There is a reason why he is hailed as The Tragedy King. That reason is Devdas. He plays the role of a naakaam aashique in Bimal Roy’s film so valiantly and with such haunting sensitivity that his pain becomes a mood—something that clings to his skin as much as ours. Watch the way he brokenly confesses, “Phir bhi Paro ki bahut yaad aati hai…” or his quiet acceptance of Chandramukhi’s love with “Agar marne ke baad mel hota hai toh main tumse kabhi durr nahin reh paunga.” Yes, he is The Tragedy King. But he is also phenomenal in comedy. His timing in Leader, Kohinoor, Azaad, Ram aur Shyam is absolutely wonderful. But for me Dilip Kumar remains as The Greatest Romantic Hero. Because in romantic scenes, it’s never so much as the grand gesture. Sometimes only a look is enough to catapult a boy to loverboy status. Shah Rukh had his look moment as Raj Malhotra in Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge in the pre interval scene when he refuses Simran (Kajol)’s invitation to her impending wedding. That look and that line, “Naa main nahin aaunga…” earned SRK the gold star status and hooked a generation of girls. Salman Khan had his cult Prem moment in Maine Pyar Kiya when after the fracas with Jeevan (Mohnish Behl) at the party, he gazes longingly at Suman (Bhagyashree) while she evades him. And ditto in the case of Ranbir Kapoor who as Rockstar’s Jordan displays brilliant passionate intensity in that scene where he says, “Baahar reh nahin paunga…” In similar vein Dilip Kumar is the baap of the screen-scorching look. He burns it up every moment in Devdas but there’s a small little scene in Madhumati that is my personal favourite. It’s the scene where while making a portrait of Madhumati (Vyjanthimala), he suddenly stops, cups his cheek, gives her a look and sighs softly. It’s just a look but enough to make any girl go Haaye. The dialogue is simple but most effective. She: “Kya dekh rahe ho?” He: “Tumhe.” It’s the way he says it. It’s the way he looks at the girl.
Dilip Kumar, you are The Greatest. Happy Birthday Legend. #dilipkumar #bollywood #Indiancinema