person, Dilip Kumar always attended weddings or auspicious events of film industry workers, or their relatives, if invited, apart from taking an active interest in addressing industry issues.

3. One of his biggest admirers was Dadamuni, Ashok Kumar. Notorious for playing practical jokes, Ashok Kumar said to Dilip Kumar on the sets of ‘Duniya’: “Yusuf, not in the mood to act? Let us bunk the shoot today!” The mischievous Khan agreed. They called the costume in-charge and asked him to hide their outfits assigned for the shoot. When the shoot started and it was found that their costumes were missing, the two actors ‘lost their cool’ and coolly walked off the sets for the rest of the day!

4. If Dilip Kumar did not like someone, he could treat him to such a cold stare that the other person would get the message and keep keep away from him. Getting his displeasure across without words was a skill he had mastered.

5. His audiences would just love it when he made his public speeches, speaking in his impeccable Urdu, and getting repeated applause.

6. A gourmet, Dilip Saab loved good food. Mutton Biryani was among his top favourites.

7. He owned a large tract of prime land at Deolali (Nashik), but it was taken over by the Indian Army and he fought a long legal case over it.

8. Forever ready to welcome new talent into the industry, Dilip Saab paved the way for the entry of a number of newcomers, including Johny Walker, Aruna Irani, Kader Khan and the diminutive Muhammad Umar ‘Mukri’, the comedian with whom he shared his birth year (1922) and enjoyed a long-running personal friendship till his death in 2000.

9. In the sunset years of his life, Saira Bano used to take him out for an evening drive in Bandra, but he would remember nothing.

REACTIONS

Actor Akshay Kumar tweeted on Monday morning calling Dilip Kumar “The Hero”.

“To the world many others may be heroes. To us actors, he was The Hero. #DilipKumar Sir has taken an entire era of Indian cinema away with him.My thoughts and prayers are with his family. Om Shanti,” Akshay wrote.

Actor Ajay Devgn went down memory lane and recalled “many moments” shared with the late legend.

“Shared many moments with the legend…some very personal, some on stage. Yet, nothing really prepared me for his passing away. An institution, a timeless actor. Heartbroken. Deepest condolences to Sairaji #DilipKumar,” Devgn said.

Telugu star Jr NTR paid a tribute and said that the veteran thespian will be missed.

“Dilip Kumar Saab’s contribution to the growth of Indian cinema is priceless. Rest in Peace sir. You will be missed,” he wrote.

Actress Huma Qureshi says she is grateful to witness the late thespians work.

“How to mourn you @TheDilipKumar Saab … The Greatest … Ever … Grateful to have witnessed on-screen and be spellbound by your genius,” she tweeted.

Actor Riteish Deshmukh shared a picture with Dilip Kumar and his actress wife Saira Bano. He wrote a long note on Twitter thanking the late star for being his teacher.

Riteish wrote: “Every actor that faces the camera today will thank Dilip Sahab for the being their teacher. Truly an institution. Am completely heartbroken today, will miss his pat on my back, his smile with a twinkle in the eye and fond kisses on my forehead. @TheDilipKumar”

He added: “Dilip Sahab- you will always be the king amongst kings. Greatest of all times. You were a hero to every generation. Rest in glory Sir. My deepest condolences to Saira ji, the entire family, loved ones and millions of fans across the globe.”

Actor Manoj Joshi wrote: “Saddened by the demise of #DilipKumar sahab, one of the greatest actor and doyen of Indian Cinema. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Actor Jaavd Jaaferi called Dilip Kumar an inspiration. “From God we have come and to Him is our return.The greatest indian actor(in most opinions), legend, and #OG passes on. An inspiration and reference for most actors after him. Thankfully he will be alive in the wonderful world of cinema. Thank you and RIP #DilipSaab #DilipKumar,” he wrote.

Actor Tusshar Kapoor shared a poster of the film “Saudagar”, featuring Dilip Kumar, and said: “Words cannot do justice to describe your life in the movie business and your body of work, that very few can boast of! From Mughal-e-Azam to Saudagar, even my generation was spellbound by your magic on screen and over the audiences! RIP Dilip Saab! I’d rather not say more, for any homage to your life or career would be inadequate!”

Filmmaker Hansal Mehta called the late icon “the greatest mainstream actor India ever had or will ever have. There will never be another Dilip Kumar.”

Actor and comedian Rajpal Yadav shared a picture of Dilip Kumar on Instagram and shared that he will always remain an inspiration to all. “Dilip Sahab, you were and will remain an inspiration not only to artists, but to everyone. Very hard to accept that you are no longer among us Dilip Kumar sahab, but your memories will stay with us forever. My deepest condolences to Saira Banu ji and your whole family.”

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