Dilip Kumar, named so by a great Hindi litterateur, Bhagwati Charan Verma (1903 -1981) at the calling of Ms Devika Rani Chaudhuri (1908-1994) acknowledged as the first lady of Indian cinema is no more amongst us. However, he continues to be regarded as a master thespian.
Dilip Kumar was born in undivided India on 11 December 1922 at Qissa Khwani Bazaar, Peshawar, now in Pakistan and named Mohammed Yusuf Khan.
He passed away early morning on 7 July 2021 at P. D. Hinduja National Hospital & Medical Research Centre in Mumbai. He was admitted there on June 29. He was married to film actress, Saira Banu , born in 1966 , who was with him in dying moments.
Devika Rani was married to Himanshu Rai, maverick owner of Bombay Talkies of the bygone era of film making in India. Bhagwati Charan Verma was then working for this film production house.
Incidentally, film music composer, Allahrakha Rahman (A R Rahman) was originally named as Dileep Kumar after the Pathan thespian , also called the first Khan of Hindustani cinema.
Its widely acknowledged Dilip Kumar, with his natural and realistic acting in silence and pause took Hindi cinema beyond theatrical acting of Ashok Kumar and Motilal. He portrayed tragic roles in films like Devdas in such a mesmerising method acting that cinema lover the world over gave him the sobriquet of ‘tragedy king’. In tragic roles, he spoke in soft silken voice, almost in whispers.
Dilip Kumar was reportedly advised by his personal physicians, including Dr Jalil Parkar, who had been treating him for long and was also at the Hinduja Hospital at the time of his death, to not to engage further in such tragic roles to avoid ill effects on his health physically and psychologically.
Starting with the Bombay Talkies film ‘ Jwar Bhata’, Dilip Kumar acted in scores of memorable films, including Milan, Jugnu, Mela, Shaheed, Andaz, Jogan, Deedar, Aan, Daag, Amar, Devdas, Naya Daur, Madhumati, Mughal e Azam and Shagina Mahato.
He was an avid reader of literature, poetry and plays, and keen listener of Hindustani classical and semi-classical music.
Dilip Kumar, known for his method acting, passed away at the age of 99, one year short of his life’s century. His dead body was taken from the hospital to his Bungalow at Pali Hill in Bandra suburb of Mumbai before state funeral at the Santa Cruz burial ground at about 5 pm in the evening.
Its well documented fact Dilip Kumar had to even go to jail in British –ruled India for raising slogans for freedom movement at a canteen in Pune where he was serving at monthly salary of Rs 36. He was latter released from jail.
American newspaper , New York Times paid tribute to the Indian thespian , saying with his passing away an era of Cinema has ended.
The President of India , Ram Nath Kovind , the Prime Minister Narendra Modi , former Congress President Rahul Gandi and a host of actors , actress , film directors , play back singer tweeted to pay their tribute to Dilip Kumar.
PM Modi also rang up Saira Bano to pay his tribute and condole her personally. Many from Hindustani film industry were present at his funeral.
Its worth recalling that late actor and playback singer Noor Jahan, who had acted in some films with Dilip Kumar ,had come to India from Pakistan after more than three decades to pay her tribute to Dilip Kumar in a live show in Mumbai that was anchored by actress Shabana Azmi.
Noorjahan , at request of Dilip Kumar had sung live in that musical programme , composed by Naushad , a very popular film number ‘ Aawaaj de kahan hai , duniya meri jawaan hai …of film Anmol Ghadi ( 1946)
This columnist made a video commentry on a Quawali of a classic film ” Mughal_e_Azam ( 1960) in his village in Bihar as personal tribute to Dilip Kumar after coming to know from Hisam Siddique , Editor of the world’s first Urdu weekly in Devnagri script published from Lucknow , that Dilip Kumar was chrious to know,how beautiful late actress Madhubala( 1933: 1969 ) looked to cinema lovers when this black and white film was turned into colour by special techniques at the start of this millennium.
Link of cp_video
Link of original song track