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Mumbai: Screenwriter Salim Khan, actors Dilip Kumar, Salman Khan, Helen and Saira Banu during Arpita Khan's marriage reception in Mumbai, on November 21, 2014. (Photo: IANS)

Dilip Kumar turns 92, Bollywood Wakes up to Choose B-town Icon’s Best Film

On his 92nd birthday, veteran actor Dilip Kumar was discharged from the Lilavati Hospital where he was being treated following a bout of pneumonia. Udaya Tara Nayar, his biographer, told IANS, “He got discharged at around 1.30 p.m. today and we’re taking him home. He is looking absolutely fine and healthy.”

Nayar, the compiler of the thespian’s autobiography “The Substance And The Shadow”. The star of films like “Devdas”, Madhumati” and “Mughal-E-Azam”, married to actress Saira Banu, will be having a quiet celebration at his residence for his birthday on Thursday evening.

On Dilip Kumar’s 92nd birthday on 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”.

Meanwhile, the Twitter world saw Dilip Kumar receive birthday messages from celebrities like Lata Mangeshkar, Subhash Ghai and Anupam Kher, who have wished him a long and healthy life.

“Namaskar. Aaj mere bade Bhai Abhineta Dilip Kumar ji ka janamdin hai. Ishwar unhe deerghayu kare, hamesha khush rakhe (Today is my elder brother, actor Dilip Kumar’s birthday. May god give him a long life and happiness always),” India’s popular songstress Lata posted.

Anupam tweeted: “Happy Birthday Dilip Kumar Saab. The real THESPIAN of Indian Cinema. Long & happy life. They don’t make actors or people like him anymore”, while Ghai shared: “LONG LIVE DILIP KUMAR, the institution in art of screen acting of Indian cinema the star of superstars n a man of compassion loved by all.”

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