Dilip Kumar on His 91st Birthday - The New Indian Express

Dilip Kumar on His 91st Birthday

Published: 11th December 2013 12:04 PM

Last Updated: 11th December 2013 12:04 PM

Dilip Kumar was not getting the right mood to shoot an intense scene prior to the climax in Footpath. Two days passed and director Zia Sarhadi was worried. He had to complete the film in time. Undecided about what he should do, the thespian went to Brabourne Stadium and concentrated on playing cricket. 

Remembering the incident Dilip Kumar says, “I was totally involved in batting. After hitting a couple of boundaries I had a strange feeling within me. Putting an end to the game I came back to the pavilion. Then I called Zia Sarhadi directly and informed I was ready to shoot my scene that very day. Zia Sarhadi spent no time and organised the shooting at Ranjit Studio.”

Dilip Kumar broke down emoting, ‘Uth Bani Nashu Aa Gaya’ sans glycerin in his eyes. He was crying after the sad demise of his elder brother in Footpath. The shot was Okayed in one take proving Dilip Kumar was peerless in pathos.

Described by Satyajit Ray as the ultimate method actor, Dilip Kumar stands tall as a polished performer though he retired from acting 15 years ago due to health reasons. Till date he remains the actor most everyone – like Rajendra Kumar, Manoj Kumar, Amitabh Bachhan and Shahrukh Khan – has imitated. His piercing looks, highly medulative dialogue delivery balanced perfectly with his usage of the right palm makes him the acting icon whose assets have been dedication, intensity and versatility.

Dilip Kumar narrates an interesting anecdote, ”In Jogan, after Nargis leaves for her heavenly abode whilst praying, I was confused how to react. There were no dialogues. Director Kidar Sharma asked me to throw a stone in a pond, watch the water ripples and silently walk away. The shot created cinematic magic and it was the one with which the film ended.”

Dilip Kumar thinks highly of his late colleagues. He says, “We shared a mutual set of unspoken ethics and had a deep silent regard for each other. Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand and I slogged it to the top on basis of sheer merit and hard labour. We never went for unnecessary publicity.” According to him Amitabh Bachhan is the best star, actor in the past four decades and Sanjeev Kumar was an amazing actor who truly took over after Ashok Kumar, Motilal and Balraj Sahni, the gharana of natural subdued acting.

Andaz, Daag, Devdas and Gunga Jumna stand testimony of great acting abilities. When he was getting stereo typed in tragedy, Dilip Kumar opted for comedies and proved he was equally good at it. Explains Dilip Kumar, “I adopted for a natural design for my light hearted characters in Azad, Kohinoor, Leader and Ram Aur Shyam. They needed a great sense of timing. Whilst method requires rehearsals, preparations and efforts, comedy is spontaneous.”

The way he performed scenes with his heroines has also become classic. Dilip Kumar says, “I enjoyed best of relations with all of them. Kamini Kaushal, Meena Kumari, Nargis, Nimmi and Madhubala were highly gifted. So were Vyjayantimala, Waheeda Rehman and Rakhee. I fondly remember my histrionic interaction with late Smita Patil.

As I asked her, ‘Tum Vijay Ki Bahu Ho’, she conveyed an intense look of respect which spoke volumes. Smita was an accomplished actress.” Aye Mere Dil Kahin Aur Chal lipped by the thespian for Talat Mehmood is an immortal number. So are Shame Gham Ki Kasam, Suhana Safar and Nain Lar Gaye Re. Admits Dilip Kumar, “Talat understood the tragic lover in me too well. Rafi’s amazing versatility suited my songs of different moods. Mukesh also did true justice to songs. I lipped for him.”

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