On Dilip Kumar’s 92nd birthday Thursday, a host of Bollywood icons, including megastar Amitabh Bachchan and songstress Lata Mangeshkar, as well as his wife Saira Banu went down memory lane to pick their favourite among the veteran actor’s popular filmography.
Here’s what they had to say:
Amitabh Bachchan: “Ganga Jumna”. Why? Because…….
Saira Banu: “Ganga Jumna”. Perfect script. Perfect film in every aspect. His performance was the best in every film and yet he out-did himself in this film. Hats off.
Lata Mangeshkar: He is my all-time favourite hero, maybe because he’s my ‘Bade Bhaiyya’ (big brother) and and I’ve been his ‘Chhoti Bahen’ (younger sister) for years now. I love all his films. But “Mughal-e-Azam” and “Ganga Jumna” are my favourites.
Naseeruddin Shah: My favourite Dilip Kumar film is “Mughal-e-Azam”. It is certainly one of the greatest films made in India. Except for the wig which marred his look, his performance is exceptional for its understated intensity and dignity. His performance in “Amar” is another favourite.
Raakhee Gulzar: I had the privilege of working with him in “Shakti”. There is so much to learn from him. All his performances are masterclasses. But if you insist that I pick favourites, it would have to be “Ganga Jumna” and “Sagina”.
Javed Akhtar: Dilip Kumar is to Indian film acting what Panini is to Sanskrit, Newton is to Science and Ghalib is to poetry. My favourite Dilip Kumar film? Tough to choose one. I like him equally in “Ganga Jumna”, “Madhumati” and “Devdas”.
Asha Parekh: It’s very difficult to pick one favourite. He was so good in all. But I’d say “Ganga Jumna”. He carried off the rustic look so effectively.
Subhash Ghai: I had the privilege, honour and pleasure of directing India’s greatest actor in three films. It’s hard to pick my favorites. But it would have to be “Devdas”, “Ganga Jumna” and “Mughal-e-Azam”.
Ustad Amjad Ali Khan: “Ganga Jumna” and “Mughal-e-Azam”.