New Delhi: Age and experience have not robbed him of the pleasure of fresh glory and even as the first superstar of Bollywood turns 89 today, he is as exuberant and charming as a newcomer. Yes, we are talking about the King of Tragedy Dilip Kumar who celebrates his 89th birthday.

Dilip Kumar's myriad colours

Dilip Kumar has given a distinctive identity to Indian cinema with his dynamic performances. He has starred in a variety of roles, in romantic Andaz (1955), in the comical Azaad (1955), in the historical romance Mughal-e-Azam (1960), the dramatic Devdaas (1955) the struggler Aan (1952) and the social Ganga Jamuna (1961). He showcased myriad colours of his acting skills with effortless ease.

Tragedy King’s reel and real life journey

Dilip Kumar was born Muhammad Yusuf Khan in Qissa Khawani Bazaar in Peshawar, Pakistan on December 11, 1922 in a Pashtun family of twelve children. His father Ghulam Sarwar was a fruit merchant and owned large orchard in Peshawar and then in Devlali in Maharashtra near Mumbai. The family relocated to Mumbai in the 1930s and early 1940s. Yusuf Khan moved to Pune and started his canteen and dry fruits business.

There he was spotted by a leading actress of those years, Devika Rani, who was also the wife of the founder of Bombay Talkies Himanshu Rai and helped his entry into Bollywood. She wanted his name changed and couldn’t decide between Dilip Kumar and Vaaman Kumar. It was Jairaj, then a big star, who suggested Dilip, after his own son.

Such was his charisma that it is said that at the peak of his career, producers would line up at Dilip Kumar’s house with signing amounts. The actor being very choosy would turn them down, but they would still leave the money behind, hoping he would say yes.

 Dilip Kumar tried his hand at direction with a film called 'Kalinga', produced by Sudhakar Bokade. But the film got shelved later.

 Dilip Kumar starred with his big rival Dev Anand in a film called 'Insaniyat'. But interestingly, a chimpanzee, which was also a part of the movie, walked away with all the accolades.

He was the first person to win a Filmfare Best Actor Award and has since then won the award in the same category for 8 times. Besides this, in 1998, Dilip Kumar was awarded the Nishan-e-Pakistan, the highest civilian award conferred by the government of Pakistan. He has also been a member of the Upper House of Parliament since 2000 and is known for his extensive charity work.

Closet secrets

Dilip Kumar’s personal life is a true reflection of his Bollywood image-‘Tragedy King’. According to sources, he lost his heart for the first time in his life for renowned actress Kamini Kaushal. Their romance started on the set of 'Shaheed'(1948) and soon they were planning to get married but Kamini's brother who was in the Army played the role of villain in their love story.

One day, he threatened Dilip to break all his connections with Kamini by showing a pistol to him. It was also not possible for Kamini to rise against her family as she was already married to her late sister's husband, Mr. Sood.

After the break-up with Kamini Kaushal, Dilip found love in the arms of the most beautiful and desirable lady Madhubala, daughter of Attaulah Khan. They both had almost made up their mind to devote their whole life to each other when destiny conspired against them.

The main reason for their breakup was a controversial court case filed by director B.R Chopra against her on refusal of doing outdoor shootings for the signed film 'Naya Daur' in which Dilip testified against her. It is said that it was her father who played a tricky role behind the curtain to separate these two love birds because of his possessiveness towards his daughter as she was the only breadwinner for his family.

After this incidence, Madhubala was so distressed that she married actor-cum-singer Kishore Kumar in 1960 at the age of 27 years to show her anger towards Dilip Kumar but the fact was that she loved Dilip till the last breath of her life. Dilip was her true love.

Dilip had done almost six movies with the brilliant actress and dancer Vyjyantimala and therefore people started to link them romantically. But both always denied about their affair.

Finally, Dilip Kumar married the bubbly actress Saira Banu, daughter of actress Naseem Banu and film producer Milan Ehsan-ul-Haq on October 11, 1966. This marriage created a sensation due to the huge age difference between them.

Another sensation broke loose when rumors about Dilip Kumar’s second marriage started doing the rpunds.

It was reported that Dilip married Asma in 1980. Tensions started brewing between Saira Banu and Dilip Kumar. However, his second marriage broke up as soon as he realised that Asma was cheating on him by disclosing all his secrets to the press along with her former husband.

In the mean time, Saira also kept forcing Dilip to divorce either of them and choose the better one between the two.

A salute and hearty wishes to the thespian actor on his 89th birthday from Jagranpost team.

(Farhat Jabeen/JPN)