Sunday, October 2, 2022

Waking up every day, feeling of loot: Saira Banu pays special tribute to Dilip Kumar on News18 Shosha

A year has passed (since Dilip Kumar passed away) and I am trying in vain to move forward every day. I wake up every morning with the feeling that He has been unfailingly supportive of anything I have achieved and given me the strength to overcome my worries.

This has been the toughest year of my life. Without Dilip sahib my world is meaningless and empty. This is the only reality with which I do not want to settle. Not a single day has gone by when I have met people who do not remember them.

We spent almost 56 years together and literally grew up together as husband and wife. Everyone knows I fell in love with him when I was 12 and I grew up with the dream that all I had in mind was that he was the perfect man for me alone. When the dream came true I knew I was not her only fan and I jumped into the long line of women hoping to be Mrs. Dilip Kumar. For me, as lucky as his wife, mom, friends, fans all rolled into one, he lives on in the memories I’ve cherished in my heart.

When my beloved grandmother, Shamshad Begum Sahiba (Hindustani classical singer) passed away, I was saddened, but I moved on. It was Ammaji – the grandmother and mother together who raised me and my brother in England, where we grew up. When my mother Naseem Bano, India’s first beauty queen, a film star in her own right and a brave single parent, passed away, I was broken and disappointed. But I moved on again.

My brother Sultan Ahmed passed away a few years back. He was young and active and a very loving person. I was devastated because our family was a close-knit family.

It was because of Yusuf Saab (Dilip Kumar) that I had the courage to move forward. I found his tender care and strong emotional support. He had his own way of asking me to come to terms with the inevitable and insurmountable difficulties and losses in my life. He had his own way of comforting me and subtly insisted that life has to go on and that no mortal is immortal.

From the time I wake up, looking at the empty space next to me in bed for more than five and a half decades, until nightfall, I have lived with the knowledge that I should consider myself very lucky to have had my Yusuf Saab. With me for 56 years. Everyone knows I fell in love with him when I was 12 – and he is very much alive to me and all his fans and cinema students who see him as their mentor through his unique body of work. which he has left behind. A precious heritage for us.

I feel his warmth, his love, the lively gleam in his eyes when he spoke to my grandmother, with whom he discussed classical Hindustani music and Urdu poetry, the taste of the special tea served in special crockery my mother had only Set aside for him, his deep concern for his family and his close friends. Everything I see, touch and hear, I see and feel is the presence that keeps me alive and I am striving to move on.

Not a single moment passes every day in my life when my eyes don’t get moist by remembering him. If our staff or someone in the house turns on the TV and there’s a movie or song playing on the screen, I leave the room because I can’t contain my emotions.

The whole world remembers his most vivid memories due to which I feel he is alive for his fans and even for me. Many of his fans and followers have requested us to reactivate his Twitter account and inshallah we are planning to do it soon.

On his first death anniversary, I am going to complete Quran Khani (special prayer in Urdu to pray for the peace of those who have passed away) all day. I am sure that he is at peace with all his loved ones.

(As told to News18’s Sonil Dedhia)

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