Dilip Kumar

Dilip Kumar was born in Khuda Badarea of Peshawar now in Pakistan on December 11, 1922. His father Lala Ghulam Sarwar was owner of many orchards in Peshawar and Deolali in Nasik of Maharashtra and that is where Yusuf Khan (Dilip Kumar) started his schooling from the prestigious Barnes School but his family relocated to Mumbai in late 30s. By the end of 1940, Yusuf Khan left home to settle in Pune where he started his career in the business of running a canteen and supplying dry fruits at the same time.

But as the luck would have it, the famous couple of Devika Rani and husband Himanshu Rai who owned the film production company Bombay Talkies saw him in Aundh military canteen and offered him to work in their upcoming movie Jwar-Bhata as hero. He accepted the role and the famous Hindi writer Bhagwati Charan changed him into Dilip Kumar. That is how he entered in the film world but his first film went almost unnoticed but everyone appreciated work of Dilip Kumar. He had made his entry. 

The Tragedy King

Next came Jugnu with lovely and beautiful singer cum actress Noorjehan in 1947 that set many records, the film became instant success and big hit on the box office, followed by Shaheed in 1948 with another as beautiful actress Kamini Kaushal a still bigger success. Not only the subject of the movie but performances of both Dilip Kumar and Kamini Kaushal were highly rated and applauded. There was no stopping Dilip Kumar who gave successful movies one after the other. He acted in Andaaz by Mehboob Khan, which was love triangle an all time hit, Jogan, deedar, Devdas, Deedar, Daag, Yahoodi, Madhumati almost all of these were serious movies which helped establish Dilip Kumar as the tragedy king of Indian Cinema. 

He played different roles

He was established as tragedy king but he developed few problems in his own life those put him into depression and physical as well mental problem therefore he wanted to play some light comedy roles to overcome that mental status. He was suggested by his doctors too to take life in an easier way and play lighter roles for his mental and physical fitness. He wanted to prove that his talent was not limited to tragedy roles therefore he played roles like Aan, Aazad, Naya Daur, Kohinoor during 1952-1960 along with some of the other movies. Then came one of the most memorable movies of the century Mughal-E-Azam, Produced by K. Asif, Dilip Kumar played the role of his lifetime as Shahzada Salim with another great actor Prithivi Raj Kapoor who played the role of Akbar in that movie. That movie is not yet a history as it still pulls crowd whenever it is shown in any cinema hall anywhere in the country. The movie was initially black and white but later a portion was converted into color. And once the movie was totally converted into color and re-released in 2004, it broke all records allover again. 

People not only recall the movie Mughal-E-Azam for Dilip Kumar’s acting but its entire team of actors and technicians along with its ever-popular music, costly sets and of course, the dialogues in between Akbar, Salim and Anarkali portrayed by yet another heartthrob of millions, Madhubala. The film touched the heights of greatness in all departments but dialogues and sets along with acting parts were the main attraction of Mughal-E-Azam. Just remember the one delivered by Akbar – “Salim Tumhe Marne Nahi Dega Aur Ham Tumhe Marne Nahi Denge O Anarkali.” That was a stunning moment, when Akbar ordered his men to set Anarkali alive into a wall.

Close on the heels followed Ganga Jamuna, a movie produced by Dilip Kumar with Vyjayanthimala as in female lead role. That was super-hit. Every song of the movie created history. The music director Naushad did wonderful job with the music of Ganga Jamuna. Songs like Do-Hanso Ka Joda, Mere Pairon Me Ghungroo broke all the records of popularity and proved that Dilip Kumar was as comfortable with light roles as with the tragedy roles. His next movie Leader was another popular movie although it did not do that big on the box-office. His next movie Ram Aur Shyam in which he played a double role was an instant success and set the trend of missing brothers in childhood meeting later with identical faces creating comic situation, for years to come. However, ‘Ram Aur Shyam’ proved another milestone in Dilip Kumar’s great career. 

Come back Of Dilip Kumar

Dilip Kumar took a break from movies from 1976 to 1981 but came back to work in Manoj Kumar’s multi-star Kranti. Next year he did a major role in Vidhata of Subhash Ghai and the same year in 1982, he was in Shakti in the role of father of Amitabh Bachchan winning yet another Filmfare award in the best actor category. The story goes on, 1984 saw his Mashaal presented by Yesh Chopra and Duniya by R. Talwar. In 1986, he played the role of a jailor where he trusts convicts like Anil Kapoor and Jackey Shrof for taking revenge of death of his own family members. That was another feather in his already decorated cap. He acted in Saudagar with another great film actor Rajkumar and the song they song in the movie ‘Ek Jungle Ke Do Sher’ that was unique in itself as that was after a long gap pf decades that these two appeared in a movie together. Neither of them proved inferior to each other.   

Dilip Kumar Saira Banu

Dilip Kumar

Dilip Kumar was active in the Indian Cinema for almost 50 years and acted with every single heroin worth her name. He acted with them all right from Noorjehan to Mumtaz and if we look at the top-notch list of actress, we have Madhubala, Nargis, Nimmi, Meena Kumari, Nutan and Wahida Rehman. He refused to work in films like Sangam and Pyasa, which later proved big success for his own reasons but he has no regrets for refusing those offers. He was always choosy and acted in what he thought suited his own mood and acting style otherwise, the list of his movies would have been far bigger. He once said that he felt bad because he had to refuse Guru Dutt for his movie Pyasa. It is not that all his movies did very good on box-office but even if his movies did average business, no one blamed Dilip Kumar for his lesser efforts. You can keep movies such as Bairag and Dastaan in that category. 

During entire duration of his journey in the film-world, Mohammad Rafi sang for him although Mukesh and Talat Mehmood also contributed in his illustrious career with their melodious voice. He married a much younger actress Saira Banu the beauty queen aged 22 when he himself was 44 and this was almost 50 years before when she was at the top her career. Now Dilip Kumar is 91 but the pair looks as much in love as it was 50 years before. They two went for Umrah, the Holy Pilgrimage to Makkah this year and that was for the first time for Dilip Kumar. 

Dilip Kumar Who has won almost every award that Indian film industry has to offer including ‘Dada Sahib Phalke award’, ‘Padma Bhushan’ by government of India and Pakistan’s highest civilian award ‘Nishane E Imtiaz’ that was retained by him after some political interference. Also, Dilip Kumar was appointed Sheriff of Mumbai in 1988 almost twenty-five years before which is to honor a person for his outstanding services. His success story goes on with highest number of Best Actor Awards, nineteen  nominations and eight awards to be precise, in Indian cinema and he is listed in Guinness Book of Records for his achievement. To add to the list of his awards, he was honored with Lifetime Achievement award by Prestigious CNN-IBN group.


There is no conclusion for greats like Dilip Kumar because whatever they do in their lives always proves to be their best. It is a bare fact that gold has to go through the fire before it can be converted into jewelry, the same applies to Dilip Kumar who has done his best efforts to reach to the top where very few can reach. I greet Dilip Kumar on behalf of the Boddunan family for the finest of Birthday and wish him many more to come. Aaaj Ki Raat Mere Dil Ki Salami Lele. I have never written a single word about any film personality ever before but could not help write this one for the greatest of them all - The unmatched Dilip Kumar.  

Photo source - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dilip_Kumar

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