Dilip Kumar’s autograph

Some individuals remain etched in our memory and leave an ineradicable impression on people’s mind. The great actor Dilip Kumar is one of them, whose 94th birthday fell on December 11. I met the thespian a number of times in Bombay and Poona and also interviewed him for a couple of Urdu broadsheets. In 2008, I met him in Bombay with a polite request. I said, ‘Aapse ek guzarish hai. Humari mudarrisa ki aapse milne ki behad hasrat thi magar wuh aa nahin paayeen. Unhon-ne aapke liye salaam-e-ghaibana bheja hai aur iltija ki hai ke aap unhein apna autograph dene ki zahmat gawara karein’. (I’ve a request. My lady teacher was agog to meet you but couldn’t come. She has sent her good wishes and requested to give your autograph). He said Shukriya (thanks) and asked me in Urdu, ‘Aapki mudarrisa ko ilm-e-Urdu hai?’ (Does your lady teacher have the knowledge of Urdu?). I said that she knew Urdu like the back of her palm. He was very happy. I gave him her diary to autograph on it. He wrote in Urdu, ‘Aadaab mohtarma,
Kahin na kahin aapse mila zaroor hoon
Salaam bhejta hoon, go door hoon

(I seem to have met you somewhere/I send you my salutation, though I’m far from you).

He further added: ‘Ye mera sher nahin hai. Amir Minai ne likha hai. Main toh ek maamooli adakaar hoon. Kabhi milenge. Khuda Hafiz’ - Yusuf Khan
(This is not my couplet. Amir Minai penned it. I’m but a humdrum actor. Shall meet you sometime. Khuda Hafiz - Yusuf Khan)
My mentor and professor Dr Zaifa Ashraf was on cloud nine to get Dilip Kumar’s autograph in his own handwriting. Alas, she could never meet the great man as she breathed her last in 2009. 

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 December 2016 on page no. 4

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