Welcome to February, 2015 edition of Carnival of Blogs on Golden Era of Hindi Film Music.
As has become a set pattern, we begin with articles form or regular blogs, commemorating anniversaries:
Kavi Pradeep: The singer of Message Songs – As tribute on the centenary of Kavi Pradeep (6 February 1915 – 11 December 1998) – the article goes on to present some songs sung by him, because he is in the class of singers who could not sing anything which was less than captivating.
The Masters: Khayyam spans the career that spanned more than six decades, with long stretches in between where Khayyam did not compose for films at all. In all, he composed for 54 films (and 17 other unreleased ones) and totalled up 626 songs (including those for TV serials and other non-film albums including those for Begum Akhtar and Mohammed Rafi).
And now onto some of the other – regular- offerings:
UttarMegh and Dekh Kabira Roya is also the inspired by the Meghadutam, which has been a source of inspiration of many an artist. ‘While PurvaMegh describes the scenic beauty that the cloud messenger would pass by on his way to Alaka nagari, as narrated by a certain Yaksha who is separated from his wife on account of negligence of duty and hence cursed by Kubera to be exiled for a year, UttarMegh is full of virah-bhava. ..The great painter Nana Joshi has created nine visualisations of the verses of UttarMegh…. That UttarMegh was a possible inspiration for the great lyricist Rajinder Krishan when he penned the lyrics for Dekh Kabira Roya – Meri Veena Tum Bin Roye and Ashqon se teri hamne [It is also interesting to note that the two songs are back to back in the movie] as well as Bairan Ho Gyai Raina – or even Amiya Chakraborty, the director of the movie, is what this post sets out to explore.
Cinema Cinema – Director Shah Krishna compiled this compelling documentary of Indian cinema after spending two years searching through film archives from all over the world. Included are films from the turn of the 20th century through the 1970s to illustrate various schools of filmmaking and the historical progression of the art form.
Mohammed Rafi: An Antique voice of showman Raj Kapoor – An Accolade to Raj Kapoor and Mohammed Rafi on their 90th BirthdayBy Biman Baruah – Mohammad Rafi has sung second highest songs for Raj Kapoor, after Mukesh, in films like Barsaat (1949), Andaz (1949), Dastan (1950), Sargam (1950), Amber (1952), Paapi (1953), Do Ustad (1959), Chhalia (1960), Nazrana (1961), Ek Dil Sau Afsane (1963) and Mera Naam Joker (1970).
We continue our pursuit of the golden period of Hindi Film Music …….
Welcome to February 2015 editionofCarnival of Quality Management Articles and Blogs.
We have chosen to visit Institute for Healthcare Improvement, envisioning “Improving Health and Healthcare Worldwide”. We would especially focus on Resources thereat, which offers tools, change ideas, measures to guide improvement, IHI white papers, audio and video, improvement stories, and more.
IHI uses the Model for Improvement as the framework to guide improvement work. The Model for Improvement,* developed by Associates in Process Improvement, is a simple, yet powerful tool for accelerating improvement. This model is not meant to replace change models that organizations may already be using, but rather to accelerate improvement.
We also get to learn about the fundamentals of the Model for Improvement and testing changes on a small scale using Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles.
In the video, Evans starts with a simple question: Why should you care about quality improvement? He presents a brief history of QI (including a “Mount Rushmore” of improvers), then touches on system design, the Model for Improvement, and the familiar challenge, “What can you do by next Tuesday?” — all in less than nine minutes!
Robert Lloyd, the Director of Performance Improvement at IHI, uses his trusty whiteboard to dissect the science of improvement. In short videos, he breaks down everything from Deming’s System of Profound Knowledge, to the PDSA cycle, to run charts.
In the second part, we have NDCBlogger from among the Influential Voices Blogroll Alumni.
This is the blog of Deborah Mackin, the author of The Team-Building Tool Kit series and founder of New Directions Consulting. She has a background in quality manufacturing and production, as well as organizational excellence
We have selected two of the articles from the blog so as to open a peep-in window to the blog:
“We are not making a change to a Team concept because we are doing something wrong. In fact, our success is due to the great work we have done to this point. We are a leader in the field. We want to maintain that leadership and to do so we need to move forward with how we do business.”
Paul O’Neill, a quality thought leader, 2013 Juran Medalist, and former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, chairman and CEO of Alcoa from 1987 to 1999, where he retired as chairman at the end of 2000, is now immersed in taking the principles of quality and using them to fix the enormous problems the U.S. faces in healthcare. As an acknowledged expert in healthcare economics, he uses the same quality principles he espoused and enforced at Alcoa to help healthcare executives and providers cut waste and increase effectiveness and safety.
