On thespian Dilip Kumar's 95th birthday, his evergreen wife Saira Banu, 22 years his junior, says her marriage to him has been a "perfect dream".
Dilip Kumar is recuperating from a bout of pneumonia. On his special day, a stream of visitors began trickling into their bungalow in Bandra here from early Monday morning.
Emotional about the love that her husband continues to receive year after year, the utterly devoted wife said: "Every year, I am asked the same things. What are we doing for Saab's birthday? For those who don't know, it is the day when our residence turns into a gorgeous fairyland.
"There are flowers everywhere from everyone who comes to pay Saab a visit on his birthday. It is a day when Saab's brothers, sisters, relatives and come close friends come together."
Saira Banu and Dilip Kumar got married in 1966.
"Seriously, there is no woman as blessed as I am… I thank my Allah every day for this. It has been my good fortune to be able to do anything for the man I love intensely. For me, it was always Saab, no one else. I was his fan from the time I can remember. While still a teenager, I wanted to be his wife.
"I am very headstrong and once I made up my mind, there was no stopping me. I knew many beautiful women wanted to marry Saab, but he chose me. It was my dream come true and that's what my marriage has been, a perfect dream."
Now she is devoted to taking care of her ailing husband.
"Looking after Saab, his life and his home comes naturally to me. All Indian wives look after their husbands. In my family, I've seen women being devoted to their husbands. I grew up watching that."
[By Subhash K. Jha]