The evergreen tragedy king of Bollywood, Dilip Kumar passed away on Wednesday after a prolonged illness. He was 98. The legend, born as Mohammad Yusuf Khan, touched a million hearts with his unparalleled charisma and stupendous acting skills. Many popular stars including Rajendra Kumar, Dharmendra, Manoj Kumar, Sanjay Khan and Amitabh Bachchan emulated the thespian. Over five decades, Dilip Kumar ruled the silver screen and fascinated everyone. While he found fans in millions of people, there has been none like actor Shah Rukh Khan.
SRK’s fondness for Kumar and his wife Saira Banu is known to all. Shah Rukh’s connection with the late actor goes back to the days in Peshawar. SRK’s father knew him and they often visited Kumar’s place during his childhood. Dilip owns an ancestral house in Peshawar where Shah Rukh’s father, Taj Mohammad Khan, was born and raised. Back in 2013, during an interview to Filmfare, SRK said, “My relationship with Dilip sahab goes beyond films. Dilip sahab and Sairaji have always thought of me as their son." Banu also reciprocated the same affection for Shah Rukh on numerous occasions. Today, let’s take a walk down memory lane recalling some of the most heartfelt Shah Rukh quotes on Kumar:
-In 2015, Kumar was conferred with Padma Vibhushan by the government of India. On the occasion, Khan had said, “Dilip sahab is more deserving than anybody else. Even words like icon are very less for him. He is the forefather, the pillar of the film industry, amongst the last few pillars left. I think what he has received is befitting." He added, “No matter how many awards he receives, it will be less for him because of his art, beauty and Sairaji’s support. He is one of the greatest human beings apart from being a great actor. I know them personally, so I can say that. It’s a moment of big celebration and recognition."
-Speaking to Filmfare magazine in 2013, Khan said, “I had heard a lot that I looked like Dilip Sahab but I was never convinced until I watched Dilip Kumar sahab’s film in his youth at Ketan Mehta’s office and began rubbing my eyes when Ketan informed me it was Dilip Kumar sahab’s image!"
-On the stage of Zee Cine Awards in 2001, the actor once again expressed his awe for the legend. “Everybody has borrowed from Dilip Kumar sahab as an actor. Why is it so easy to appropriate from Dilip Kumar, and so difficult or almost impossible to return it?"
-“Whoever copies Dilip Kumar sahab, they are actually idiots, just like me," SRK said at the launch of the book, The Dialogue of Devdas in 2012.
-Last year on the occasion of Kumar’s 98th birthday on December 11, Khan tweeted, “To the one and only, who amazed and inspired the world by just being himself. Wishing the legendary Dilip Kumar a Happy Birthday. I cherish and remember every time we’ve met in vivid detail and you have always loved me like your own. Love you too much. Have a good one Dilip Sahib”
To the one and only, who amazed and inspired the world by just being himself. Wishing the legendary @TheDilipKumar a Happy Birthday. I cherish & remember every time we’ve met in vivid detail & you have always loved me like your own. Love you tooo much.Have a good one Dilip Sahib. pic.twitter.com/XoaT2s7a8x— Shah Rukh Khan (@iamsrk) December 11, 2020
Kumar is survived by his wife, actress Saira Banu.