Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
Photo By Wikipedia

The death of the 'Tragedy King' has orphaned his teary-eyed kingdom of fans, followers and admirers, both in India and abroad.

It was at the peak of the Mumbai riots of 1992-1993 when my boss at The Indian Express, D. K. Raikar (now, Group Editor, Lokmat Media Pvt. Ltd.), saw that I was 'underemployed' and called me.

"Get Dilip Kumar's reactions. Quick!" he ordered softly.

With mild trepidation, I dialled Dilip Saab's number - and he answered. I reeled off my questions in a single breath, and he started his replies.


Follow NewsGram on Facebook to stay updated.


There was a long pause, a short sentence, another long pause, a brief reply, one more long halt and a tiny reaction, each word measured before he uttered it. And so it went on for an hour.

In between the mega-pauses, a couple of times when I couldn't even hear him breathe, I would blurt out anxiously: "Dilip Saab...?"

And he would shoot back in chaste Urdu: "Intezar kijiye. Main aapse mauve guftagu hoon!" (I am with you, please wait!). I almost fainted.

After a weary hour, the marathon call ended, and I secured five or six sentences of invaluable, well-thought-out reactions.

As I replaced the warm receiver, Raikar mischievously remarked: "So, you got a full-fledged interview, huh?" I just smiled and trudged back to my workstation.

That was the legend - Dilip Kumar, who had a phenomenal rise from the son of a Pathan horticulturist to canteen manager to India's first and ever-green superstar adored across generations, besides being a shining example of a great actor, good human being and an intellectually sensitive person.

The death of the 'Tragedy King' has orphaned his teary-eyed kingdom of fans, followers and admirers, both in India and abroad. The much-revered Koh-i-Noor (Mountain of Light) of Mumbai's film industry has stopped glowing forever.

Born to Lala Sarwar Ali Khan and Ayesha Begum on December 11, 1922, Mohammed Yusuf Khan was one of 12 children. His father owned orchards in Peshawar, then a part of undivided India, and Nashik, was fondly groomed to take over the family business.

The tall, fair, dreamy-eyed handsome boy, who went to school at Deolali, the military cantonment town in Nashik, however, was impatient to script a different story for his life.

Later, the Khans shifted to Chembur in Mumbai, but in 1940, following differences with his family, he walked out of home and went to Pune, where he became a canteen contractor at the local army club.

In 1943, Devika Rani, owner of the famed Bombay Talkies, took a snack break at the canteen and was impressed by the courteous behaviour of the young Khan and asked him if he would like to act in films. He said he would if his "father permitted".

A few months later, after saving Rs 5,000 (a fortune in those days), he returned home to assist his father with the family's finances. When he broached the subject of a career in films, his father quietly but firmly said: "NO."

Undeterred, the young Yusuf Khan approached his father's old neighbour from Peshawar, Prithviraj Kapoor, who was by then a well-known actor, for help. It was only when Kapoor intervened that the senior Khan reluctantly relented.

Devika Rani kept her word, asked him to change his name to 'Dilip Kumar', offered him a job as an actor on a magnificent monthly salary of Rs 1,250 and cast him in 'Jwar Bhata' (released in 1944).

Over decades of unceasing popularity, the untrained but natural actor earned the respect of audiences and critics worldwidePhoto by Wikipedia

The film was a dud and it seemed as if the newly rechristened Dilip Kumar's starry ambitions would come crashing down. Two subsequent films, 'Pratima' and 'Milan' (both in 1945), featuring the fledgling actor, also flopped, but neither Dilip Kumar nor Devika Rani gave up.

Finally, it was 'Jugnu' (mid-1947), where he paired with the legendary singer-actress Noorjehan, that gave Dilip Kumar's career the push it needed. The young silver screen pair, who played college friends, became the heartthrobs of millions and the film grossed over Rs 50 lakh by the time India became Independent.

Post-Partition, Noorjehan migrated to Pakistan and Dilip Kumar continued in Mumbai. He gave other mega-hits such as 'Shaheed' and 'Mela' (1948), 'Shabnam' and 'Andaz' (1949), the latter with the formidable pair of Raj Kapoor and Nargis.

