Dilip Kumar: Tragedy King of Bollywood and his rare interview from 1970

Dilip Kumar reveals many facts from his personal and professional life

Mumbai: The living legend Dilip Kumar, is immensely popular for his amazing contribution to the Hindi cinema not only in India but all over the world. Born on 11th December 1922 in the Qissa Khawani Bazaar area of Peshawar which is present in Pakistan, Dilip Kumar has also been a producer, a screenwriter and an activist apart from a superb actor.

Most of us know that Dilip Kumar’s real name is Muhammad Yusuf Khan. His father Lala Ghulam Sarwar Ali Khan was a landlord and a fruit merchant who owned orchards in Peshawar and Deolali. His mother Ayesha Begum was a home-maker.

Dilip Kumar’s rare interview with Mahendra Kaul

We have got our hands on a rare audio on YouTube, in which we can hear BBC’s Mahendra Kaul interviewing Kumar. This Dilip Kumar interview from 1970 is a rare gem not because you find it in black and white but you can hear it in the kind of Urdu that is rarely heard in Bollywood actor interviews anymore.

From the reason behind changing his name to how his mental health was affected due to the tragic roles, Dilip Kumar reveals many unspoken facts from his personal and professional life in the audio.

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Reason behind changing his name

Revealing the true reason behind changing his name from Muhammad Yusuf Khan to Dilip Kumar, the legend actor said that he did so to avoid beating from his father Lala Ghulam Sarwar Ali Khan. He had three options, Muhammad Yusuf Khan, Dilip Kumar and Basu Dev.

Few reports and sources say that it was on the request of Devika Rani, The First Lady of Indian cinema, that The Tragedy King of Bollywood changed his name from Muhammad Yusuf Khan to Dilip Kumar.

Dilip Kumar suffered from depression

Perhaps more interesting part of the audio is that where he talks about the popularity of tragic cinema over the happy variety, and how his roles as the tragic hero came to eventually affect his personal life.

However, the intense roles he portrayed in his movies during the 1950s labelled him as the ‘Tragedy King’ of Bollywood and he briefly suffered from depression.

Kumar also speaks about how the advice of his psychiatrist, influenced his gradual opening up towards the other genres of cinema after which he took up lighter roles in movies like Aan, Azaad and Kohinoor.

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Everything is from Allah!

Speaking about his name, status, goal and everything he had gained, Dilip Kumar said that whatever he has is from Allah.

Kumar is a good singer too..

Not many of us know that Dilip Kumar is a very good singer. Many die-hard fans of the maestro still might not have the information about the one instance wherein he actually rendered a classical song in an unbelievable manner in the late 50s. It was a duet with Lata Mangeshkar that too in semi-classical.

In the middle of interview, Mahendra Kaul forces him to sing and Kumar reluctantly obeys, but later he sings. Listen to the audio attached below to know what he sang.

‘Penetration into the work’

When asked about the important characteristics that an acting personality should posses, Kumar said that the ‘penetration into the work’ is very important. He added that a girl or boy should know the depth of their work to become a successful actor.

With multifarious characters, knockout movies and a successful career spanning over 6 decades, Dilip Kumar cannot be missed out by any movie buff.

Listen to the complete interview below:

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