First, when he went to Alcoa, he surprised everyone by what he made his top priority. It was not increasing shareholder value, capturing market share, or increasing profits. It was worker safety. Because, as Secretary O’Neill explains, your people are the most precious asset you have. When they are injured, you don’t have just an interruption in the work, you have real human suffering. No profit is worth that.
The second take away that resonates, as much as the first, is simply to treat everyone with dignity and respect.
The third point sounds simple, but its implications are unforgiving and pervasive. It is that your aim must be to be the best in the world at everything you do. This is a radical departure from what most of us think of as improvement. It does not say be better than last year or be better than the guy down the street. It says you must drive to be the best in the world and he meant exactly that. This, in more details , means to figure out theoretical perfection, measure yourself against that standard, and then figure out how to get there. You then start systematically eliminating everything that is keeping you from attaining that theoretical level of perfection, keep measuring, and don’t stop until you get there. (My) guess is that’s where even a leader as good as Paul O’Neill will lose a lot of potential followers. If you really mean it, this part is very, very tough. But, as Secretary O’Neill told me, it is also a lot of fun! ……….. We indeed intend to find out.
Julia McIntosh, ASQ communications , in her January Roundup: Quality Inspirations notes that – A quality role model could be anyone from a guru to a mentor to a person who is not “in quality” at all, but still embodies quality principles- Family, Professional Mentors or Icons and Beyond. The round up sums feedback from a cross-section of ASQ Influential Voices bloggers.
ASQ Fellow Manu Vora is chairman and president of Business Excellence, Inc. He is an expert in organizational excellence and the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. He blogs at Thoughts on Quality, wherein he puts across his views, thoughts and experiences in relation to the monthly topic for discussion @ASQ Influential Voice forum..
We have picked up one article – A Clear Vision – to illustrate the content on the blog.
The Oxford Dictionaries defines vision as “The ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom”. Why do organizations need vision? The vision provides a purpose, direction, and focus to take an organization to a next height. It is essentially a dream of the future. …the vision statement should be memorable, short, and uplifting (not several paragraphs put together by outside consultants which become ‘Words on the Wall (WOW)’). ‘ … The article supplements this with few excellent examples of Vision statements from the US Baldrige Performance Excellence Award winners in various domains.
The narrative of Dilip Kumar’s life and times at the Hindi Cinema World spans another 8 chapters. Some of the reviews written when the book was originally released do lament about somewhat sketchy treatment to the subjects like his co-stars or his highly gossiped love affairs or his own views on some of his landmark films. However, as Udayatara Nayar has noted in the book, (at this stage and age) Dilip Kumar has certainly been selective in choosing to open up on topics in his long career, spanning over six decades and around 60 films on the silver screen. So, be it.
Bombay Talkies was the best thing that happened to the young Yousuf Khan at a juncture when he had no clue to what acting in front of camera was. Ashok Kumar taught him to “do what you would do in the situation if you were really in it. If you act, it will be acting and it will look very silly.” Devika Rani conferred him with a screen name by which he would be better known, appropriate enough for his audience to relate to, one that would be in tune with the romantic image he was destined to acquire through his screen presence. That set him to be launched with his maiden film Jwar Bhata (1944) directed by Amiya Chakraborthy. It was the beginning of the journey into the world of Lights, Camera, Action that even as passed on without much impact, Dilip Kumar had realized that it would a difficult job, where he would have to find his own way to continue. An actor has to ‘strengthen his instincts because the duality of real and unreal cannot be sorted out by mind, which is more concerned with truth and logic in any normal situation’.
The new identity of Dilip Kumar had liberating impact, in that what had no need to see or study, Dilip surely needed to acquire and accumulate New Aspirations, New Experiences, in terms of reproducing the emotions, speech and behaviour of fictitious characters in front of the camera. By the time Dilip Kumar had completed his work in Jugnu, he was still not noticed when he would be walking on the pavement near Churchagte (a station on Western Railway, in Mumbai), despite having acted in three films, Jwar Bhata (1944), Pratima (1945) and Milan (1946). But the release of Jugnu (1947) brought him in the acclaim due to a (film) star, even within his own family. His father also had come to terms with the reality that his son had (finally) chosen a profession he had least expected him to enter.
