A Birthday Tribute to a Living Legend!
Happy 98th Birthday to Dilip Kumar. a.ka. Mohammad Yusuf Khan.
Here’s what you need to know about the actor who has won the most Filmfare awards to date!
1. Born in Qissa Khwani Bazar Peshawar
Dilip Kumar still has an ancestral home in Pakistan that might be turned into a heritage site by the KPK govt very soon.
2. He holds mastery in Urdu, English, Hindi, Hindko, Pashtu & others.
In recent tweets this year from him, he recollects:
“I am at once full of fond remembrances of my parents, grandparents and numerous uncles, aunts and cousins who filled the house with the sounds of their chatter and hearty laughter…
My mother who was frail and delicate was always in the spacious kitchen of the house and as a little boy I would wait for her to finish her chores so that I could just sit by her side and gaze at her beautiful face.
I have memories of the sitting room where the family gathered for high tea in the evenings, the large room where the ladies prayed, the terrace, the bedrooms, everything.
I can vividly recall the piggy rides on my grandfather’s back and the scary stories my grandmother cooked up to forbid me from wandering out of the house alone.
I have lovely memories of Qissa Khwani Bazaar, where I received my first lessons in story telling, which later provided the impetus to choose meaty stories and scripts for my work.
“Every day as the trading closed in the market of Qissa Khwani Bazaar, a story teller would sit in the centre of the square narrating stories of valour and victory, deceit and retribution which I would listen to with wide- eyed attention, seated next to my father and uncles.”
3. Dilip Kumar is the actor who still holds the largest number of Filmfare Awards.
He acted in one film with Amitabh Bachan – Shakti, for which he received an award as well.
One of his first jobs was for about Rs. 1250/month in 1943. He helped out in the story-writing and scripting department at Bombay Talkies because of his proficiency in Urdu language. Devika Rani requested him to change his name to Dilip Kumar, and later cast him in a lead role for Jwar Bhata (1944), which marked Kumar’s entry into the Hindi film industry.
4. He was known as the Tragedy King due to the tragic film roles he had performed.
It took its toll on him and he went into depression for a time. He returned to films after 5 years and was advised to take on lighter roles by his doctor.
5. Did you know that the iconic role of Thakur in the epic film Sholay was first offered to Dilip Kumar?
Dilip turned it down. It was performed by the late Sanjeev Kumar who made it so impactful. Dilip Kumar is said to have regretted his decision to turn it down earlier.
6. Dilip & actress Madhubala had a long standing romantic relationship that later ended.
Though he continues to live happily in Mumbai with his wife till today – Saira Bano.
7. Rumour has it, that he once averted a war
Dilip is said to have called up the Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif at one point in time…who is an ardent Dilip Kumar fan. This act and the conversation that followed might have averted a war between India & Pakistan at that moment in time.
Happy 98th to you. Thank you Mohammad Yusuf Khan for your unmatched contribution to Movies that started an era of a long line of Khans to grace the silver screen!
Learn about his story here:
Zoha loves to talk about entertainment. “I’m a writing fanatic, who seeks opportunities to connect myself to the world in a way to make people believe that to bring change in a society is to be real, no matter from where you belong”. Connect with her on Instagram!