Expectedly, Pakistani newspapers gave utmost prominence to the news of Dilip Kumar’s death and it formed the headline of most of the well known dailies. A country that had the privilege of housing the thespian’s birthplace, Peshawar, honoured him with the highest civilian award, Nishan-e-Imtiaz and loved his work as much as we loved here, ought to have treated his demise as a big event.
As very succinctly put in a couplet by redoubtable port Anwar Shaoor, who writes a topical couplet every day in Urdu Jung, grieving the thespian’s demise, it read:
تھے کب سے دلیپ کمار بیمار
کوچ آخر کر گیے وو
سنسار مین سو برس کا جیون
بھرپور گُزار گیے وو
थे कब से दिलीप कुमार बीमार
कूच कर गए वह
संसार में सौ बरस का जीवन
भरपूर गुज़ार गए वह!!
Loose translation of the above:
Dilip Kumar suffered for long
And bade adieu at last
Lived in this world for almost a century
A life that was celebratory till the last!
More importantly, the loss of Dilip Kumar is not a simple loss of an actor par excellence. It’s the loss of that common heritage that the two neighbours share but which is increasingly becoming rare. Raj Kapoor also came from Peshawar. OP Nayyar was from Lahore and these icons were the reminders of that shared heritage of these two countries which were one till 1947.
The above aspect becomes especially relevant when the new generation on both sides of the border engages in some very acrimonious exchange on social media, in spite of the two countries having a common heritage.
This is the third in the series of blogs that I dedicate to the thespian. Justice couldn’t have been done to such a towering personality in one blog. His life was so rich that one can write pages and pages on it, but for the time being, I will end this series with this last blog on the great actor, loved by generations and emulated by every actor worth his or her salt! As very graciously put by Megastar Amitabh Bachchan- “ whenever the history of Indian Cinema will be written , it shall always be ‘before Dilip Kumar, and after Dilip Kumar’ ..
Dilip might be dead but Salim, Devdas, Gopi, Ram, Shyam, Jugnu, Ganga and so many other characters lived by Dilip will always remain alive!