Today, Bollywood legend Dilip Kumar turns 96 and he still continues to recieve endless love from his fans who have embraced his prolific performances in a glorious career that has earned such epithets like Indian cinema’s Kohinoor and Tragedy King. Instead of having any major event, Dilip sahab will be spending time with his family and close friends.
“Saab has never wanted to celebrate birthdays. The last birthday we celebrated as a big event was his 89th birthday, which was in 2011 and of course, saab enjoyed that. Dilip Saab is not a big fan of celebrating birthdays," revealed his friend Faisal Farooqui to a leading news agency.
Message frm Saira Banu: My Kohinoor, my sahab, the man of my dreams, my Yusuf jaan and I can't thank enough- the millions of well-wishers, friends and family for your beautiful messages, calls and greetings on our 52 years of marriage today, Attaching a personal fav. photo -SBK pic.twitter.com/1mViBY3tN4— Dilip Kumar (@TheDilipKumar) October 11, 2018
“He has not done that in a very long time and birthdays are occasions where the family gets together and some close friends get together. So, Saab’s brothers and sisters would come, (his wife) Saira Banuji’s extended family will come and then my family and some close friends gather together. Even when Saab was active socially and personally, he was not fond of big celebrations. So, doing justice to that tradition, Sairaji has not planned anything big," he added.
Saira Banu, who is 22 years younger to Kumar, has been a solid support in the legend's life. She will be hosting a dinner with some people at their residence, Farooqui said, “He is recuperating in such a way that he does not need any hospitalisation now. He is at home and has a restricted diet, which is taken care of by Saira Banuji.”
In September and October, he was admitted to a hospital due to recurrent pneumonia. But he is now at home and recovering.
“He has not fully recovered but he is making great progress. Saab is resting at home, having his meals, interacting, but obviously one of the things that the doctor has advised us to be cautious about is the infections. So, we curb the access of a lot of people to meet him.”
Many Bollywood celebrities including Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan took the time out to visit him but the fear of catching an infection through outsiders keeps the family away from letting people come too often.
“Sairaji keeps getting these messages praying for his speedy recovery. A lot of stars and ordinary people too express their desire to meet him. Physically, it gets difficult to allow a lot of people to get to meet him."
“Priyanka Chopra had come to Mumbai from the US a couple of months ago for a short trip and made a point to meet them. Before that, Shah Rukh had come to seek Saab’s blessings and spent some time. Irrespective of the name, whether it is SRK, Priyanka or Aamir, what is important is that he has the love of people all over and all around.”
Dilip Kumar, whose real name is Muhammad Yusuf Khan, was born in Peshawar. He ventured into acting in 1944 with Jwar Bhata and later featured in cinematic jewels like Babul, Devdas, Mughal-e-Azam, Shakti and Saudagar among many others. His last Bollywood outing was in 1998’s Qila.