Dilip Kumar was a league of his own. With his smouldering intensity, a delivery filled with deep pauses and his ability to inhabit the characters was a joy to watch. His six-decade career comprises unforgettable movies and moments that have forever lit up the Indian silver screen. The legendary actor passed away in the early hours of TWednesday morning. He was 98. The actor was admitted to suburban Khar-based Hinduja Hospital, a non-COVID-19 facility, last week to address age-related “medical issues" days after being discharged from the same hospital. Dilip Kumar’s family friend Faisal Farooqui confirmed the news of his death on the actor’s official Twitter account. The Hindi cinema veteran was admitted to the Hinduja Hospital in June following episodes of breathlessness. At the time, Kumar was diagnosed with bilateral pleural effusion — a build-up of excess fluid between the layers of the pleura outside the lungs — and underwent a successful pleural aspiration procedure. He was discharged after five days.
Kumar’s career spanned over five decades with hits like “Mughal-e-Azam", “Devdas", “Naya Daur", and “Ram Aur Shyam". His last big-screen appearance was in the 1998 film “Qila".
An old video posted by his friend, Faisal Farooqui in February, has gone viral following his death. The short clip posted on Twitter has a dialogue from Kumar’s movie, ‘Footpath’ from 1953.
In the clip, Kumar can be heard saying, “Main mujrim hoon. Maine kaale bazar ka dhanda kiya hai. Jab log bhoonk se mar rahe the, toh hum uske hisse ka anaj unche damo mein bechkar humare khazane bhar rahe the. Jab sheher mein bimari fayli, humne dawai-ya chupadi, aur unke daam barha diye." (Translation: “I’m a criminal. I’ve traded in the black market. When people were dying of hunger, I sold their portion of ration at high prices to get profits. When the disease took over the city, we hoarded medicine, and increased the prices.)
He goes on in the video to share that they threw away the medicines when the police caught a whiff of it, instead of handing it out. He continues that he can smell the scent of rotten corpses from himself.
The video was posted by his friend at a time when Delhi was witnesses a high number of Covid-19 cases, and reports of people hoarding essential medicines and ventilators were surfacing. India is still reeling from one of the most deadly second-wave of Covid-19 experienced.
Kumar’s performance stood out in the movie ‘Footpath’ and he has been remembered for it. The short clip of the dialogue posted on YouTube by Eagle Home Entertainment has also been viewed hundreds of times.
The thespian was honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke award in 1994 and the Padma Vibhushan in 2015 for his contribution to Indian cinema. The Pakistan government also honoured him with its highest civilian honour - Nishan-e-Imtiaz - in 1997.