Bollywood woke up to the unfortunate news of the demise of legendary actor Dilip Kumar at the age of 98. He took his last breath at Hinduja Hospital in Mumbai around 7.30am on Wednesday after a prolonged illness. The sad news was confirmed via his official Twitter account. A family friend, Faisal Farooqui, who regularly posts on behalf of the late actor and his wife Saira Bano, had made the announcement. Since then, many celebrities and politicians have been pouring their last tributes to him on social media.
Filmmaker Subhash Ghai who worked with him in hit movies like Saudagar, Vidhaata and Karma also took to social media to pay his tributes. Expressing his grief, Ghai said he was “deeply anguished” by the news and termed the demise as the “saddest day” of his life. According to him, it was a “personal loss”.
Ghai’s Saudagar was the last film in which Dilip Kumar and Raaj Kumar worked together. Before this, the two actors had worked in the 1959 film Paigham in which Dilip played the role of the younger brother of Raaj. During the shooting of a scene, Raaj had to slap Dilip, and he entered so deep into the scene that he gave a hard slap on Dilip’s face. This move shocked Dilip. Even though it was never clear if Raaj Kumar had deliberately slapped Dilip or it was by mistake, but Dilip vowed never to work with him in future. For around 30 years the two actors were not seen together in any film.
However, Ghai took the risk of approaching the actors to work in Saudagar. Even though the director’s well-wishers advised him against taking the risk, he did not give heed to their suggestions and following his wisdom he created history by casting them together.
When Ghai approached Dilip Kumar with the script, he liked the story and approved to work in the film. By the time he asked Ghai who was playing the role of another friend, he had already left Dilip’s room. Later, Ghai went to Raaj Kumar’s house with the script and he too asked the same question. On this, the filmmaker told him that no big actor is willing to work with him so Dilip will do this role. Reacting to this statement, the actor said after himself he considers only Dilip as an actor in the Hindi film industry. Subsequently, Ghai again went to Dilip’s house and informed him that Raaj Kumar is a fan of him. Hearing this, Dilip was ecstatic, and the two worked together in the film amicably.