Then followed a period Between The Personal And The Professional lives when Yousuf Khan had endure the loss of brother so close to him, Ayub Sahab, who succumbed to his chronic lung ailment and his mother, Amma, passed away, on 27 August, 1948, ‘peacefully from the turmoil of life to eternal tranquillity’. It took all his ‘strength and will power to supress the pain and deep sense of loss to stand up manfully before his brothers and sisters, giving them implicit understanding of being both mother and father to them’. On the professional front, Dilip Kumar’s contract with Bombay Talkies was coming to an end. As it was, by that time studio employment system was being replaced by actors and technicians working on a freelance basis. Dilip Kumar opted for S. Mukherjee’s Filmistan for Shaheed (1948). There he had ‘an understanding and facile co-actor in Kamini Kuashal (real name Uma Kashyap), who was very attentive to the demands of the director and had the intelligence to grasp the intrinsic sensitivity of more poignant situations in the script.’ The success of Shaheed had the pair teaming up for two more films at Filmistan – Nadiya Ke Paar (1948) – based on Rabindranath Tagore’s story Nauka Dubi- and Shabnam (1949). Being in twenties at that time, he was no super human being and did ‘prefer company of colleagues who were educated and well informed. Stardom bothered more than’ it pleased him. Possibly, he was drawn more intellectually than emotionally to Kamini Kaushal. “if that was love, may be it was.” Dilip Kumar has always been asked somewhat ‘intrusive question as to whether it makes a difference to the potency of emotions drawn from within one self in an intimate love scene if the actors are emotionally involved in their real lives’. An answer that is Yes and No, draws up Dilip Kumar to scenes as Prince Salim with Anarkali (Madhubal on the screen) for Mughal-e-Azam(1960), described in greater details in the later chapter “Madhubala“. It was also in this period that he met Mehboob Khan and Nuashad Miyan, relationships with whom blossomed into two enduring friendships and professional relationships. The meeting with Naushad led to Mela (1948). Dilip Kumar notes that among the major lessons that he learned while working with Directors like Nitin Bose or senior artist like Devika Rani was that even as it is not easy for an actor to rise above the script, if the collaboration among the writer, actor and the director worked well it was not impossible either. A director may be satisfied with the given shot, it is also for the actor to discern for himself whether he had really given his best. The actor would be within his (or her) rights for another shot if he (she) felt he (she) could do better.
Mela evokes some wonderful memories of the past in Reel Life versus Real Life. Firstly, this was the film that Dilip Kumar’s father watched in a cinema house. Secondly, it established enduring friendship between him and Naushad and between him and Nargis. Raj Kapoor and Nargis shared a chemistry that made a good equation for their scenes together. With Nargis, Dilip Kumar shared a different equation in front of the camera. He could attain similar ease with Madhubala in Tarana (1951), which has remained, for many reasons, one of the films that Dilip Kumar counts as the memorable one, from among the ones of his early part of the career. During early 1950s, Dilip Kumar was advised to switch over to comedy roles by an English psychiatrist. The doctor was certain that Dilip Kumar took his work home in his subconscious and turned the spoken lines and the scenes over and over in his mind to review the work done during the day. It was not as if he did not realize that whatever he was doing in the films was unreal and diametrically opposite to his real life and real self. That led Dilip Kumar to take up Azaad (1955), a remake of Malaikallan (1954), featuring M G Ramchandran (MGR) as hero. This also was a pleasant experience working with Meena Kumari. Dilip Kumar had presented himself with his first car after the success of Shabnam (1949) and his own residence in Mumbai after Azaad. Dilip Kumar does accept here that he was attracted to Madhubala as a fine co-star and as person who had some attributes he hoped to find in a woman at that age and time. Because of the rumours of this emotional involvement, their pairing in Mughal-e-Azam made sensational news in early 1950s. However matters began to sour between them when her father attempted to make the proposed marriage a business venture. The outcome was that halfway through the production, they were not even on talking terms. The classic scene with the feather coming between their lips was shot when they had completely stopped even greeting each other – one of the rarest examples of Reel Life versus Real Life.
