“Happy birthday” – Yousuf Bhai Wishes pour in as ‘Tragedy King’ Dilip Kumar turns 98

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Nation special report

MUMBAI: Legendary actor, philanthropist and former politician Dilip Kumar ringed into his 98th birthday on Friday (December 11). and received a plethora of warm wishes from the film industry on the occasion. A selected gathering under the supervision of Saira Bano was held at his residence. The birthday cake was cut and participants celebrated the occasion with great fervour and zeal.

The legendary actor with nine Filmfare awards under his belt has always entertained the audiences with his enthralling acting performances that are still looked up to by the whole film industry. To celebrate the 98th birthday of the ‘Mughal-e-Azam’ actor, Bollywood took to social media and poured in birthday wishes for the legendary actor.

Saira Bano with husband Dilip Kumar

After Dilip Kumar loses two brothers to COVID-19 earlier this year, Saira Banu said that no big plans for thespian’s 98th birthday. Since the lockdown was announced in March, Dilip Kumar and Saira Banu have been staying in isolation in their Bandra bungalow, with Banu occasionally sharing glimpses of the thespian on social media. She pragmatically says that the lockdown has hardly altered their lives – it is merely another phase in their 54-year-long marriage that has seen the two happy in their own little world, cut off from the outside noise. “It’s nothing new to me because even before the pandemic, I loved being at home. I would not step out much. I am a bit of a recluse, so is Dilip sahab. He used to love travelling earlier, but, he has had to cut it down with age,” says Banu.

Event in London

In London, prominent social and political figure Saleem Sheikh, also a close friend and admirer of Dilip Kumar, organised an event of selected friends due to restrictions of Covid-19. But these government restrictions could not stop him to express his sentiments towards this great star and celebrated his birthday. Saleem Sheikh arranges celebrations every year.

Event in Peshawar

The fans of Dilip Kumar, celebrated his 98th birthday in Peshawar on Friday to show their love for him. The function was organised at the Peshawar Press Club under the aegis of Cultural Heritage Council (CHC), a non-governmental organisation. A cake cutting ceremony was held on the occasion wherein people from different walks of life participated. The participants prayed for long life of the veteran actor, who basically belongs to Peshawar.

According to CHC chairman Shakil Wahidullah, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government had already declared the ancestral house of Dilip Kumar as a national asset and would turn it into a museum. He said that since Dilip Kumar was born in Peshawar and had spent 12 years of his childhood in the historical city the people celebrated his birthday to express their love for him.

Mr Wahidullah said the people wanted to give a message to the legendary actor through the function that he was still loved by the people of his birthplace.ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER AD He said the birthday events were regularly held in Peshawar since 2008 to recall his memories related to Peshawar.

Profile

Dilip Kumar was born as Muhammad Yusuf Khan on December 11, 1922, and made his acting debut with the 1944 film ‘Jwar Bhata’.  He is best-known for iconic roles in films like ‘Devdas ‘(1955), ‘Naya Daur’ (1957), ‘Mughal-e-Azam’ (1960), ‘Ganga Jamuna’ (1961), ‘Kranti’ (1981), and ‘Karma’ (1986). He was last seen on the big screen in ‘Qila’ in 1998 and was honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1994, and the Padma Vibhushan in 2015.

Fans of the legend actor who is credited for bringing the technique of method acting to the Indian cinema have been flooding Twitter with several tweets celebrating his birthday since midnight.

While the superstar has worked in over 65 movies in his five decades-long glorious career, here is a look back on the few films that gave him the tag of ‘The Tragedy King.’

1. ‘Devdas’

‘Devdas,’ – the painful saga of love and romance, which was based on Sharat Chandra Chattopadhyay’s novel of the same name was till date regarded as one of the finest works of the superstar. The Bimal Roy directorial saw Kumar acing the role of a die-hard lover on the road of destruction at hands of love and alcoholism.

2. ‘Babul’

The musical drama that emerged out as the second highest-grossing film of the year 1950 saw a tragic love-triangle between his character the late dazzling diva Nargis and late actor Munawar Sultana. The heart-warming film that saw Dilip Kumar in the role of a postmaster hailing from a rich family was directed by director SU Sunny.

3. ‘Daag’

The social drama ‘Daag,’ produced and directed by Amiya Chakravarty brought Dilip Kumar the first ever Filmfare Award in the main category of best actor. The film sees the rise of a poverty-stricken and alcoholic Shankar (Dilip Kumar’s character) to a wealthy man who again moves towards the path of self-destruction as the family of the love of his life decided to marry her elsewhere. The film, however, ends on a good note with Shankar marrying his love interest and quitting alcohol thereafter.

4. ‘Mughal-e-Azam’

The ultimate love story of Mughal prince Salim and a court dancer Anarkali was one of the most tragic films by the legendary superstar. His epic portrayal of the spoiled, self-indulgent and mad-in-love prince won the film several accolades including the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi in 1961.

5. ‘Deedar’

One of the noted tragedies made in early Indian cinema ‘Deedar’ revolves around the unfulfilled love of Dilip Kumar’s character who was separated from him due to class inequalities. The film emerged out as one of the most popular films of the golden era and established Kumar as the ‘King of tragedies.’ The film starred Nargis and Nimmi alongside Kumar.

Though the 98-year-old actor tried to work in a different genre of movies to do away with the tag of ‘The Tragedy King’, his epic portrayal in these films have been etched in the hearts of his fans and he is hence, to date remembered with the tag.

Some other tragedy movies by the superstar including ‘Sairat,’ ‘Tarana,’ ‘Yahudi,’ and ‘Kumati.’

He was last seen on the big screen in ‘Qila’ in 1998 and was honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1994, and the Padma Vibhushan in 2015.

Tributes from Bollywood

Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn took to his Twitter and shared an old picture of him in which he is seen standing beside ‘Tragedy King’ of Hindi cinema. He captioned the post as “Happy birthday Yusuf Saab. You’re an institution by yourself and, you’ve always been my steady source of inspiration over the years. Respects to you Sir today and always.”

Urmilla Matondkar too dedicated a heartfelt tweet along with a monochrome picture of the ace actor and captioned it as “When all the words in the world fail to describe a human being, an Actor, an Era, a Legend, an Institution and all the joy, light n sheer magic he brought on celluloid each time he enlightened it. Happy Birthday Dilip Kumar saab , Happy Birthday Dilip Kumar Red heart.”

The ‘Dhak Dhak Girl’ of Bollywood, Madhuri Dixit Nene, who has had the opportunity to work with the legend, took to Twitter and shared a still from their movie ‘Izzatdaar’ while wishing him good health. “Happy birthday @TheDilipKumar saab, I wish you good health and a long life ahead. I feel fortunate remembering the times we spent together while shooting for Izzatdar and Kanoon Apna Apna. Sending you my best wishes. Take care,” she tweeted.

Actor Ritesh Deshmukh also wished the veteran actor by posting a bunch of photos with him on his Twitter account. “