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I cannot forget…

By Mohammed Yousuf Khan

Mohammed Yousuf Khan, better known as Dilip Kumar, is without doubt, one of India’s most loved and Indian silver screen’s first mega star. Now 85, he reminisces and shares, with The South Asian Life & Times, the nostalgia of a film career that spanned fifty years and introspects on his varied life experiences.


Every memory becomes important as time passes by. Nostalgia increases as one grows older. I cannot easily forget, for instance, the wonderful time spent with S. Mukherji, the founder of "Filmistan" and Ashok Kumar who was senior to me and regarded me as a younger brother. I enjoyed listening to Mukherji Sahab and Ashok Kumar’s friendly arguments in Bengali, which is such a refined language to the ear that one is compelled to believe that nothing unpleasant is being spoken. Of course, they were not the sort to indulge in coarse humour or unpleasant remarks.

Ashok Kumar was studying French those days but he always confided to me that he wished he had the ability to speak English as fluently as I did. That was a big surprise to me because I never made any great effort to gain proficiency in the English language. Mukherji Sahab, too, supported Dadamoni in this compliment and they left me wondering and pleasantly surprised.

S. Mukherji was an early influence in my career. He gave the impression of being casual but that was his deceptive exterior. He had a sharp mind and acumen for business. He always sought and expected quick results. If anything had to be done, he’d say let’s do it now. He liked to spend time with me and Ashok Bhaiya (Ashok Kumar) chatting about anything and everything. His absorbent mind would absorb everything and ideas would be running through his mind even as we’d be talking lightly and informally. He was charming and sophisticated. He had an ear for good music and he enjoyed soirees where poets and musicians came together.

Another interesting person I got to work with was S. S. Vasan, the big boss of Gemini Studios in Madras. His humility was amazing. He got ....


Read the complete article in the South Asian Life & Times (SALT) April - June 2008 issue

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