The iconic actor Dharmendra who turned 86 on December 8,remembered his idol Dilip Kumar on December 11.
“This is one day I never forget. If Dilip Saab had been alive he would have been 99 on December 11. Some months have passed since he left us. I feel a whole lifetime has gone by since he left. His influence on my life and personality was remarkable. I became an actor because I wanted to be like Yusuf Saab. I think every actor in Hindi cinema wants to be like him. I would see his films repeatedly, try to say my dialogues like him.”
Dharmendra remained close to Dilip Saab and his wife Saira Banu until Dilip Saab death. “I was always welcome at their home. Saira and I did many films together even after their marriage. I am very fond of her and vice versa. After Yusuf Saab’s death she has become a recluse. We all tried to reach out to her. But she preferred to be alone.”
On the occasion on his 99th birthday Subhash Ghai’s film school , Whistling Woods organized a homage to Dilip Kumar.
Says Dharmendra, “Saira was there. I was so happy to see her. I was glad to celebrate my idol’s birth anniversary with her.Even Subhash Ghai is a big fan.”
Dharmendra says his birthday celebrations were eclipsed by the ghastly national tragedy. “We lost our national hero General Bipin Rawat on my birthday. I cancelled all celebrations. Every year now I will be reminded of this terrible tragedy on my birthday. In any case there is nothing to celebrate. There is only misery and hardship everywhere.”