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13 years of Black: Amitabh Bachchan shares his greatest compliment - a letter from idol Dilip Kumar

Amitabh Bachchan took to Twitter to share the experience of working in Black with Sanjay Leela Bhansali and how it still haunts him.

bollywood Updated: Feb 04, 2018 13:25 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Dilip Kumar,Amitabh Bachchan,Black
Amitabh Bachchan and Dilip Kumar have worked together in only once, in Ramesh Sippy’s Shakti (1982).

The Bollywood actors who delivered superlative performances in the last few years have one thing in common -- hand-written letters of appreciation they received from Amitabh Bachchan. The letters are immediately shared on social media by the actors who consider them nothing less than awards. Padmaavat actors Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone were the recent actors to receive this badge of honour. However, there is one letter that Bachchan prizes as much and it is from his idol, Dilip Kumar.

As his film Black, directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and co-starring Rani Mukerji, completed 13 years, Bachchan took to Twitter to again share the letter written by Kumar a few years ago. Big B wrote, “T 2604 - 13 Years of BLACK .. and the greatest compliment from my idol Dilip Saheb, Dilip Kumar - Yusuf Khan ! .. the history of the Indian Film Industry shall always be referred to as ‘.. before Dilip Kumar; and after Dilip Kumar ..” Amitabh played an Alzheimer's patient in the film who was also the tutor to Rani Mukerji’s character. Rani played a visually impaired girl who could not speak but lives life to the fullest.

In the letter, Dilip Kumar wrote: “With tears of pride in her eyes Saira handed over the print out of your (Big B) eloquent tribute to my work (Dilip Kumar) in your blog. I read it once, then again and again... I am certainly privileged to know from your affectionate compliments that someone as knowledgeable and competent as you has liked my work. Yes, now that you have reminded me, I can recall the scenes that brought us together before the cameras for Shakti. I should say the respect and admiration are mutual. Not just Shakti, your work in several films I have watched has been world class and inimitable.

He wrote about Black, “In recent times, I can remember Black and, if I remember right, Saira and I were at a loss for words at the premiere night, after the curtain came down, to express our myriad feelings of admiration for your outstanding performance. It is a pity the film missed the Oscar nomination. If any Indian actor, in my personal opinion, deserves the world’s most coveted award, it is you.”

Bachchan shared some other thoughts on Black in his tweets.

Amitabh and Dilip have worked together in only once, in Ramesh Sippy’s Shakti (1982) where Dilip played Amitabh’s dad. While Dilip Kumar essayed the role of a cop, Amitabh turned out to be the one who steps on the wrong side of the law. The film also starred Smita Patil, Rakhee and Amrish Puri and explored father-son relationship and the complexities involved.

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First Published: Feb 04, 2018 13:25 IST