The book has a full chapter on Madhubala. Contrary to the popular notions, her father Ataullah Khan, was not opposed her marrying with Dilip Kumar. He had his own film production company and two of the most popular stars under the same roof in his company, singing duets in his productions till the end of their careers was what he would have wanted. However, Dilip Kumar had his own way of functioning wherein he would not permitted any laxity even if it were his own production house. Madhubala persisted that these details can easily be sorted out once they were married. In the circumstances, it seemed best that they did not decide to marry or even give each other a chance to rethink of a union that would not be good for either of them. The parting of ways did not affect him. He categorically states that he chose to remain bachelor because he had young sisters to be married off, and for me the taking care of, and ensuring happiness of his brothers and sisters were paramount. Madhubala’s father got her entangled in a lawsuit with producer-director B R Chopra over the outdoor shooting work for Naya Daur (eventually released in 1957). Madhubala was replaced with Vyjayantimala, when ‘all sincere and genuine’ efforts on Dilip Kumar’s part became futile. The announcement of the renewal of the project of fresh shooting for Naya Daur created a stir in the media. It was made to appear that Dilip Kumar ‘had got Madhu out of the film, while the truth was that her father pulled her out of the project to demonstrate his authority.
The professional relationship with Vyjayantimala finds a special place in the book, in the form a full-fledged chapter: Devdas, Naya Daur and Beyond. Dilip Kumar was in two minds to take up Devdas (1955), the first of the seven-films that Dilip Kumar and Vyjayantimala did together. On one hand, it troubled him ‘initially to experiment with the rendering of a character who carried a heavy measure of pain and despondency under the skin and could mislead the more vulnerable youth to believe that alcoholism offered the best escape from the pain of losing in love. On the other hand, the subject was already successfully filmed with K L Saigal in the title role and Dilip Kumar had that opportunity to match his histrionic prowess with that benchmark and etch his name in the annals of Hindi Film history. Some of the dialogues from the film, penned by one of the very known literary names, Rajinder Singh Bedi, have become legendary and have lasted out the tests of time. (In fact, dialogue delivery was one of the very predominant weapons the armoury of Dilip Kumar’s histrionics. Here are five iconic dialogues from among many.) After Devdas, when they paired for Madhumati (1958), Vyjayantimala certainly draws a very fond word of praise from Dilip Kumar. Even as the film had tale of three incarnations of the heroin (played by Vyjayantimala), the story gets unfolded through the narrative of hero’s character (played by Dilip Kumar). He has fond memories of being able to score one-man-up-ship over her, while filming the fourth of their films, Paigham (1959), when during a visit to the sets by none less than the them Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, he gets a personal mention from Panditji, when it was Vyjayantimala who was expected to score on this front. However, it was during the making of Naya Daur, that Dilip Kumar noticed Vyjayantimala’s ‘ability to feign a rustic character’s mannerisms with conviction. So she was her first choice as the co-lead star for his home production, Gunga Jumna (1961).
At this stage, as he looks back On The Domestic Front, by the time his father passed away (on 5 March, 1950), Dilip Kumar did feel a sense of achievement that he could live up to his expectations.
Gunga Jumna, expectedly, has very important personal space in the career so far as Dilip Kumar is concerned, and the making of the films is quite vividly captured in The Travails of Film Making: “Gunga Jumna And After. Dilip Kumar’s character had a very powerful script, in that his character Gunga takes the refuge in the lawlessness of the dacoits to get back to the society what was rightfully his. The story had a built-in conflict between the elder brother who flees the society, ‘where law favours the rich and the powerful and unjustly discriminates the poor and defenceless’ and the younger brother who has to uphold the law of the nation as a police officer. Dilip Kumar had done two other films where he had played negative ‘anti-hero’ roles, in Amar (1954) and Footpath (1953). This role was , however, closer to a the then social reality. IN any case, “life’s surprises never cease”. Ram Aur Shyam (1967), which was going to turn out to be a very special film to Dilip Kumar, started with a bit of turbulence. Vyjayantimala, slated to play the lead, was upset with the producer on some matter and was peremptorily replaced with Waheeda Rehman. That ended seven-film association on a sour note.
After Bairag (1976), Dilip Kumar found himself at the cross roads, once again after he had found himself in a similar predicament after Ram Aur Shyam, whether to take up retirement from the active humdrum of the film world. At that time it was Saira Banu who persuaded him to prospects of perusing the scripts of the films. However, after Bairag, Dilip Kumar got embroiled in a lawsuit slapped on him by A R Kardar. It was during the fag end of this trying phase that Manoj Kumar came to him the idea of Kranti (1981) that marked The Second Innings of his career. Then came (Subhash Ghai’s) Vidhaata (1982) in which he plays an earthy character of a railway engine driver.
