Movie Mogul K. Asif, who became immortal with his magnum opus MUGHAL-E-AZAM (1960), shared an exceptional bond of father and son with late actor Sanjeev Kumar.
|K. ASIF AND SANJEEV KUMAR|
The bond between them started when K. Asif was making LOVE AND GOD with actor Guru Dutt in the lead, while Sanjeev Kumar was a struggling actor who was working in as an extra. However, Asif was bowled over by Sanjeev Kumar’s utter dedication and passion towards his profession. Hence, after Guru Dutt expired Asif promoted Sanjeev Kumar as the film’s hero much against the discontent of distributors and surprise of the unit. However, Asif was confident of Sanjeev Kumar’s success.
True to Asif’s prediction Sanjeev Kumar soon became a star but Asif’s movie LOVE AND GOD got delayed due to Asif’s eye for perfection. As a result Asif was under heavy debt and his health started deteriorating. During Asif’s downfall Sanjeev Kumar was the only actor who stood by his side.
Thus, the duo shared a warm relation. Asif was so much overwhelmed by Sanjeev Kumar’s affection that he even spent few days at Sanjeev Kumar’s residence in Pali Hali at Bandra. Sanjeev Kumar too would treat Asif like his father. He would even offer Asif the same bed on which his late father would sleep.
On the fateful day of March 9, 1971 Asif felt restless and landed at Sanjeev Kumar’s residence. That day Sanjeev Kumar cancelled all his shooting assignments and spent the entire day with Asif. Incidentally, that very night Asif suffered a massive heart attack. Sanjeev Kumar, who was sleeping nearby rushed to his aid but before the doctor could arrive Asif breathed his last in the arms of Sanjeev Kumar.
Recalling the episode, Sanjeev Kumar in an interview had said, ”Truly Asif sahab was more than a godfather for me. Coincidently, he died in my arms and that too on the same bed on which my father had died in my arms few years ago!”