Ali Peter John
There were rumours about Dilip Kumar losing his memory over trivial matters regarding the names of people, the films he had done long ago, the people he had worked with and the few lakhs of rupees he had taken as his advance for doing films in the future. It was causing embarrassments to him more than his wife, Saira Banu and all those close him and those working for him. This problem grew with times and I was unfortunately a witness to some of the incidence....
I had invited him to be the chief guest and give away awards to some of the leading citizens of Mumbai. He had gracefully agreed, like he had to most of the functions I had invited him to.
On the evening of the function I reached his Pali Hill house only to know that he had cleanly forgotten all about the function and was busy editing Saira's TV-serial made with stars called “Zara Dekho Toh Inka Kamaal". I didn't wait to call him because I knew he didn't like phone calls. I literally ran to the editing room and he was surprised to see me there till I told him why I was there. He came running down the stairs and asked me what the function was all about in his car. He asked me if he would have to wear a suit and a tie. He kept nodding my head till he finally asked me who I was interested in and for whom I was taking him. I told him it was for a man called Mr Ram Jawharani. He looked at me puzzled and said he had never heard a name like that before. I told him he would hear the name today as Mr Jawharani was publicity-crazy. He asked me to describe how Jawharani looked. I told him, it would not be difficult for him recognise him. He would be the darkest man in the auditorium, he would be wearing a stark white suit, a garish shirt and an even more garish tie and white shoes and would be sitting in the centre of the stage so that no camera could miss him. The Shenshah never looked so dazed. He asked me to sit bang opposite where he would be standing and moving my lips as if I was saying me Jawharani all the time. He was perfect when he mentioned all the other nineteen names, but when he reached Mr Jawharani, he was like a batsman caught by an entirely unexpected googly. He later apologised to Mr Jawharani and to me, but I can never forget the completely devastating face of Mr Jawharani at that moment when the Shenshah forgot his name....
- He was the chief guest at a function organised to celebrate vintage music and he spoke about his days playing cricket and football for more than forty minutes and neither the organisers nor the audience could say a word, because, after all, it was the Shenshah who was speaking.
- It was the opening of the election office of Sunil Dutt who firmly believed that Dilip Kumar was like his elder brother and that anything he did for him brought him luck. All his elections and campaigns were launched by Dilip Kumar. But on this particular evening when the campaign of Govinda too was to be launched, Dilip Kumar spoke about the Indo-China war of 1962.
A couple who were regular visitors and who worshipped the Shenshah were shocked when he once recognised him as the UP distributors of his film “Ganga Jamuna".
- The worst however happened at the Andheri Sports Complex. It was a rally of the workers of the industry. More than 30,000 people which belonged to every section had gathered in the heat of the sun. Dilip Kumar and Saira arrived to a standing and thunderous ovation. Aamir Khan went up to greet the Shenshah, Saira kept introducing Aamir to her husband, but he showed no signs of recognising Aamir. He was soon growing restless on stage and soon he showed signs of taking off his tie and opening the buttons of his shirt. There was alarm and the only one who knew what was happening and what could happen was Saira Banu who immediately called their car and rushed him home.
LIFE HAS JUST BEEN ONE LONG ROUND OF RUSHING IN AND OUT OF HOSPITALS AND IF THERE IS ONE HUMAN BEING WHO DESERVES ALL THE AWARDS IN THE WORLD FOR TAKING CARE OF ANOTHER HUMAN BEING WITH SO MUCH LOVE, SO MUCH CARE, SO MUCH PATIENCE AND SO MUCH FORTITUDE, IT IS WITHOUT ANY DOUBT THE BEGUM OF THE SHENSHAH, SAIRA BANU.
WHO COULD HAVE EVER THOUGHT IN THEIR WILDEST IMAGINATION OR KNOWN THAT A SHENSHAH LIKE THIS SHENSHAH WHO GAVE LIFE AND LOVE NEW DEFINITIONS WOULD ALSO GIVE SUFFERING A NEW DEFINITION????
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