With the demise of the great artist Dilip Kumar, not only has the golden era of Indian cinema drawn to an end, a corner of my own heart lies vacant.
He became a hugely popular actor owing to his immense acting talent. He will stay alive in minds of cine-goers and in the film industry due to his unforgettable acting. Alongside, as a person having deeply humane values and profound sensitivity, he shall also stay forever in the hearts of those who were blessed to receive his closeness.
Today as I grieve at the passing away of the thespian Dilip Kumar, I keep recalling the times and occasions spent in his company. It was Dilip Ji’s greatness that I could get his affection after just two-three telephonic conversations. He used to visit Uttar Pradesh and other states in this region due to political reasons in those days. After a few meetings, it became so that whenever he visited this area, especially Lucknow, he would stay at my residence at Sahara Shaher. Once he stayed with me for four continuous days. Those days and their golden memories are permanently etched on my mindscape.
He was a great actor and also quite senior to me in age. But he was so full of humanity and had such simplicity that he never made me feel that I was talking to (such) a superstar. His giant personality always overshadowed the actor in him. He used to talk to me with such affection. During his long stay, he shared with me many of his personal and film world experiences. He would talk and never make the listener feel like a lesser person sitting in front of him. His art of expression was incomparable. He was a storyteller par excellence who simply hypnotised his audience. Whenever I had any curiosity about him, he would answer with immense affection. The more I met him, the more the respect for him increased in my mind.
I always wanted him to stay at my residence on his every visit to this part of the country. However, for the last few years, he hardly travelled due to health-related issues. Whenever I heard through media of his illness, I prayed for his early recovery. When I heard of his hospitalisation this time, I was sure that he will recover once more to return home. However, it wasn’t to be so this time. He bid goodbye to the world.
Dilip Kumar may no longer be present physically among us, but his giant personality and greatness shall ever stay alive with his admirers, and in my heart too.
My heartfelt tributes to him.