Saira Banu pens heartbreaking note on Dilip Kumar's death anniversary: 'I bury my face in the pillow, hoping...'

Published on Jul 06, 2022 01:43 PM IST

Dilip Kumar's wife, actor Saira Banu in her long note recalled her time with the late actor. Dilip died in July 2021 following a prolonged illness.

Saira Banu on late husband Dilip Kumar.
Saira Banu on late husband Dilip Kumar.

Thursday will mark actor Dilip Kumar's first death anniversary. The legendary actor died on 7 July, 2021 after a prolonged illness. Dilip's wife Saira Banu wrote a long note for Dilip, reminiscing their 56 years together and how she fell in love with him when she was 12 years old. Also Read: Saira Banu, remembering Dilip Kumar on his 99th birth anniversary, says it's 'unimaginable to walk without him'

Saira Banu had shared screen space with Dilip in quite a few films like Sagina, Bairaag, and Gopi, before their marriage in 1966. The actor said that the memories of over five decades she spent with Dilip are what keep her going.

An excerpt from the note that Saira wrote to ETimes ahead of Dilip's first death anniversary reads, “I turn my face away and bury my face in the pillow and try to go back to sleep... as if by doing so I will open my eyes again and see him sleeping by my side, his pink cheeks glowing in the morning rays of the sun streaming into the room. Having said that, I must admit that I consider myself very fortunate that I had my Yousuf with me for 56 years and more. The whole world now knows I fell in love with him at the age of 12 and I grew up with the dream tucked away in my mind that he alone is the perfect man for me. When the dream came true, I knew I was not his only admirer and that I had jumped the long queue of women who were hoping to be Mrs Dilip Kumar. There were countless fans and actors and technicians and students of cinema who looked up to him as their guru."

In her note, she also mentioned that every time she sees his photo or if someone mentions him, she can't hold back her tears. Saira wrote, “Not a moment passes in my life every day when he is not before my eyes. If someone has switched on the television and one of his films is playing on the screen, if any of the audio devices is on and a song picturised on him is playing- my staff watches and listens avidly but I avoid joining them because I cannot hold back my emotions. I am unable to see any image of my Saheb without breaking down. Be it a popular song from one of his films or an interview.... or a forward on WhatsApp, replete with stories and anecdotes and personal recollections about his work and his unassuming nature and his genuine simplicity in the way he interacted with people.”

When Dilip died last year, numerous Bollywood stars including Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan, and Shah Rukh Khan made their way to Dilip's house and burial ground to pay their last respects. Less than two months after his death, Saira was admitted to Mumbai's Hinduja Hospital following breathlessness, high blood pressure, and high sugar.

Dilip, born Yousuf Khan and often known as the Nehruvian hero, did his first film Jwar Bhata in 1944 and his last Qila in 1998, 54 years later. The five-decade career included Mughal-e-Azam, Devdas, Naya Daur, and Ram Aur Shyam, and later, as he graduated to character roles, Shakti and Karma.

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