He went on to do Karma (1986) and Saudagar (1991) too for Subhash Ghai. If his pairing with equally established Raaj Kumar in Saudagar had caused many a ripples, his pairing with just branded Angry Young Men Amitabh Bachchan in Shakti (1982) or his portrayal of veteran upright journalist – editor in Mashaal (1984) evoked fair degree of laurels form the public as well as critics. He credits the extremely involved acting in the famous sequence in Mashaal, in which Vinod Kumar (the character played by him) tries to stop his dying wife, to the deeply etched memories of his own father wailing to get the medical help for asthmatically gasping His mother.
In fact, the very genesis of the present autobiography is that whatever has been written earlier about Dilip Kumar is considered to be ‘full of distortions and misinformation’. So less is known about Yousuf Khan, the substance, and it is so natural to get myths floating around a towering figure of the stature of Dilp Kumar, the shadow, that “an authentic, heartfelt and compelling narrative”, in the form of an ‘autobiography’ would invariably whip up the appetite for the various ‘aspects of life and times of THE titan of Indian Cinema.
This is not a review of the book, but a fairly selective, critical appraisal that would provide a reasonable insight into the contents of the book, and thereby in the principal protagonist, Dilip Kumar, born on 11th December, 1922 as Mohammad Yousuf Khan, the fourth among eleven children of nice, gentle and pious Pathan couple – Mohammad Sarwar Han and Ayesha Bibi.
The contents of the book is spread over four phases – The Personal Life of Yousuf Khan; First and Second Innings at the Hindi Film Cinema; Marriage and Life with Saira Banu and Reminiscences by actors, directors, friends and relatives.
We would take up each section every week, starting with –
The Seeds of a Flight of a Fruit Merchant’s Son, Yousuf Khan, The Substance, To The Legendary Thespian Dilip Kumar, The Shadow
The book opens with a Foreword by Dilip Kumar’s wife Saira Banu. She extols ‘widely known admiration’ in an ardently pride narrative and in the process, presents some quite interesting facets of the persona of Dilip Kumar:
§ Dilip Kumar is a fanatically voracious reader. The range of the subjects he reads is as much varied as is his range of histrionics. Dilip Kumar is also very keenly fond of good poetry, classical music and dance.
§ His persona transcends lands, religions and castes. He sternly refuses to see negative side of anyone or any situation.
§ His secular beliefs spring straight from his heart and his respect for all religions, castes, communities and creeds. His closet friends are Parsis.
§ He is very fond of his family.
§ He would never want to miss out on enjoying any of the splendour of nature’s beauty.
§ Flying kites, with the whole family in the toe, is great love. He maintains his treasure of his kites and manja with as much care and as much detail as he maintains his personal wardrobe.
Udaytara Nayar, a veteran journalist and writer on her own, is also a very close friend of Dilip Kumar and Saira Banu. In Introduction (A Dream Come True), while presenting the challenge of drawing out Dilip Kumar from his dislike of talking about himself, has been quite painstaking in documenting the frequent use of chaste Urdu in a fairly flowing English narrative. Of particular interest are the accounts of Dilip Kumar’s grasp of management skills as a complete professional and awareness of social responsibilities as a star and a role model. His uncanny choice of Premnath in a negative role in Aan (1952) as a key driver of the publicity or “He never faked anything, be it his appreciation..or his concern for a colleague” or meticulously studying the script and character and then to draw upon from his keen sense of observation are typical takeaways for a professional in any field of activities.
The first eight chapters vividly describes the built up of base of Yousuf Khan’s metamorphosis into Dilip Kumar takes place.
Yousuf Khan’s date of Birth, in the Kissa Khwani Bazaar of a famous city of Peshawar in the then undivided India’s North West Frontier Province itself would find a mention in the chronicles, because a huge fire had gutted the goldsmiths’ workshops in that area. Yousuf’s Dadi’s opinion of her grandson’s arrival on this earth amidst blizzard and fire was further bolstered by fakir’s prophecy that the child was “made for great fame and unparalleled achievements.” Dadi’s extra efforts to protect her grandson form the evil eyes of the world seemed to transform Yousuf into an ‘loner at school, getting lost in the make-believe world of pictorial books.’
The pain of The Matriarch and Her Brood giving infant Yousuf a very ugly look to protect him from the evil of the world was to surface from the subconscious of Dilip Kumar while playing early tragic roles in career of the soon to be titled tragedy king. The isolation at the school did not seem to affect young Yousuf’s activities at home, but the mental agony of the characters that Dilip Kumar portrayed on the screen did lead him to seek help of psychotherapy.
