When Dilip Kumar 'appealed' to comatose Raj Kapoor to wake up: 'I know you are great actor. Enough is enough'

  • Dilip Kumar had visited Raj Kapoor when he was in a coma in a hospital. Rishi Kapoor had described the meeting in a note in Dilip’s autobiography.
Dilip Kumar with Raj Kapoor
Dilip Kumar with Raj Kapoor
Published on Jul 09, 2021 04:31 PM IST
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Late veteran actor Dilip Kumar had visited his childhood friend, actor Raj Kapoor when he was in a coma at a Delhi hospital. Raj hospitalised for the 'last time' before he died. Recalling Dilip's 'plaintive appeal' for Raj to wake up, the latter's son and late actor Rishi Kapoor described the incident as a note in Dilip’s autobiography, Dilip Kumar: The Substance and the Shadow.

Rishi Kapoor wrote, "I have three distinct memories from my adult years that I can share without reservations. First the memory which haunts me even to this day. It goes back to the last time papa was admitted in hospital and almost every known person in the industry had dropped in to give us emotional support. Papa was in coma and we knew the end was near. Yousuf Uncle was in Pakistan to attend a felicitation by the president when papa was shifted to Apollo hospital in Delhi where he had suffered a cardiac stroke."

"The day Yousuf Uncle returned to Mumbai he took a flight to Delhi and rushed to the hospital. I re-member very clearly how he walked into the room where papa was lying unconscious and drew a chair close to the bed on which he sat holding papa's hand. He began telling papa, 'Raj, aaj bhi main der se aaya. Maaf kar de mujhe [I am sorry I came late even today; forgive me]'," he said.

"I know you like to be in the limelight and have all the attention on you. Enough is enough. Get up and sit and listen to me. I have just come back from Peshawar and I have brought back the aroma of chapli kebabs to tempt you. You and I will go together and we will walk through the bazaar like we used to and enjoy the kebabs and rotis. Raj, wake up and stop acting. I know you are a great actor. Raj, mainu le jana hai tusi Peshawar de ghar de aangan wich.' [You have to take me with you to the courtyard of the house in Peshawar.] His voice was now choking and tears were brimming over from his eyes as he spoke," Rishi added.

"Randhir [Rishi Kapoor's elder brother] and I stood still and mute. I can never erase the memory of Yousuf Uncle's plaintive appeal and the way he left the room reluctantly, turning back at the door to take one last look at his dearest friend lying unconscious on the bed," he also wrote.

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Dilip Kumar (98) died on Wednesday morning at the PD Hinduja Hospital in Mumbai, where he had been admitted on June 30. He was laid to rest at Juhu's cemetery with full state honours on Wednesday evening. He was born Yousuf Khan in Peshawar, Pakistan, on December 11, 1922.

His five-decade career included Mughal-e-Azam, Devdas, Naya Daur, and Ram Aur Shyam. He later graduated to character roles, Kranti, Karma and Saudagar. In Mughal-e-Azam, he played the iconic role of Prince Salim.

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Wednesday, December 01, 2021