Happy Birthday Dilip Kumar (Interview)

Dilip KumarThe legendary Dilip Kumar who celebrates his 90th birthday today, recalls his journey full of surprises with satisfaction and a smile. He says it was his patience and sense of choice that helped him lead a successful career.

Excerpts from the interview to IANS:

Q. You turn 90 on December 11. Ninety is just a number specially when one considers a life as well-lived as yours. Sir, as you look back what do you feel about the first 90 years of your life?

A. I can look back at my life with a sense of satisfaction and some surprise at certain events that have added the twists and turns to an otherwise normal, serene life.

Q. Dilip saab, in the 90 years which events would you regard as the greatest events and milestones in your astounding life?

A. My entry into the profession of acting which was most unexpected. My marriage to a beautiful girl two score years younger with whom I had declined to co-star because she was too young to be my leading-lady, my decision to challenge myself by switching over to comedy when I was being hailed for my intense tragic roles that had evoked public esteem and adulation.

Q. Every actor wants to be like you. You have defined fine and brilliant acting for six decades. You have spawned generations of admirers from Mr. Amitabh Bachchan to Shah Rukh Khan. How do you evaluate your own contribution as an actor?

A. I have seriously pondered over this because the question has been put to me so many times. I guess it is a normal instinct to follow an example if you are drawn to it for whatever attributes you admire in that example. An actor should possess a strong instinct, besides a mind of his own and a striking personality. He should be able to absorb the positive and delete the negative from the influences that are bound to crowd his mind. The mind has to be respected and obeyed when it tells you to accept or reject an influence.

Q. What qualities should an actor cultivate?

A. It is not for me to generalize on the dos and don’ts. Every actor I watched in my formative years had his own individualistic qualities and assets. I had the discrimination fortunately at that age – I was only 20 – to decide that I had to be patient and pick only those films I liked to work in. There were times in the early phase of my career when I needed the big money that was being offered to me after some of my films became box office hits. But I resisted accepting them because I did not relate to those scripts and propositions.

Q. Your refusal must have upset a lot of producers?

A. The producers who came to me with those offers felt they had the role of a lifetime for me, a newcomer. They advised me that it was foolish to refuse the offers when the going was so good because in show business you have to show that you are in great demand and you are extremely busy. I could have been swayed by the talk but it was my basic strength of discrimination that helped me to be firm and go by what my mind told me to do. So if you judge from my career it is the quality of patience and discrimination that paid off. It cannot be the general thumb-rule because I know of actors who worked in six films simultaneously and were gloriously happy and relaxed.

Q. Dilip saab, you have worked with the most exquisite actresses – from Madhubalaji to Sairaji. Who were your favourites, and why?

A. I was never the one to choose my co-stars. That prerogative was the producer’s and director’s. When I teamed with Meena Kumari in ‘Azaad’, she was also changing gears (from serious roles to comedy). We hit it off in light-hearted acting and it encouraged the makers of ‘Kohinoor’ to cast us again in lively roles. She made a delightful co-star and we got along well outside our work because we shared a taste for good Urdu poetry.

Q. And Madhubala?

A. Madhubala was very vivacious as an artist and person. It was in ‘Tarana’ that our pairing became noticed, though most film lovers cherish her gorgeous screen presence in ‘Mughal-e-Azam’. Waheeda Rehman was wonderfully sprightly in ‘Ram Aur Shyam’ and equally intense in ‘Dil Diya Dard Liya’. As for Saira, it was only when we began work in ‘Sagina’ that I realised how capable Saira was. She handled the dramatic scenes with amazing confidence and with little help from me. It clearly demonstrated her latent potential that had remained untapped in all the romantic musicals she came to be adored for.

Q. Who was your favourite co-star?

A. I have consistently rated Nalini Jaywant as a formidable co-star. She was the only actress who could take me by surprise in the final take if I was not alert enough thanks to the natural spontaneity she possessed.

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Comments

rohit:  (December 11, 2012 at 8:09 pm)

the greatest actor of bollywood n best representative of indo-pak unity.long live sir!

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radha:  (December 11, 2012 at 8:25 pm)

happy birthday dilip kumar ji..may God bless u!

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Dabangg3:  (December 11, 2012 at 8:45 pm)

Respect….

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JIBRAEEL JACKSON ISLAMABAD:  (December 11, 2012 at 9:38 pm)

MAY YOU LIVE FOR ANOTHER 90 YEARS
LONG LIVE LIVING LEGEND
8 LEAD ACTOR FILMFARE AWARDS RECORD
SHAHRUKH KHAN IS THE ONLY ACTOR WINNING 8 AS A LEAD
BOTH ARE PATHAN
LONGLIVE PATHAN

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Toni Saikh:  (December 11, 2012 at 10:46 pm)

Respect

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samar anand:  (December 11, 2012 at 11:06 pm)

The Most talanted actor in the world the legend long live yusuf saab

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Noam:  (December 12, 2012 at 1:57 am)

Congrats DILIP KUMAR aka YUSUF SAAB.

U WERE U ARE AND U LL BE THE MOST FINEST ACTOR OF BOLLYWOOD INDUSTRY

NO ONE TILL DATE HAS EVER MATCHED U IN UR ENIGMA

WE SALUTE U SIR.

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jack08:  (December 12, 2012 at 4:20 am)

RESPECT..! THE LEGEND.ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAV.

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Shafi:  (December 12, 2012 at 11:45 am)

Congrats
Kal Idar Nishtar Hall Peshawar Mey Aap ka 90th birthday Sarkari tor per manaya gaya. Long Live unfortunately i missed it

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JIBRAEEL JACKSON ISLAMABAD:  (December 12, 2012 at 11:53 am)

FILMFARE AWARD AS A LEAD ACTOR
SALMAN =0
AAMIR=2
HRITHIK=4
AMITHAB=5
SHAHRUKH=8
YOUSAF KHAN=8

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fan of dilp:  (December 12, 2012 at 8:03 pm)

The way dilip kumar speak its like a poetry, his perfomance in all 47 films of his career its noticeable either its a hit or a flop, we know this actor since long, in my childhood I seen first film on video its SHAKTI and with a very first seen I like the way he say coz its again AMITABH BACHAN MY fav at that time, I like karma, saudagar,Marshal all films are great

we cannot compare him with n e one he is an institution to everyone in bollywood we respect u sir, wish u a happy birthday

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