Wednesday marked the end of an era with the passing away of legendary actor Dilip saab. There was an outpouring of tributes with the film fraternity across India sharing memories of the actor. The loss has left a huge void for many, including actor Sharmiela Mandre who revealed that Dilip saab shared a very close connection with Bengaluru. Soon after the news broke, Sharmiela shared with City Express that Dilip saab and her grandfather Ramanand Mandre had a close bond. “Dilip saab was more like a family to us. My grandfather, until he passed away in 2009, was very close to him.
So much so Dilip saab was one of the main reasons that Ajja took a plunge into the film industry as financier and distributor. Otherwise the family was into the textiles business,” Sharmiela said. Sharmiela, who is currently traveling, went on to recall that this move led her grandfather to become one of the pioneers in the film industry-- owning several theatres, including Sangam, and becoming the sole distributor of Hindi films in Karnataka.
Sharing some photographs from back in the day of Dilip saab and Saira Banu’s visit to Bengaluru during which they spent much time with Mandre senior, Sharmiela said, “Every single time that Dilip saab visited the city, along with his wife Saira Banu, he would only stay at my grandfather’s house on Cunningham Road. Ajja never gave him any choice about it.
That was the kind of relationship he had with our family. It was only when his health started deteriorating that he stopped visiting the city,”. Sharmiela remembers meeting Dilip saab as a Class 7 student and her impression of the thespian was that he was a ‘people’s person’. “He was charismatic and never had qualms about meeting anyone. ” says Sharmiela. “Ajja had told me that Dilip saab’s favourite local tiffin was the Mysuru masala dosae. Since he would not get the right kind in Mumbai, he would sometimes travel here to relish the bisi bisi dosaes.”