Today, on 7 July 2021, legendary Bollywood actor Mohammed Yusuf Khan, professionally known as Dilip Kumar at 98, bid farewell to the world. A cinematic legend had been ill for a long time and was also admitted twice recently to Hinduja Hospital in Mumbai, where he breathed last time. His beloved wife Saira Bano stayed with him like a shadow and bid a final farewell with moist eyes in his last days.
Dilip Kumar not only made a mark because of his professional life and films but also made headlines for his personal life. From falling in love with Mudhabala to married 22 years younger Saira Bano, Dilip Kumar’s real life was no less than a film on the screen.
Dilip Kumar fling with Pakistani actress Kamini Kaushal
Dilip Kumar admits that he has also had a crush on the Pakistani actress, Kamini Kaushal, in his biography Dilip Kumar: The Substance And Shadow. But in 1948, Kamini married her brother-in-law to raise her late elder sister’s children after her death. It is reported that Dilip and Kamini wanted to flee even after her marriage, but eventually, they had to abort this idea because of pressure from the family and society.
Madhubala in life of Dilip Kumar
When it comes to Bollywood’s failed love stories, the first story that comes to mind is Dilip Kumar and Madhubala’s failed love story. Dilip Kumar and Madhubala’s love story began in 1957 with the film Tarana. Madhubala and Dilip Kumar had been in love for nearly seven years. Dilip Kumar and Madhubala had started loving each other ever since they first saw each other. Because of his shyness, Dilip Kumar was reluctant to express his love for her. So, Madhubala herself had taken the initiative in this love story.
But her family did not like their relationship. It’s not like her family is against marriage because Madhubala’s father is a producer and owns a production house. So, he wanted Dilip Kumar to work with him, but Dilip was against this. That’s why things turned ugly between them, and Madhubala finally succumbed to pressure from her father, thus ending this love story tragically.
But it was Saira Banu whom God himself had written in the destiny of Dilip Kumar
A Peshawar girl named Saira Bano was born in 1944 in the house of Ayesha Begum and Lala Ghulam Sarwar Khan. Saira Bano later moved to London after the Indo-Pak partition. Saira Bano herself admitted many times that she is the biggest fan of Dilip Kumar. When she was 12 years old that she wished, she could get married to Dilip Kumar. When Saira Bano came to India for a vacation, she used to sit in the studio for hours to watch the shooting of Dilip Kumar’s films.
In one of her interviews, Saira said that the first time Dilip Kumar smiled at her, she decided to become this actor’s wife one day. Later she also turned to Bollywood and became a successful actress, and worked with many veteran actors. Meanwhile, Saira Bano fell in love with Bollywood actor Rajendra Kumar. Rajendra Kumar, however, was married and had children. When Saira Bano’s mother came to know about this, she felt terrible. She explained a lot to his daughter. Dilip Kumar then explained to Saira Bano, and then Saira Bano asked him to marry her, which Dilip Kumar accepted later.
Dilip Kumar and Saira Banu’s marriage
Saira Bano’s mother also wanted Dilip Kumar and Saira to get married. When she spoke about it, Dilip Kumar was not ready to marry such a little girl. He even told Saira, Can’t you see my greying hair, but it didn’t matter to Saira, who was crazy about Dilip Kumar. After some gradual meetings, Dilip Kumar also fell in love and surprised everyone by marrying Saira.
The two tied the knot in 1966. Dilip Kumar was 44 years old when he married Saira, and Saira Bano was 22 years old. The age difference of 22 years didn’t become an obstacle in their marriage.
When Asma came into the life of Dilip Kumar
In the middle of her marriage with Saira Bano in the 1980s, Dilip Kumar fell in love with a Pakistani lady Asma. They met at a cricket match in Hyderabad. They two stayed in each other’s love for couple of years. It was rumoured that Asma and Dilip Kumar had secretly got married in 1979. But after some time, Dilip realised his mistake, ended his relationship with Asma, and then again came to Saira Bano.
In his career span of more than five decades, Dilip Kumar was also linked to his co-stars Waheeda Rehman and Vyjayanthimala. But Saira didn’t doubt Dilip Kumar even for a once and knew that her ‘Saab’ would come to his senses. And that’s exactly what happened!
In an interview with the Hindustan Times, Saira had said,
“For me, it was always Saab, no one else. I was his fan from the time I can remember. While still a teenager, I wanted to be his wife. I’m very headstrong, and once I made up my mind, there was no stopping me. I knew many beautiful women wanted to marry Saab, but he chose me. It was my dream come true, and that’s what my marriage has been a perfect dream.”
you’re a daughter of moon, who’s come down from the heavens. (bint-e-mehtab ho garduon se utar aayi ho بنت-مہتاب ہو گردوں سے اتر ای ہو ) pic.twitter.com/1b34D3s3B3
— Dilip Kumar (@TheDilipKumar) October 10, 2016
Dilip Kumar and Saira Banu’s Children and her Miscarriage
Their love is so deep, and their bond is unbreakable. Even after Saira’s miscarriage in 1972 in her 8th month of pregnancy because of high blood pressure, doctors even told Dilip Kumar that Saira could not conceive again after her miscarriage. When Saira was asked, in an interview with the Hindustan Times, if she regretted not having children with Dilip, she replied,
“Our marriage is the most important thing in my life. I don’t miss having a child because Saab is like a child at heart.”
Message frm Saira Banu: My Kohinoor, my sahab, the man of my dreams, my Yusuf jaan and I can’t thank enough- the millions of well-wishers, friends and family for your beautiful messages, calls and greetings on our 52 years of marriage today, Attaching a personal fav. photo -SBK pic.twitter.com/1mViBY3tN4
— Dilip Kumar (@TheDilipKumar) October 11, 2018
The epitome of love and relationship
Dilip Kumar always praised Saira for always standing by his side. His Twitter profile is a proof of that. In an interview with TOI, Saira Banu said that she takes care of Dilip Kumar out of love and not because she was looking for praise. She was quoted saying,
“It is out of love and not duress that I look after Dilip saab. I am not looking for praises to be called a devoted wife. Just to touch him and cuddle him is the world’s best thing that’s happening to me. I adore him and he is my breath itself.”
Dilip Kumar passed away on 7 July 2021, aged 98, due to prolonged illness leaving Saira Bano alone.
Latest. An hour ago. pic.twitter.com/YBt7nLLpwL
— Dilip Kumar (@TheDilipKumar) June 7, 2021
Indeed their bond is much more than ordinary love. The way they met and how they got together is nothing less than a destined love story that everyone dreams of having that kind of love story.