"He had this royal persona, always smiling but rarely guffawing, composed and soft-spoken. He chose each word carefully before uttering it, even as his audiences remained mesmerised. He grew in popularity and stature with each film," the head of Tina Films International, the 94-year old but sprightly A. Krishnamurthi said in a conversation with IANS.

An old friend of Dilip Kumar, Krishnamurthi made it a point to visit and greet the superstar every year on Eid. "Though in recent years, he failed to recognise even me, he would quietly stare at me, and grip my hand tightly for long, without a word, as Saira Banu hovered around caringly."

Over the years, Dilip Kumar earned the sobriquet of The Tragedy King for his memorable portrayals in films such as 'Andaz' and 'Jogan' (1950), 'Deedar' (1951), 'Damage (1952), 'Devdas' (1955), the epic 'Mughal-E-Azam' (1960), 'Gunga Jumna' (1961) and 'Aadmi' (1968), and many of the roles did affect his sensitive personality.

After professional psychiatric counselling, he tried to balance the image with light and airy roles in films such as 'Sangdil' (1952) and India's first full-colour film, 'Aan' (1952), 'Naya Daur' (1957), 'Kohinoor' and 'Azaad' (1960), and 'Ram Aur Shyam' (1967).

Years later, he returned to full-time acting, essaying multi-hued character roles in 'Kranti' (1981), 'Vidhaata' and 'Shakti' (1982), 'Mashaal' (1984), 'Karma'(1986), 'Saudagar' (1991), and his swansong, 'Quila' (1998).

"Over decades of unceasing popularity, the untrained but natural actor earned the respect of audiences and critics worldwide," says veteran Bollywood journalist, Jivraj Burman, who knew Dilip Saab well.

"He developed flawless acting skills, infused realism into every role in that informal era, attempted perfection in every shot/scene, and left an everlasting impression on the viewers, both with his dialogues and expressions. He was an institution of drama and a textbook of acting," Burman added.

ALSO READ Casting can make or break films

Citing an example of how he would immerse himself in each role/character, Burman remembers how Dilip Kumar arrived on the sets of 'Kohinoor' with bandaged fingers. The reason? He had hurt himself while practising to play the sitar for the immortal song, 'Madhuban me Radhika panache re' (sung by Mohammed Rafi).

Dilip Kumar has left an indelible mark on the Hindi film industry. The Koh-i-Noor may not be physically around, but it will shine bright in our hearts and memories. (IANS/AD)


Popular

wikimedia commons

Mortgage loan graph

By- Blogger Indifi

EMI is known as equated monthly installments. It is a fixed payment made by the borrower each month to repay the loan amount. The EMI is divided into two loan components. One is the principal amount, and the second is the interest amount. Whether you are applying for a personal loan, business loan, home loan, car loan, or education loan, EMIs are easy to calculate using the EMI loan calculator.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Flickr.

Swastika, one of the sacred symbols used by many religions like Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism.

The symbol of Swastika is known to signify peace, prosperity, and good fortune in the religious cultures of Eurasia. In fact, this symbol is considered very significant in Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. But, at the same time, it has become one of the most misunderstood religious symbols and has been globally banned in many countries.

The reason why the symbol of Swastika is banned in many countries is because of its association with Adolf Hitler's extreme political ideology, Nazism, as Swastika as its official symbol.

Keep Reading Show less
Pixabay

Since emerging into the public eye with a historic gold medal at the junior world championships in 2016, he has maintained a high level of performance

India celebrated a historic day on August 7, as 23-year-old Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian to win an Olympic gold medal in athletics. In the men's javelin throw event, he achieved his greatest triumph, throwing the javelin 87.58 meters on his second try.

Neeraj Chopra was born on December 24, 1997, in Khandra village in Haryana's Panipat district. He grew up in a Haryanavi family of farmers. He is the brother of two sisters. He graduated from Dayanand Anglo-Vedic College in Chandigarh and is now enrolled in Lovely Professional University in Jalandhar, Punjab, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree. Chopra was bullied due to his obesity as a kid, which prompted his father to enroll him in a nearby gym. He then joined a gym in Panipat, where Jaiveer Choudhary, a javelin thrower, noticed his potential and coached him. When the 13-year-old Chopra finished training under Jaiveer for a year, he was enrolled at the Tau Devi Lal Sports Complex in Panchkula, where he began training under coach Naseem Ahmed.

Keep reading... Show less