The Escapades and Adventures of childhood years of Yousuf certainly seem to have ignited Dilip Kumar’s sense of storytelling. Young Yousuf would walk to the city square every day, in the toes of his father, Aghaji, to listen to unfolding of a narrative by one of the maulanas. He would not only enjoy the narrative but also let his fertile imagination conjure up characters and situations in his mind so graphically that back home he would try enacting the characters with the lines spoken by maulana. Several years later these embedded experiences were to unfold in the storytelling exercises for the cinema! Dadi was the first censor Yousuf came across in his life. She would abruptly curtail a story being told at the congregation of the family members around a bon fire of a sigdi on winter night, if she felt it was it was not good enough to be told in the presence of women and children. In his solitudes Child Yousuf also indulged in the pastime of imitating ladies and men who came visiting his parents. Among these visitors was the elder son of Yousuf’s father’s Hindu friend Basheshwarnath Kapoor, who would stun the ladies with his handsome appearance. That was Raj Kapoor’s father, Prithviraj Kapoor.
Off To Bombay: A New Chapter Begins when Yousuf’s father shifted to Bombay to explore the business potential in the wake of the news of impending world war. During the journey to Bombay by Frontier Mail, family friends would come to meet them with refreshments at some of the stations. Some of them were Hindus. When the trains stopped at stations, the vendors would sell ‘Hindu Chai, Hindu Paani, Muslim Chai, Muslim Panni. The travelling Khan family did take little notice of the difference. Adolescent Yousuf grew up in an atmosphere of warmth and affection. He was extremely shy, but not unhappy. There was no more shaving of his pate now (in the year 1937). The growth of thick black hair elicited compliments form all ladies, which would yield into a ritual by his mother for shooing away the evil eye. ‘Today, in (his) ninety-second year, (Saira Banu) performs the same ritual every time a visitor says something about,, looks or good health or when… dozens of people come for (autographs) and praise.. work!’
In The Growing Up Years, the family had shifted to Deolali (a hill station in Maharashtra, located about 180 km form Mumbai). Yousuf learnt English to a quite proficient degree. He also started taking keen interest in soccer. In fact, at that stage he had a desire to become a soccer champion and his father desired an OBE attached to his name. He met Raj Kapoor after many years at Khalsa College. In fact, theirs was not merely a friendship of two individuals in the same profession but a bonding that grew from well-placed trust and respect. Even as Yousuf was always trying to help his father, a destiny was being cared for him by the Almighty.
The Poona Interlude helped teenaged Yousuf find his own bearings, gain some valuable experience. That taste of a little bit of ‘freedom’ also made him unsure whether he would be able to continue to submit to the will of his father, and take over his mantle.
At that point of time, inevitable changes led to The Return of The Prodigal to Bombay, pining for warm, indescribable security of family and familiar surroundings.
Whilst in Bombay, Yousuf was now keenly searching for a meaningful occupation. One morning he happens to meet his father’s acquaintances. Dr. Masani. One thing led to another. Yousuf met Devika Rani and landed up with a job of Rs 1250 per month. This was The Turning Point. He also met Ashok Kumar, marking the beginning of a friendship that was to last and entire lifetime.
In addition to these chapters on his-pre-film life, Dilip Kumar has chosen to end the book with Family Matters to present his reply to persistent question asked to him: Whether there is anything at all that (he regrets) and wish(es) to obliterate from the canvas of (his) life. One such episode is his getting involved, under pressure, with lady named Asma Rehman. That mischievously perpetuated ‘second marriage’ was an error of judgement by a fallible human being. Saira Banu, despite the hurt caused to her pride and because of her intense faith in him, stood solidly by him. The whole episode strengthened their closeness and emotional dependence on each other. During the episode it was wrongly represented that Saira could not bear a child. The truth is she did conceive a child (in 1972), but was lost in the eighth month of the pregnancy because of several medical complications. Dilip Kumar also goes into a deep retrospective when he passionately narrates his attempts to give each of his brother and sister to scale the heights that he dreamt for them. He felt a moment of proud and that lump in the throat when Lata Mangeshakar, whom he fondly calls his ‘younger sister’, sang for him Allah Tero Naam on the eve of her soulful rendering of Ae Mere watan Ke Logo at a function in the presence of the then Prime Minister Jawhar Lal Nehru in Delhi.
We will take up next part of the article – First and Second Innings at the Hindi Film Cinema – on 19 February, 2015