The Kohinoor of Indian film industry will now shine in heaven and give company to his colleagues Raj and Dev – Raj Kapoor and Dev Sahab. The doyen, the God of subtlety and method acting in the Indian film industry, the thespian, the great gentleman and a great human Dilip Kumar aka Dilip Sahab left for heavenly aboard today morning.
Fighting with age related ailments for quite some time, today finally the legend, the inspiration behind the biggest names alive in Indian industry gave his final shot in the stage of life.
It’s difficult to write a remembrance for an eternal actor/artiste like Dilip Kumar.
Born on 11 December 1922, in the Qissa Khawani Bazaar area of Peshawar – the twelfth child of Lala Ghulam Sarwar Khan and his wife Ayesha Begum was named Mohammad Yusuf Khan. Dilip Kumar’s father was a fruit merchant.
Dilip Kumar’s first film was ‘Jwar Bhata’ in 1944, which failed to gain much attention, after a few more hiccups ‘Jugnu’ (1947), co-starring Noor Jehan, brought the thespian into limelight. Followed by Shaheed and Mela, Dilip Sahab was now a force to reckon with.
Mehboob Khan’s Andaz (1949) which co-starred Kapoor and Nargis introduced the method/tehrav in acting by Dilip Kumar and the big difference between Dilip Kumar and other actors of his time became evident.
Apart from exceptions like Motilal, acting in the film industry was a bit stagey; the credit to introduce method acting in this industry goes to Dilip Kumar.
The magnificent Mr. Bachchan who is a proud admirer and considers Dilip Kumar as his idol rightly said on Dilip sahab’s passing away, “An institution has gone .. Whenever the history of Indian Cinema will be written, it shall always be ‘before Dilip Kumar and after Dilip Kumar’.
So true, acting in Indian film industry before Dilip Kumar and method acting in Indian film industry especially Hindi film industry after the entry of Dilip Kumar is certainly a story of two different eras.
That time during the classic era – the trinity of Dilip Kumar, Raj Kapoor and Dev Anand ruled the Hindi film industry.
In a way similar to the trinity of Khan’s – Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Salman Khan which began during the 90’s.
Yes, in between the classic era and the dominance of Khan’s Bachchan mania from the mid 70’s ruled and before that it was the short stint of sheer madness in the name of Rajesh Khanna – the actor who became Hindi cinema’s first super star.
Nowadays the term super star can be used by any happening actor but Dilip Sahab will remain the pioneer of method acting – the type of acting immortal Hollywood legends like Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, etc. are worshipped for.
From Amitabh Bachchan to Manoj Kumar to Rajendra Kumar to Sunil Dutt to Dharmendra to Anil Kapoor and so on the film industry of these part of Asia is awed by the sheer genius of Dilip Kumar. He is an institution a true master. The tragedy king of Devdas to the impeccable comic timing in Aan (1952), Azaad (1955), Ram Aur Shyam (1967), the melodramatic Gopi (1970), the social dacoit crime drama Gunga Jamuna (1961) and of course the epic historical Mughal-e-Azam (1960), remain unforgettable. However the social drama Daag (1952) gets a special place in this authors list. (Daag fetched Dilip Kumar the the Filmfare Award for best actor – the first one)
The second innings thanks to the repeated persuasion from his admirer Manoj Kumar a sort of ‘Kranti’(1981) was observed. The cult classic Shakti (1982) saw the thespian at logger heads with his admirer – Amitabh Bachchan. Much was debated on who acted better Amitabh or Dilip in this remarkable story of a righteous father and a son going on the wrong side. Leaving the judgment to you, today it brings both joy and tears in my eyes when I recall what Dilip Sahab said about Amitabh Bachchan, the thespian said, “All through the making of Shakti it was a pleasure working with Amit who I feel is a complete actor.”
Imagine your guru complimenting you as ‘complete’. Dilip Kumar won the filmfare award for best actor but presented Amitabh his most valuable gift.
Dilip Kumar was a thorough gentleman, the actor who brought method and dignity wrapped in a refined style and grace that no one else can deliver on screen. Dilip Kumar carried that divine smile, I don,t know any other actor who had such a smile on or off screen. It was fatherly, friendly, brotherly and so pleasing. Dharmendra decided to become an actor when he saw Dilip Sahab on screen.
Today Dharmendra says he has lost a brother a friend and remembers the sweater he took from him on a request that he won’t return it back.
Apart from a great actor Dilip Kumar was fluent in Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi, Marathi, English, Bengali, Gujarati, Pashto, Persian, even had good knowledge of Awadhi and Bhojpuri. A great music enthusiast loved to play cricket and was very fond of eggs.
Dilip Sahab body was laid to rest with full state honours in Mumbai, SRK, Amitabh Bachchan, Anil Kapoor and many dignitaries paid their respect during this covid times.
So has the ‘therav’ subtlety stopped forever?. No Never…from now the ‘therav’ has turned into a dhara (read gain momentum). Whenever there will be any discussion on grace, dignity, respect, method acting, love and humanity in Indian cinema especially Hindi cinema, the noor (light) of Dilip Sahab will guide us all the way.
Dilip sahab ka teharav kabhi tehar sakta nahi
Who toh ek kabhi na katham hone wali dhaar hai jise bas behtein jaana hai…
May the almighty grant eternal peace to the eternal Dilip Kumar aka Yusuf Sahab. RIP Dilip Sahab.